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In what ways can the podcasting phenomena be exploited within education? In reality, there are so many possibilities and, ultimately, the creativity and imagination of teachers and learners will drive the educational podcasting agenda in future. However, there are three areas where the potential of podcasting could be realised within schools:

  • Devising a cross-curricular activity;
     
  • Providing alternative teaching approaches;
     
  • Promoting and using personalised learning.

Before looking at these more closely, it is worth considering the way in which pupils engaged in podcasting makes a positive contribution to the ICT curriculum. In the programme of study within the National Curriculum, four key areas of knowledge, skills and understanding are identified for teaching pupils:

  • Finding things out
     
  • Developing ideas and making things happen
     
  • Exchanging and sharing information
     
  • Reviewing, modifying and evaluating work as it progresses
     

The breadth of study for each key stage also sets out the range of contexts for these areas. Most pupils in primary schools will be able to locate and listen to podcasts. Creating and publishing a podcast is more likely to be an activity for older pupils in primary schools and secondary age pupils. The kind of podcasting activities for secondary pupils and the match to three areas of the National Curriculum for ICT at Key Stage 3 (11-13 year olds) in England (UK) are set out in Table 5.
 

Table 5: Podcasting and the National Curriculum for 11-13 year olds (England)

Podcast activity

ICT knowledge, skills and understanding

Design and plan a podcast

Finding things out

Consider focus, content and format of audio material

a) to consider systematically the information required and to discuss its use

Identify and acquire the sources of audio material to include within a podcast

b) how to obtain information suited to the purpose by choosing appropriate sources, using and adapting search techniques and questioning the value of the results

Prepare scripts and plan recordings of audio material (talk, music, SFX)

c) how to collect, enter, analyse and judge quantitative and qualitative information and check its accuracy

Record the podcast

Developing ideas and making things happen

Record and edit audio material (talk, music, SFX)

a) to develop and investigate information, solve problems, produce new information for specific purposes

Design programme, considering style, content and forms of audio

a) how to make sense of information and to reorganise and present it in a range of forms that fit the purpose

Record, edit and master audio material in different forms to produce suitable content

b) efficiently use a range of ICT tools to draft, combine and refine information, creating good presentations suited to the needs of others and to the content.

Publish and listen to the podcast as part of a RSS feed on a website

c) the way to use email and other ICT to exchange information effectively

 

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Podcasts for schools