Kimberly Tohill
Pennsylvania State University
ISTE 2012
June 27, 2012

What is a Podcast?

Podcasting Terminology
Podcasting in the Language Classroom
Creating a Podcast
Sites for Further Exploration

What is a Podcast?

  • A podcast is an audio file that can be downloaded from and/or uploaded to a computer or the Internet.  This is a relatively new trend having emerged in 2004.  Podcasts are not meant to be listened to live but rather at the convenience of the listener.
  • "Pod" actually stands for "portable, on-demand" rather than referring to Apple's iPod, a popular device that can be used to listen to podcasts; "cast" is a shortened form of the word "broadcast".  So, quite literally, a podcast is a "portable, on-demand broadcast".
  • Due to the incorrect association between podcasts and iPods, many people incorrectly assume they need an iPod to listen to a podcast - not true!
  • The majority of podcasts are simply voice recordings.  For example, More Hip Than Hippie or Nutrition Diva - Gluten Free Diets
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Podcasting Terminology

  • Enhanced podcast: a podcast that is accompanied by visual content such as pictures or graphics.  For example,  Learn French with Alexa or Beethoven
  • Podcasting: the action of publishing audio files to the Internet for distribution and download, typically through RSS feeds.
  • Podcatcher: a software application that identifies new podcasts and downloads them.  Examples include iTunes, Winamp, and Juice. (May also be referred to as an aggregator)
  • RSS feed:  a type of Internet feed that is used to publish content that is frequently updated (blogs, podcasts, etc.).  RSS stands for "Really Simple Sindication"
  • Vodcast: (aka video podcast) a podcast that has video content to accompany the audio.  Check out Teacher Tube for many vodcasts!

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Podcasting in the Language Classroom

  • Podcasting is an effective tool for mobile language immersion! Students are only in our classrooms for a limited amount of time each day, but that doesn't mean that they cannot constantly be surrounded by language.
  • Podcasting allows teachers to meet students where and when they learn - not just when they are in our classrooms. 
  • Podcasts are asynchronous and can be used as an adaptive tool for students who can manipulate them to suit their needs (play, rewind, fast forward, etc.)
  • Podcasting portability and accessibility encourage students to listen again and again. 
  • Podcasting helps to differentiate instruction and meet various learning preferences.
  • Podcasts give students access to native speakers.
  • Podcasts are attractive to students because they speak the students' language: technology! 
  • Student-created podcasts provide material for audio portfolios to display student progress.
  • Student-created podcasts remove the stigma of making mistakes and provide students the opportunity to produce the best possible product.
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Creating a Podcast

In order to create your own podcast, you need a microphone (built-in or external) and a computer with an Internet connection. That's it!
  1. Open the Podomatic website in your browser.
  2. Sign up for a free account by clicking "sign up" in the upper right corner of the site.
  3. When asked to choose a Podomatic address, keep it simple! You might consider using a combination of your first/last name/initials.  This address will become your unique Podomatic website address.
  4. Click on the "My Podcast" tab, "Post New Episode", and select "record with your webcam or microphone".
  5. Record your podcast!  Listen to the podcast before posting it to the web - remember that you can re-record as many times as you like!
  6. After you have successfully recorded and are satisfied with the product, click "use recording" and then "next step".
  7. Name your episode and write a short description of it to provide users with a quick reference to its content.
  8. At this step, you can "tag" your podcast with terms that will make it easier to locate in a search or for categorization purposes.
  9. Once you have verified all your information, post your episode. That's all there is to it!

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 Sites for Further Exploration

Coffee Break Spanish Radio Lingua Network -
80 15-20 minute lessons

Discover Spanish -
35+ lessons to learn Spanish

Edufone -
Free trial membership to learn Spanish online

ESL Pod -
English as a Second Language podcasts

Free Language -
Directory of podcasts in 15 different languages

Language Matters -
Blog entry about podcasting in the classroom

Learning in Hand -
Finding, creating, and subscribing to podcasts

Learning with French-Podcasts -
Free podcasts about various, real-life topics

Learn out Loud -
30,000 educational audio books, MP3s, podcasts, and videos

Notes in Spanish -
3 different levels of learning

Online Degrees -
Top 50 foreign language learning podcasts

Open Culture -
Free cultural and educational media - learn 40 languages!

Podcasting in Education -
All things podcasting with many great links

Pukka German -
Learn genuine German

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