The education sector all across the world is in a transitional phase, primarily because of the introduction of technology. Now podcasting is one of the many technological innovations, which is becoming quite popular in the education sector.
Many institutions today are increasingly relying on podcasts as an advanced method of learning. Podcasting presents with the opportunity for professors to easily disseminate compelling audio content, which students can listen whenever it’s convenient for them. A student only has to subscribe to a podcast feed to get access to a vast array of educational content, rather than looking for the textbooks.
Now let’s elaborate further on how podcasts enhance the learning process in the classroom.
- Podcasts help in presenting a huge variety of narratives effectively.
In case of podcasts, teachers and professors have the option to select the content that best suits their lesson plans. What’s more, they have the opportunity of exploring different types of narratives, like educational and motivational TEDx speeches, fictional stories, world news, history, pop culture, sports etc. In short, the possibilities are endless with podcasts.
This way, teachers can help his/her students to retain their interest and attention on the specific subject or topic. Also, podcasts allow the students to explore a variety of communication processes, which involve casual dialogue, narration, interviews, and scripted dialogue.
Also, introducing podcasts in the classroom means the learning process becomes a lot less informal. This makes the students open up more, and it also offers them the opportunity to acquire a great deal of information and wisdom.
For instance, teaching literature to the students can prove to be quite cumbersome, having to narrate the same stories. This is when teachers can offer valuable information related to a particular novel or a short story. They can talk about the author and the background of the story through a podcast. Hence, this will keep both the teacher and the students more involved. This also enables the students to go beyond the traditional text-based learning.
- Promoting an innovative way of acquiring valuable information
Conventional teaching and learning processes are based on the lecture format, which is still a predominant practice in the majority of the classrooms.
Since not every teacher has the same capacity to capture the attention of the students for a prolonged period, and students anyway consider the lectures tedious to sit through, introducing podcasts to the classroom can be an excellent way to appeal their sense and encourage students to participate in the classroom discussions.
A well-developed podcast can be informative, engaging and fast-paced, which draws the attention and imagination of the listeners effectively, thus making it an essential source of information. Also, in this case, teachers don’t always have to produce a podcast themselves, rather they can look for informative podcasts on particular subjects online.
- Enriching the comprehension skills of the students
Listening to podcasts can remarkably improve the comprehension skills of students. Listening to the specific information allows the students to grasp the study materials even more efficiently. This also promotes discussions and debates, which in turn propels creative thinking and open communication between and among teachers and students. They’re great for listening to on the go and students have access to a wide range of fascinating content. Why not set a particular talk (or part of a talk) for homework and use it as springboards for debates and discussions in class the next day?
Also, it’s a lot convenient for them to listen instead of reading, and they can do that during their daily commute to school, washing the dishes or while carrying out other tasks.
- Podcasts present a comparatively relatable format of learning for the students
Podcasts are often created by elaborating on the situations that a student will find particularly easy to identify with. Listening to such narratives allows them to relate to the events that follow, which prompts them to pay more attention than reading a book.
Even the podcasts with non-fiction elements focus on the concerns and issues that are prevalent in today’s society, so students learn the things that they can apply in real life as well.
- Podcasts can be treated as lecture reviews
One of the most prominent advantages of podcasts that teachers should leverage is to record the existing lectures. This way students can easily access them as excellent study materials.
These study materials play a crucial role when students gear up to appear for examinations. Any student who has encountered difficulty in understanding a specific topic in the classroom can listen to the podcast of that particular lecture to clear their doubts. Having the lectures recorded as podcasts also means that students can grasp the topic at their own pace.
This opportunity to review the lecture multiple times is specifically advantageous for students coming from a different part of the world, or someone with learning disabilities.
It’s also true that getting the students to watch an hour-long video recording of the lecture can be a grueling process. That’s why providing them with an audio recording which they can listen as per their convenience allows them to learn even beyond the classroom setup.
- Podcasts allow the students to carry the classroom along with them
Podcasts generally can be accessed free of cost and at any time that the students see fit. This means they can refer to it as many times as they want, either by downloading the file on their device or streaming the audio on an online portal.
This enables the students to assume a more proactive role in their own learning. Additionally, since podcasts are ideally created to be accessed through a mobile device, students have a choice of learning on the move. They can be in a coffee shop, or hanging around in the park and still can accomplish so much just by listening.
There are numerous subscription apps for podcasts available for nearly every smartphone, and these make learning a whole lot easier for the students.
- The students can use the podcasts to create their content
One of the most beneficial and efficient uses of the podcast for the students is to create content on their own independent efforts.
Teachers can assist students to produce their own podcast, which can include dialogues between people, interviews, general discussions, etc. These can then be circulated to the whole class, or a teacher can create an online forum or portal where he/she may upload all the podcasts.
This enables the students to be somewhat in control of the education process and, hence, encourages proper engagement. They can raise a query, and they can contribute and can help each other learn faster.
- Podcasts help in boosting the students’ creativity
Since podcasts put students in control to learn and understand the materials efficiently, the students feel encouraged to assume a more critical view or creative thinking while preparing any assignments. Rather than providing them with the normal assignments, teachers can ask the students to listen to several podcasts on creative thinking and then encourage them to implement their understanding into an assignment.
So this is how podcasts bring an overall positive change in the learning process that goes beyond the classroom.
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