Podcasting Defined

Question: What is Podcasting?

The IT Guy says:
The word “podcast†is a combination of the words “iPod†and “broadcast.†You can think of podcasts as Internet-delivered, archived radio-shows. Some educators and students are using podcasts in innovative ways, such as connecting with a local and even global audience to share valuable lessons and insights learned in the classroom.

To get a taste of the excitement and potential of podcasting, listen to “Room 208â€, featuring podcasts from last school year. Teacher Bob Sprankle and his elementary students are literally overflowing with excitement for the power of podcasting to provide an authentic and engaging audience for student writing and audio broadcasting.

Podcasting does not require the use of an iPod, but, when a portable music device such as an iPod is used, it allows the listener to time and place shift. This means they can determine the time and location for listening to the broadcast which they have downloaded to their computer and transferred to their portable device. Another option is to listen on the computer itself.

Apple Computer, which created the iPod, has integrated podcast capability into its new, and still free, iTunes software for both Windows and Macintosh computers. Podcasts are generally recorded and posted in either mp3 or AAC format. The AAC format allows for copy protection (generally not done for podcasts but used widely for commercial music) as well as integration of additional features like chapter markers, accompanying art, etc.

For a knowledgeable and comprehensive discussion, check out Wikipedia’s Podcasting entry. For more great podcasts about innovative uses of educational technology, check out David Warlick’s Connect Learning.

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