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Record podcasts

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Saved by Tony Vincent
on June 17, 2009 at 1:07:38 am

Many teachers are creating podcasts for their students. Students can pause and rewind an instructional podcast so they can learn at their own pace. For example, Brent Coley's produces a show called StudyCast for his fifth graders. The podcast is designed to help students review for science and social studies tests. Episode topics include the colonies, body systems, and test taking tips. Students can listen to podcast as many times as they need to review the material.


Woodland Park High School in Colorado is using video podcasts to remove lecture from class. Viewing podcasts made by teachers is given as homework so teachers and students can focus on hands-on activities and direct problem solving during class time. For students without Internet, they can copy episodes to a flash drive. Those without computers can take home DVDs to play on their televisions.




Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams are the chemistry teachers involved in the video podcasting. In an article in the Pike Peak Courier View, they note an advantage is that students can pause and rewind a lecture when they don't understand concepts. The teachers take turns making episodes, so the students have the benefit of having two instructors. The teachers recommend SnapKast (Windows) or ProfCast(Macintosh) for recording lectures with PowerPoint or Keynote slides.


Click to go to the Woodland Park podcasts. Additionally, Jonathan and Aaron have an excellent video where they talk about their vodcasting. As an aside, I try to avoid educational and technology jargon. I do not use the term vodcast as I prefer video podcast.



The article "iTunes University" Better Than the Real Thing in a recent issue of New Scientist reports the findings in a study from the State University of New York called Can Podcasts Replace Professors. The study found that students who listened to podcasted lectures performed better on tests over the lecture material than students who actually attended the lecture in person.


The study used 64 Psychology 101 students. Half of the students listened to an enhanced podcast (that's showing the lecture's slides along with playing the audio). The other half were given a print out of the slides and were present for the lecture.


Students who were in the podcast group averaged a 71% while those in the lecture group scored a 64% average when tested over the material in the podcast/lecture. However, those who listened to the podcast and did not take notes scored that same as those that attended the lecture. Those in the podcasting group that took notes averaged 77%.


These results would certainly be different in a K-12 environment. But, it makes sense that when students can pause, rewind, and rewatch a lecture they learn the material better. Podcasting lecture material has the added benefit of changing what can be accomplished during class time. 

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