Podcasting and Pedagogy

Podcasting and Pedagogy

Ross Kendall
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4333-8.ch003
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This chapter explores the engagement of tertiary students in interviewing “green” experts. Using Engeström’s expansive activity model, the study finds that integrating podcasting into a course with strong links to other activities and resources helped students assimilate and develop the concepts of the course. The project promotes functionalist values of independent, experimental learning and deep engagement with learning material, it invokes authentic field experience, accommodates different learning styles and it provides considerable motivation. The study suggests that mobile learning embodies the means to change relationships between learner and expert and that such connecting is a key attribute of contemporary subjective association and recontextualization. The chapter provides a brief review of the literature on podcasting in education, followed by the teaching and learning context and the application of Engeström’s “expansive activity model” (1994, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010). I describe the student group undertaking the exercises in a Level 5 Sociology course, and the project (which subsequently extended into a later course: “The Sustainable Business Environment”, because many of the podcast students had pre-enrolled in that course). The paper discusses the methodological approach that was used, offering two strands of analysis: students’ use of the podcasts and how the latter were placed in their learning about sustainable development. The discussion section elaborates the model and offers suggestions for advancing the educational use of podcasts. Last, I offer some thoughts on how Engeström’s model might be extended in education to develop not just new objects, but also the new use of objects.
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In recent years, the distribution of web-based recordings has gained wide acceptance in education. The development of mobile technology has encouraged educators towards new ways of engaging learners as part of a fuller blended- learning approach, and podcasting, broadly defined as audio and video recordings that are posted on the Internet, with users being able to download and consume the content using portable devices or computers, has been positively received by educators and learners alike. The technology itself is not new (Hawkridge & Robinson, 1982; Edirisingha, Hawkridge, & Fothergill, 2007; Edirisingha et al., 2007a, b), but the current use of podcasting in education and the ease of transferring digital content to mobile devices (Campbell, 2005), is innovative, engaging and rapidly increasing, and it offers the potential to transform the learning experience significantly by facilitating the organization and delivery of information in ways more tailored than hitherto to individual learners’ needs and learning styles. Furthermore, learner demand for convenience, ease of accessibility and different ways of collaborating, coupled with the institution’s imperative to maintain and attract students in an age of increasing competition, crowded classrooms, diminishing funding and rising costs, all suggest reasons for learners and educators to embrace information and communication technology.

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