Technology changes the way teachers use it.
This global lockdown and the crisis in education is actually enough to justify this statement. It is the teachers, educators around the world who are determining and defining what education would mean to the world now onwards. And, it is not just for the time being, it shall stay now. The change was inevitable as the technology was already making its way into education for the last few decades. To credit COVID 19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown as the ‘agent’ of the change in education is less thought of a statement. Without generalizing, if we see the synchronization trends of education and technology, we shall see there were some thin contours already visible.
In the first decade of the 21st Century, podcasting was already making its way into the lives of educators. People were getting devices and internet-based platforms to listen to and broadcast audios. While we noted that EduSoMedia (Education through Social Media) had its expansion by getting integrated into classroom pedagogy, Podcasts made a silent entry. With Multi-author Blogs (MABs) Podcasting came as a tool to make students record their mock interviews and discussion. And now, the same resources as EduSoMedia Podcasts on SoundCloud claim of a significant number of listens.
Podcasting is an emerging area of digital connectivity. As we read Podcasting as Audio Broadcasts, listening and speaking come as the primary skills to be used and refined as well. Like YouTube, where we see videos, Audio is the content in Podcasts. The casting/sharing is done via Apps, websites and any other digital medium. Popular websites like Spotify, Gaana, Hubhopper, SoundCloud, Podbean are leading the trend these days. To listen to songs, one turns to the Audio-based Apps or sites. That is what a Podcast is. You listen to Podcasts. It can be a song, a narration or speech or it can be a mixture of both.
All India Radio, BBC Radio and all Radio Channels stand as Podcast channels. We know them as Radio and that is why you can consider Podcasting as RADIO as well. The concentration and benefit are the same –Connectivity. Aimed to Inform, Persuade and Entertain, Audio-based broadcasting i.e. AIR, has been the leader in this part of the world. There are billions of people who depend on the RADIO to stay connected to the world.
Government of India has time and again, called for special focus on the expansion of Community Radio in India. Previously, they have been adding to the number of Community Radio Stations and inviting all segments of the society to start their CRS (Community Radio Stations). Why do they want to do so? What is there in Podcasting that can benefit us in Education? Peggy Noonan, an American writer once said that “TV gives an image, but radio gives birth to a million of images in million brains.” When teachers and students shall take up Online Radio aka Podcasting, the things that are under dust shall come to light.
Now the question is: Can a Teacher, a TEACHER alone, establish a podcast and run it successfully?
The Answers are in the affirmative.
We know that educators are driven not by definitions but by the use they can make of a resource or tool. So, Podcasts can help the teachers in:
- Sending the Lectures as Audio
- Documentation of the Curriculum as Audio Books
- Developing Collaboration and Creativity
- Strengthening Listening and Speaking Skills
- Developing an alternative Career window for Students
- Encouraging Cultural Documentation by Students giving them class projects
- Alternative Occupation in the Pandemic-stricken world
- Teachers’ Professional Development
- Expansion as Open Educational Resources (Podcasts as OER)
Podcasting is an easy path for the subjects where explanations and descriptions depend more on narratives. We need to understand that Teacher Motivation and Appreciation shall play a vital role because amid an ocean of content (not knowledge) on the web, our teachers might find themselves crowded and lost. Technical skills and web-skills of all in the educational institutions should be polished.
Leveraging an already trending technology is the smartest thing that educators can do. They do not need to convince the students; rather it is the other way round here. When the teachers will appear on Podcasting platforms, the students shall see that they have smart teachers. Policy Makers and the heads who lead the K-12 or HigherEd institutions shall be the key figures here. If we can bring a mandate in the curriculum frameworks at the same time when we encourage the teachers to adapt to advancements in education, the picture will be pleasing.
Guru Dronacharya taught his disciples to fight wars with Bows and Swords. Those were the essentials of that age to survive and win. Now, if you see, it is about Information management and skill enhancement. The students need to be prepared for the world they will exit into. Their digital presence, their Online Portfolio needs something that the next decade shall feel inspired by. The call to action is to decide which chapter or poem or passage you are going to record as an audio now; there is no scope for procrastination here.
Watch the Webinar on ICT Tools: Creating Edu Podcasts using Anchor below:
When you hold a mobile phone in your hands, please remember the future of learning is in your hands.