California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Podcasts

Podcasts are similar to radio shows that students download to a personal computer or an MP3 player. Podcasts appeal to these technology natives1 and can enhance project-based learning. For example, student teams can develop podcasts to help peers review for exams and learn more about subjects. “Educators are starting to see how podcasting can help hone students’ vocabulary, writing, editing, public speaking, and presentation skills . . . Students can also learn skills that will be valuable in the working world, such as communication, time management, and problem-solving.”2

Students can use podcasts to interview civic leaders or people in subject-related careers or discuss study notes for upcoming exams. Through the advisory class, media exploratory, or student government class, students can also host forums for student comments on major teen issues and current events.

With a few pieces of hardware and free, readily available software programs, podcasts can be included as a fun way to engage and empower students in their own learning. According to teachers who use them, podcasts are another tool to create an environment in which students want to learn.3

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Footnotes
1 Neil Howe and William Strauss, Millennials Rising; The Next Great Generation. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.
2 Rhea R. Borja, "Podcasting Craze Comes to K-12 Schools,” Education Week, Vol. 25, Issue 14, (December 7, 2005), 8.
3 Linda Man, “Podcasts Bring 24/7 Teachers,” The Kansas City Star, Mar. 20, 2006.