Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Podcasting vs. Audioblogging

A lot of technology terms get thrown around these days.  Many are synonyms many are nuances of terms.  First we developed digital audio (capturing sound waves on a computer), then multiple file formats (ways of saving the audio), then web hosting (method of saving the sound wave on the Internet), then RSS (method of finding sound waves posted on the Internet) and of course ipods and mp3 players (devices to download audio files onto for use later).  Now the techie civilization gets involved and we have words like podcast, audiocast, vodcast, vcast, sound clip.  Then with the advance of technology people find ways to express themselves.  We develop websites, blogs, youtube videos, digital storytelling, and more.  Then combination occurs.  Why not make blogs (written expressions) that contain overlaying audio that people could download to listen to at a later time? This created some to start audioblogging.

What is audioblogging? Exposition on a topic of choice to express one's feelings with a few images either graphic or textual with an overlay of audio. 

I had a great conversation with two fellow teachers today.  They were discussing the desire to make their instruction more interactive with the students.  Notice I did not write for the students.  They were trying to think of ways to make learning more engaging.  I think the progression through the various terms of web delivered audio for education needs to begin slowly.

One of the teachers and I discussed simple podcasting.  Having recordings made.  Uploaded.  Collected. Downloaded.  Personally I think this is where to begin to become more familiar with the tools.  But as with all technology advances, we find easier ways to move further.  I think a great project would be to begin with eventually developing vocabulary vodcasts.  Giving the students the opportunity to choose a term surrounding a theme.  Then define the term in concise writing.  Create an image to accompany the term (draw it or find it on the web in copyright cleared locations).  Record the student defining their term.  Overlay the audio to a slide show displaying the term, definition, and graphic.  A series of these (one from each student) would create a fabulous review that could be downloaded and played over and over again on computers, ipods or mp3 players with video capabilities. 

I always marvel how a small conversation can spark such a large idea.  Have you tried podcasting with your students?  What has worked for you and your students?  And equally I would love to know have your students had success from listening to content delivered via podcast or vodcast?  Please feel free to comment here to share what you have learned so that we may learn from you.  Happy podcasting!