Podcasts are digital media files, distributed on the internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers. Several instutions integrated Podcast as part of their e-learning programme.
Some interesting examples:
- Universities start to broadcast lectures and interviews trough iTunes (cf. Stanford University, Berkely University).
- The UNICEF Podcast is a new global radio service focusing on the health, education, equality and protection of children.
- The Carnegie Council podcast as the audio voice for ethics in International Policy.
The technology is relatively simple (hence its popularity). Users create and upload audio files to a website or a server, usually in MP3 format. These can be downloaded by other users and can be played on portable audio devices such as Apple’s iPod (hence the name) (M. Weller, 2007). It is possible to play the files on your computer (it does not require an iPod). Even more interesting is the possible connection with mobile phones (mobile casting).
In the following slideshow you will get a introduction in the technological infrastructure you need in order to start with podcasting.
From the technological point of view there are no big barriers. Much more complicated is the specific pedagogy that supports an innovative use of this new medium. Exploring the pedagogical potential will be challenge for the podcast future.