Will Richardson

The Podcasting Rage

By Will Richardson on November 16, 2004 in Tips & Tricks. Discuss it below
So Podcasting is all the rage, and it's easy to see why. It's creative and constructive, and it's not that hard to do. If you haven't checked out Matthew Bischoff's Podcasts yet, you should. (And remember, he's 13 years old.) Now I'm sure that Matthew has more technical skills than most, but that's not what I find interesting about his work. What intrigues me is the obvious sense of audience that comes through in is programs. There is no doubt that he understands the work he's doing is for a much larger audience than just his friends, family and schoolmates. (In fact, I think I read where one of his Podcasts was downloaded over 700 times.)

In a very basic way, that's the appeal of the read/write Web. Whether it's Podcasting or blogging or wiki-ing, it's pretty easy to have our students doing work that has an audience and has meaning beyond the classroom walls. For instance, this week, we're starting a wiki at my school for the Media Literacy classes where they will track news and examples about a variety of topics inclucing violence in media, gender issues, and propaganda. The work they do will then be built upon by future classes until, with any luck, we'll have created a wiki-text for the class. And anyone else who wants to use that information can do so as well.

We finally have some tools that students and teachers can use to really build some content and share it in meaningful ways. Podcasting is just another tool in the box. I'm not sure it's going to find deep inroads into education. But if nothing else, it shows that we're nowhere near done discovering the ways in which we can harness the potential of the read/write Web.

Oh, and by the way, if you want to keep up with what educators are writing and saying about Podcasting, subscribe to Stephen Downes specific RSS feed on the subject.

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