On Podcasts

There is a lot of buzz in academia on the use of podcasts to reach our students on their turf. The old adage “If you build it they will come.” But will they? I know several colleagues around the country who are using them to show class lectures, to post information videos on youtube, and to reach new audiences. While I agree we need to be adopting these new technologies and advancing our teaching into realms that excite and engage today’s student, I also wonder if we are. I am working on analyzing some data I just finished collecting with friends at four institutions. From my initial glances it appears that none of these students are seeing podcasting, blogging, wikis, or any such technology in any of their courses. This concerns me. What also makes me wonder is that when asked if they want podcasting used in their courses 72% said they don’t. And while 75% said they use ipods regularly, 85.3% do not want to use them in class. So do they want it? Well these same students felt that technology in their courses made them more engaged, and felt courses using technology had more real-world examples they could use in the future. So do we use the technology they use on an everyday basis in class? Why not? Even if not all are excited about using the technology, studies prove it draws them in. And isn’t that what we want as instructors… to draw them in and excite them about our subject?

2 Comments on “On Podcasts

  1. I wonder if the hesitancy to include use of their “ipod” in class is not an unconscious desire to maintain separation of “work and homelife”? Currently the “ipod” is a leisure tool. A hesitancy that would disappear as soon as the ipod was introduced into the class(work) environment and became a tool in that relm.

  2. That is why I have done this research. I really wonder if they have a desire not to have this in the classroom if it is something they see as entertainment. I know my students have made similar comments about my presence on Facebook.

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