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Podcasting & Education: Beyond the Lecture

Posted on September 10, 2006

Bentley CollegeMark Frydenberg, a senior lecturer at Bentley College, is employing some innovative ways to use podcasting in the classroom beyond podcasting his lectures. After tracking the number of downloads he received from podcasting his lectures he realized that only a small percentage of his class was listening. This troubled Mark as he knew podcasting should be in the classroom. After thinking on this for a while he came up with what seems like an obvious solution for how to incorporate podcasting into the class in a more meaningful way - teach the students how to podcast and have them each create one. Surprisingly enough, no one was really doing this yet so Mark developed his curriculum from scratch.

The key thing that Mark did with the curriculum was make the content of the student produced podcasts the content of his lectures. Each group of two students would produce one video podcast on an assigned lecture. These podcasts were to be 6 - 10 minutes long (the amount of attention span the students said they had) and had to be produced within two days of the lecture. This is not only interesting from a content reinforcement perspective; it is also interesting because it forms a community within the classroom. Now students had to learn things well enough to teach their peers and students would look to other students and their podcasts for studying purposes.

Mark has done a great job of integrating podcasting into the classroom beyond his podcasting of lectures and review classes. He is on the forefront of a change in the classroom that will be very similar to the beginning of the web. In the beginning of the web all teachers wanted to have a website and now there are companies, like blackboard, that provide this service for educators while educators teach students how to set up websites and blogs. The same thing will happen with podcasting because voice and the combination of video and voice are powerful teaching tools that go beyond text and, if done right, can create community which will further learning outside the classroom.

Disclaimer: I am a Bentley alum and am incredibly proud of what the school is doing with new media in the classroom.

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