Until reading the description of podcasting by Richardson (2010), I didn’t have a clear understanding of what the benefit of podcasting was over that of posting video on YouTube.com. Richardson points out, podcasting is similar to radio broadcasting. The distribution is key. Distribution is how the audience has access to videos. With the use of Really Simple Syndication (RSS), viewers can subscribe to a podcast. Similar to how new blog content is alerted to readers, the RSS alerts its audience to newly posted podcasts. When a targeted subscription is detected the new podcast can be downloaded to the subscriber. Data can even be listened to and watched without a computer connection. YouTube is owned by Google, which explains how this YouTube video, Climate, Culture, and Food, is available on my Google account, via my tag selection. I think this is pretty neat, since I made this video using iMovie last year and published it to YouTube before I had a Google account.
In order to subscribe to podcast using your computer, a directory is needed. The iTunes directory download can take several hours unless completed on a high-speed Internet service. I spent the five hours of download time that it took my computer to receive the app to good use by shopping at the iTunes Podcast Library for subjects of my interests. I found so many of interest it was challenging to select a few for subscription. My three RSS selections: NPR: education podcast, JobSearch by Barry Deutsch, and The Church of The Apostles. Since much of my daily routine is tied to advancing my pedagogy skills, I truly need help advancing my inner person. In case this is news: grad school is not a cake walk and getting input for the soul is a good thing. I am a big fan of NPR broadcast programs, and I have great respect for NPR’s perspective on science, education, and world politics. Many years ago I was an intern living in Philadelphia and I worked with the staff of All Things Considered. Even today this NPR program is one of inspiration and humor and I enjoy listening. Now I do not have to be in my car in Atlanta traffic to tune in. As a classroom teacher I feel undervalued and I would love to see agents and headhunters representing teachers for contract negotiations and signing bonuses. A headline that reads a teacher’s salary hits a home run is only in my dreams right now. Barry Deutsch targets hiring practices and hiring trends. These are topics that teachers facing retirement or looking to make employment changes can consider for help. I need the most help with my faith. Again today I missed attending Sunday church service. I can appreciate having an opportunity to hear Pastor, Dr. Youssef. His sermons are available via podcasts upon my click. Also, this is a technology-shout-out to TeacherTube podcasts. I am a big fan of TeacherTube.com, many of their videos reflect science content for hands-on lab activities and this Web site is one of my must-have links for ESOL science content instruction.
The great thing about podcasting is its availability on mobile devices, such as smart phones. As part of a student centered project, I am using podcasting to better serve English Learners (ELs), by providing the needed task instructions to complete assignments for a project. Scaffolding instructions, repetition, and having visual images all readily available on their phones will gives students a source for step-by-step instructions similar face2face lessons. Having mobile podcast instructions as needed by each individual project participant is very convenient. The first project task consists of a journal writing entry and a textbook reading assignment on the parts and of a flower plant, and the function of each part. For a test run, I composed video with a few hand drawings. Using the camcorder on my iPhone and narrating over the drawings, key instructions were quick, easy and ready for uploading to PodBean.com, an interface I selected for this task.
The iPhone video format is MOV and this is a usable format option for the PodBean.com podcast interface. Some interfaces required MOV to be converted to MP3 or some other format. PodBeam.com has a free online application version that
will allow up to 100MB of free data space. I opted for the next-up version which allows up to 200MD of data. The cost is relatively inexpensive as an annual fee. I am now ready to mix it up in the ranks of education producers of podcasts, be it the lower ranks with this initial attempt. Using the Screen-O-Matic screen casting application, I am sharing the instructional steps of putting this podcast together. Once I had the elements of information is a somewhat organized order, making this mini podcast only took about two hours to complete. The uploading of the MOV file was slow; I do not have a high speed service, and I highly recommend having it for this project. The screencast was a little longer to compose; getting the current Java app, recording the screencast, and then uploading data are all task-time-takers. This assignment as a whole monopolized a great deal of my time, however the long term rewards will make this project well worth all the effort. I did not publish the MOV file, however I did publish the screencast, titled Easy Podcast Introduction. There were no retakes, and I am sharing it with the public as proof of my work.
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful Web tools for classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.