Although I had heard of the terms Podcasts and Vodcasts before, I have to admit that I really had no idea what they were. I now know that a Podcast is an audio file that can be listened to on a computer or MP3 player while a Vodcast is a video file that can be viewed in the same way. The advantage of using these types of digital media files is that, just like a broadcast, new information is downloaded automatically to your computer through a software application such as iTunes (Wikipedia, 2009).
Although I had already downloaded iTunes to my computer I have not had a good look around this site and was glad that we were given step by step instructions in the Delivery Technologies module of this course. I spent a long time searching through the educational podcasts and by doing so, have a much better understanding of how these tools can be utilised to support both student and teacher learning. The Podcast that I subscribed to is titled 'Technology 4 Teachers' (Martinson, 2009) and offers help and suggestions for teachers wanting to integrate technology into their classroom (I need all the help I can get).
While I was searching, it was interesting to see that several Primary Schools had their own Podcasts and how these were used. One school in particular used the Podcast as part of a reading program. The students would read books and then present a short review each week to inspire potential readers. The Podcast is aimed at Primary aged readers and the show is entirely scripted, recorded and produced by the students. This is a fantastic way to integrate literacy learning through the use of ICT's and no doubt the students would find it very engaging.
I feel that the last example aligns with Oliver's (1999, as cited in AusInfo, 2003) learning design framework. Through the use of ICT's the Learning Manager can design student learning experiences by using three key elements. These are highlighted below:
Learning Tasks-students work collaboratively to write, record and produce book reviews
Learning Resources-the use of a software application (iTunes) to upload their Podcast
Learning Supports-Learning Manager provides scaffolding and support
AusInfo. (2003). Learning design. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from http://www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/project/learn_design.htm
Martinson, S. (2009). Technology 4 teachers. Retrieved August 15, 2009, from http://www.technology4teachers.org
Wikipedia. (2009). Podcast. Retrieved August 15, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast