Podcasts in the Classroom

What is a podcast? 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

podcast is a collection of digital media files which is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers. The term, like "radio", can refer either to the content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster.

The term "podcast" is a portmanteau of the words "iPod" and "broadcast",[1] the Apple iPod being the brand of portable media player for which the first podcasting scripts were developed (see history of podcasting). These scripts allow podcasts to be automatically transferred to a mobile device after they are downloaded.[2]

Though podcasters' web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom.

Educational Value of Podcasts

Podcasts can be created from original material by students and teachers or existing audio files can be downloaded for classroom use.

Creating a podcast allows students to share learning experiences. It provides them with a world-wide audience that makes learning meaningful and assessment authentic. Teachers can use the technology to provide additional and revision material to students to download and review at a time that suits them. The flexibility that such time-shifting offers makes podcasting a valuable educational tool.

Student podcasting integrates seamlessly with the International Society of Technology, Colorado, and Adams 14Schools Technology foundation standards for students.

Podcasting is relatively new in K-12 education but has been around for some time.  In 2005 the New Oxford American Dictionary selected "podcast" as the Word of the Year.

What hardware and software is need to podcast? 

You're probably asking yourself, what do I need to get started today? A computer equpped with a sound card, a microphone (either a built in mic or an inexpensive external mic),  audio software (the free software Audacity is recommended) for recording/editing/and saving the sound file as an mp3.  To truly be a podcast you will also want a website, wiki, or an internet based service for storing and sharing the podcast with others. It’s really that simple. As a podcaster becomes more proficient additional tools can be added to increase the quality of the audio, add pictures, video, feeds and RSS.

Resources on the Web

free audio software

Podcasting Tutorial (includes Audacity Tutorials)

Audacity basic editing tutorial

Create Podcasts using your PC

Education World has compiled the Web's latest and greatest podcasting resources to help you get started with this exciting and doable technology. Included: How-to articles, lesson ideas, free and fee-based software download sites, and much more!

Podcasting in the Classroom

Kathy Schrocks's Gudie for Educators - Podcasting

Learning Hand




School Podcasts

The Education Podcast Network (elementary, middleschool, highschool)

ColeyCast Room 34 Tovashal Elementary School 5th Grade, Murietta, CA

Willowdale Elementary School, Omaha, NB

Teacher Podcasts

Dan's Math

Hopkinton Library

National Public Radio


Debra Room 4