I have never really listened to or created a podcast, and I didn’t realize that they were as popular as they are. I was shocked when I read the article What Teens are Learning from ‘Serial” and other podcasts. The article discussed high school teacher Michael Godsey’s success in introducing the podcast ‘Serial’ into the classroom. Godsey said that he had students who were just at the edge of failing out of school, that were excited to come listen to the podcast in his class. Not only did the podcast succeed in capturing the attention of students who were normally hard to reach, but the podcast was also successful in honing students listening skills and comprehension levels. Even students whose first language is not English, benefited from listening to the podcast, because it helped them practice their receiving skills. Listening to podcasts such as ‘Serial’ also produces a higher level of analytic skills, because it requires to students to not just receive information, but to analyze it and make inferences.
Podcast can also be used to help get students excited about writing. Podcasts are essentially critical thinking and creativity skills used in writing, but just in a digital medium. Digital storytelling is taking off with students around the country. Students feel that their voices are heard through podcasts more than they would through turning essays or other forms of traditional writing. Even the mundane topics such as math and history can be seen in a new exciting way through the use of podcasts. A typical history report, for example. could be enhanced by making a podcast over a historical topic as the final result. Students can try something new, using the technology, to practice old subjects.
There are many advantages to using podcasts in the classroom, and had I not read articles like Teachers Guide to Digital Storytelling and What Teens are Learning from Serial and Other Podcasts I would have never realized what a great learning tool podcasts really are. I cannot seem to think of many disadvantages, except for the fact that not all students will have full access to technology. The other drawback is that with podcasts, you can’t really censor or edit the information. The teachers may have a difficult time monitoring which podcasts every student is listening to. Using technology to promote creativity, literacy, receptive skills, writing skills, and critical thinking is the future of education.