Friday, February 24, 2012

Usefulness of Podcasts

Much of what we have covered in class from the lesson plans seems very focused and allows only for a limited number of lessons to be applied to it. However, I think that the podcast idea has to be the best by far in terms of encompassing multiple facets of a lesson or assignment opportunities. I know that I hated working with PowerPoint or writing speeches out by hand on note cards that the teacher would only let you have a certain number of.  I was largely reserved and quiet when I was younger, making speaking in front of others largely difficult for me, even within small groups.

Technology always intrigued me, though I was slow to be able to utilize or have access to it since I was from a more modest household, and as such did not have the top of the line when it came to advances in technology. However, within high school and college I have had access to a plethora of different technologies, and as a result am grateful that we have a class aimed at narrowing down tools that are potential classroom aids. The number of tools on the web or available as apps on phones has reached a disgusting amount, and just think that our technology will double within 2 years. Wow.

Outside of that side-note, podcasts are a new phenomenon to me because I have had a problem with Apple as a company. I always thought that you HAD to have iTunes or an iPod in order to be able to access that technology, and as a result never got into them when the wave started. From the ones I listened to regarding, you guessed it, some of the games I currently invest time in, they seem like a logical step in conveying information to listeners if video equipment or video sharing sites are not preferred, as they can get lost in the wash there. Podcasts are easier to search for then a video is on YouTube I've noticed, so that is always a plus.

However, they are also relatively simplistic, and quite drab compared to watching a video. I was attempting to type this blog while trying to listen to some more, but found that I couldn't because of the difference in my writing versus what they were saying, and I couldn't focus on both. Even reading another article and trying to listen to them didn't work for me. It's not quite the same as music is, because music you can generally escape from what's being sung and just have it be background noise. With purely voice, I almost feel obligated to dedicate my full attention to it, and as such anything else literary or orally based is incompatible simultaneously with it. I felt like I was wasting time though when I was just sitting and listening to it, so that is a downside.

ANYHOW, outside of this slight rant and commentary, I feel that as a teaching tool this technology is a phenomenal idea. With the pressure of speaking in front of a class lifted, perhaps some children will have their grasp on the material shine through since they have free reign on what gets produced. I would have probably seen podcasts as a great timesink for homework assignments because they involve A) computers, B) talking almost to yourself without being directly met with judgement from others making it a more comfortable experience, C) creativity in presenting the material being assessed, and D) just the novelty of breaking away from the traditional written or oral presentation of read material. Rather than looking like an idiot in front of the class trying to keep interjecting upon oneself to represent the constant commercial presentations (one of the example podcasts that the book gave us), the student can accurately do this creative interpretation by the use of audio recording.

1 comment:

  1. Jake,

    This post is very interesting, because i was JUST commenting on The Jesse Jennings post regarding this issue. I have to wonder if students, like yourself, who didn't necessarily like speaking in front of class would benefit from this. I look forward to your book review since you seem to enjoy this technology and see such value in it!