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Podcasting: Language Instruction
Applications for an Online Phenomenon
Donna Shelton, PhD
Northeastern State University
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
 What are podcasts?
 How are schools using this technology?
 Where do I find Spanish-language podcasts?
 How can my students and I create podcasts?
 How can I incorporate podcasts into courses?
What are podcasts?
Podcasts and Vodcasts
 Digital audio and video files distributed over the
 Available through download from websites or
through a subscription feed
 Listen and/or view on a computer or a mobile
device such as an iPod or an MP3 player
 Podcasting software – iTunes, Juice, iPodder –
needed to subscribe
 Many of these applications are available online
free of charge
Podcasts and Vodcasts
 Subscriptions to pod- and vodcasts are made possible by
software called RSS
 Some RSS applications are open-source or free
 To make podcasts, digital audio can be converted to an
MP3 file, a format recognized by RSS
 To make vodcasts, digital video can be converted to a
variety of formats that RSS can deliver
 The RSS file includes text that describes your MP3 or
video file for the potential user
 Again, pod- and vodcasts can be created, posted, and
downloaded without subscription
How are schools using this
Methods for Using the Technology
 Use growing rapidly
 Podcasts in higher education
 Content delivery method for online or hybrid
 Supplements to traditional courses accessed
through websites or course management systems
 Outreach or recruiting tools
 Podcast-based programs at many institutions
Methods for Using the Technology
 University-level projects, both general and
 Georgia College and State University, see
 Duke University, see
html and
 Stanford University, see
 Iowa State, see
Methods for Using the Technology
 University-level projects, both general
and language-specific
Methods for Using the Technology
 Podcasts in K-12 schools
 School and/or district information for families
and community
 Instructor-produced content for classes
 Student-produced content, either for regular
classes or for extracurricular projects
 School events such as sports or music
Methods for Using the Technology
 K-12 projects, both general and language-
, Spanish
at Gadsden City HS, Alabama
, The KidCast
Forums, projects in various disciplines
0in%20Education, Podcasting in Education
,, the Magic of Learning Languages
through Technology
Where do I find Spanishlanguage podcasts?
Sources of Content: General
 Podcast directories are searchable and generally
organized into subject matter categories
 These directories are general but do include some
Spanish-language podcasts
 The Education Podcast Network,
 Podcasting News,
Sources of Content: General
 General podcast directories, continued
 Podcast Alley,
 The Podcast Network,
 iTunes Podcasts,
Sources of Content: Spanish
 Spanish-language podcasting still in early stages of
 Considerable growth in available podcasts just in last year
 Directories below cover a variety of topics
Sources of Content: A Warning
 Podcasts and vodcasts are easy and inexpensive to
 Anyone can and does publish them
 Files containing adult content, extreme views, and
inaccurate information are common
 As with all online content, instructors must be
Sources of Content: Suggestions
 For many classes, instructor- and student-created podcasts
have greater value than published files
 Appropriate content is still difficult to find
 Advanced or Superior proficiency level required for
comprehension of most published files
 Be aware of student Internet access limitations if iPods or MP3
players are not used
 Dial-up service impedes access to many podcasts because
of file size
 Instructor- or student-created podcasts should be brief
 Encourage use of school or university computers or burn
files to CD
How can my students and I
create podcasts?
Creating Podcasts and Vodcasts
 Hardware needed for podcasts
 Digital audio recorder and microphone
 Or, computer plus microphone
 Or, microphone built into computer if available
 Computer to upload files
 Hardware needed for vodcasts
 Webcam or digital video camera
 Computer to upload files
Creating Podcasts and Vodcasts
 Software needed for podcasts
 Application to download the digital file from the recorder
to the computer
 Generally comes with the recorder
 Application such as Audacity or Odeo to record directly to
the computer if no recorder is used
 File conversion application, such as iTunes, if needed
, free download
 RSS server software for subscriptions
 Open-source applications such as Drupal,
 Server software would be managed by IT staff
 Subscription capability is not required
Creating Podcasts and Vodcasts
 Record the content
 Save the audio at maximum quality
 Convert the file to MP3 format using iTunes or
another application
 Upload the MP3 file to a website or course
management server
 Test the file on a computer and on any MP3
Creating Podcasts and Vodcasts
 Software needed for vodcasts
 Screen capture applications such as
 Camtasia
 Apple QuickTime Pro
 Windows Movie Maker, comes with Windows XP
 These applications allow you to “capture”
PowerPoints, digital video clips and photos, and
your audio in one file
Creating Podcasts and Vodcasts
 For a tutorial on creating podcasts, see the Webmonkey
article “All the World’s a Podcast” by Michael Calore
 See also the Podcasting News article, “Make Your First
Incorporating podcasts into
your courses
Incorporating the Technology
 Three ways to incorporate podcasts and
vodcasts into curriculum
 Those available for subscription or download
 Those created by the instructor
 Those created by students
Incorporating the Technology
 Previously published content
 Individual podcast downloads or subscriptions
 Authentic texts, generally for students at higher
proficiency levels
 Regular or supplemental content for upper-
division courses
 Interpretive communication activities
 Current events, social,
political, cultural topics
 Regional variations in
language for linguistics study
Go to
for examples.
Incorporating the Technology
 Instructor-produced content
 More appropriate for Novice and Intermediate
proficiency levels
 Community members, upper-level or nativespeaker students could provide content
 Should be brief, with visual elements as
 Pronunciation exercises
 Mini-lessons on grammar concepts
 Listening comprehension exercises
 Cultural content presentations
Incorporating the Technology
 Student-produced content
 Interpersonal and presentational activities
 Interviews or other conversational tasks
 Story telling
 Songs
 Readers’ theater
 Radio shows, newscasts
 PowerPoint presentations with audio
 Student self-assessment
 Podcasts allow students to evaluate their own
Additional Resources
Best, June. (June 20, 2005). Duke’s Free iPod Program Has Mixed Results.
CNET Retrieved March 30, 2006 from
Blaisdell, Mikael. (2006). Academic MP3s: Is It Time Yet? Campus Technology,
March, 38-50.
Calore, Michael. (December 16, 2005). All the World’s a Podcast. Webmonkey.
Retrieved April 15, 2006 from
(December 5, 2005). Duke Sees Growth in Classroom iPod Use. Retrieved April
15, 2006 from
Make Your First Podcast. Podcasting News. Retrieved April 16, 2006 from
Terdima, Daniel. (November 3, 2005). Stanford Using iTunes to Take Lectures
Global. CNET Retrieved March 30, 2006 from
Thank you!
Donna Shelton, [email protected]

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