As a musician and music teacher I am inclined to listen. I am (according to Howard Gardner) Musically Intelligent. Which simply means I can make organizational sense of sound and tend to learn things best by listening. In this visually obsessed world, I am somewhat handicapped. This is why I was initially attracted to podcasting. There was something nifty about the concept of learning by active listening. Last summer I thought, “my students will eat this up”. They will want to make their own podcasts. They will want to listen to them all! Yeah, sure.
My initial enthusiasm waned pretty quickly once the school year got started. Responses to the concept of podcast listening and podcast creation ranged from, “what’s a podcast?” to “who cares?”. I was also feeling a time crunch to listen to all these podcasts because I made the mistake of not listening during “transition periods” during my day (see below). Then I read a blog that dissed podcasts badly (The Top 7 Reasons Online Podcasts Suck). That’s when traditional teaching returned and I unsubscribed to all those unlistened podcasts.
It’s now a year later and I am, once again, feeling the love for podcasts . This time, however, I am taking a practical approach and studying the real possibilities here. I have come to the following conclusions about podcasting:
1- Podcasts should, at least intially, be listened to alone
2- Podcasts should be highly specific and organized around subjects (for example, buddhism or fly fishing)
3- Podcats should be listened to at “transition times” during the day (because who has the time!). Such times include, commuting to work, grocery shopping, walking, jogging, waiting for the bus, etc..
I’m ready to give podcasting another go.
To learn more about how to podcast, go here.