After reading the Learning Connections article “Enhanced Podcasts: A New Twist on an Old Tool,” got me excited about another tool to use in the classroom (this is a recurring theme). Podcasts, in the way this article describes, are definitely something I would use in the classroom.
However, I’m not as sure about podcasting for professional learning. I’ve participated in countless webinars (mostly for work) and have found them to be useful. I would tune in and out as I needed to and I was able to get work done at the same time. When I was actually interested in the webinar, I was even happier to participate and learn something new.
Browsing through the podcasts on the Edreach site, however, did not excite me as much. Perhaps it’s because I’m pressed for time this week (which I imagine will often be the case as a teacher) or maybe it’s because I’m not in professional learning-mode, but I could not find anything I was willing (or able) to sit and watch for an hour. And maybe simply watching won’t work for me. During webinars, there are often notes and/or PowerPoint slides provided to follow along with. There is a function to type in questions and often the moderator surveys the audience. The podcasts didn’t seem to be as interactive and lacked a “follow along” feature.
I probably shouldn’t judge podcasting as professional learning based on one website and definitely not based on my current lack of need. But, as I mentioned, using podcasts in the classroom for projects and maybe even lectures is more interesting to me. Just as long as they are not too long!