Podcasts for Education

Recently there have been a resurgence in podcasting, productions such as This American Life’s Serial have helped to popularise a media format that had previously dwindled; in 2014 alone Apple anticipated its users listened to 7 billion podcasts. A greater choice of podcasting apps and widespread use of smartphones have played their part in making episodic audio more accessible to individuals, and we look to education to see if this format could be utilised more in taught delivery.

Audio recordings as part of course content are commonly used in fully distant delivery, here at Falmouth our home based MA in Professional Writing use audio recordings to accompany tasks and documentation on a weekly basis, with tutors providing a guiding voice through the learning journey. At the University of Leicester podcasts are used to supplement sessions and weekly activities while at the Open University they have recently released OU Podcasts.

But how easy is it to get started with audio recording if it’s something new to you? With a range of free and open source tools available it can be quite daunting when finding the right combination of hardware and software to get started. Although, making use of specific audio recorders using your own hardware such as a mobile phone is also an option. Apps such as Dictaphone and Voice Recorder are easy to use and allow you to record voice straight from your phone, while tools such as Audacity and Audition allow you to add effects and edit your recordings. As with any tool we’d recommend liaising with a learning technologist if you’re unsure where to start or have any questions to make the process as beneficial as possible. For those who have access to Lynda.com a great selection videos and tutorials are available specifically for podcasting.

While on the subject, for podcasts specifically relating to Educational Technology #EdChat Radio and Moving at the Speed of Creativity are worth checking out. Also available to download is Radio 4 Series The Educators featuring interviews with people aiming to change the face of education.