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Podcasting: Language Instruction
Applications for an Online Phenomenon
Donna Shelton, PhD
Northeastern State University
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Agenda
 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
Internet
 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
technology?
Methods for Using the Technology
 Use growing rapidly
 Podcasts in higher education
 Content delivery method for online or hybrid
courses
 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
language-specific
 Georgia College and State University, see
http://ipod.gcsu.edu/
 Duke University, see
http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2005/12/ipodupdate.
html and
http://cit.duke.edu/ideas/newprofiles/merschel.do
 Stanford University, see http://itunes.stanford.edu/
 Iowa State, see
http://www.language.iastate.edu/main/podcast/
Methods for Using the Technology
 University-level projects, both general
and language-specific
 https://segue.middlebury.edu/index.php?acti
on=site&site=achapin-ipod
 http://spanport.lss.wisc.edu/newsite/podcast
s/
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-
specific
 http://ghs.gcs.k12.al.us/~gvaldez/index.htm, Spanish
at Gadsden City HS, Alabama
 http://www.intelligenic.com/forum/, The KidCast
Forums, projects in various disciplines
 http://chatt.hdsb.ca/%7Emagps/boylit/Podcasting%2
0in%20Education, Podcasting in Education
 http://www.langwitches.org/links/podcast.htm,
LangWitches.org, 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, http://epnweb.org
 Podcasting News, http://www.podcastingnews.com/
 Podcast.net, http://www.podcast.net
Sources of Content: General
 General podcast directories, continued
 Podcast Alley, http://www.podcastalley.com
 The Podcast Network,
http://www.thepodcastnetwork.com
 iTunes Podcasts, www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/
Sources of Content: Spanish
 Spanish-language podcasting still in early stages of
development
 Considerable growth in available podcasts just in last year
 Directories below cover a variety of topics
 http://www.podsonoro.com/
 http://www.podcastellano.com/
 http://www.elpodio.com/
 http://www.podcast.com.ar/
 http://www.podcastinguatemala.com/
Sources of Content: A Warning
 Podcasts and vodcasts are easy and inexpensive to
create
 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
cautious
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
 www.apple.com/itunes, free download
 RSS server software for subscriptions
 Open-source applications such as Drupal, www.drupal.org
 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
player
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
 http://www.webmonkey.com/webmonkey/05/52/index4a.h
tml
 See also the Podcasting News article, “Make Your First
Podcast”
 http://www.podcastingnews.com/articles/How-to-
Podcast.html
Incorporating podcasts into
your courses
Incorporating the Technology
 Three ways to incorporate podcasts and
vodcasts into curriculum
 Those available for subscription or download
online
 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
http://guisando.org/podcast/
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
appropriate
 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
performances
Additional Resources
Best, June. (June 20, 2005). Duke’s Free iPod Program Has Mixed Results.
CNET News.com. Retrieved March 30, 2006 from
http://news.com.com/Dukes+free+iPod+program+has+mixed+results/21001025_3-5754005.html.
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
http://www.webmonkey.com/webmonkey/05/52/index4a.html.
(December 5, 2005). Duke Sees Growth in Classroom iPod Use. Retrieved April
15, 2006 from http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2005/12/ipodupdate.html.
Make Your First Podcast. Podcasting News. Retrieved April 16, 2006 from
http://www.podcastingnews.com/articles/How-to-Podcast.html.
Terdima, Daniel. (November 3, 2005). Stanford Using iTunes to Take Lectures
Global. CNET News.com. Retrieved March 30, 2006 from
http://news.com.com/Stanford+using+iTunes+to+take+lectures+global/21001041_3-5931232.html.
Questions?
Thank you!
Donna Shelton, [email protected]
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