Before I start talking about Podcasting, do you really know what is a podcast? Just googling around you can find thousands of definitions but the best is the one from the iTunes website that says:
Podcasts are episodes of a program available on the Internet. Podcasts are usually original audio or video recordings, but can also be recorded broadcasts of a television or radio program, a lecture, a performance, or other event.Podcasts usually offer each episode in the same file format, such as audio or video, so that subscribers can enjoy the program the same way each time. Some podcasts, such as language courses, include multiple file formats, such as video and documents, to teach more effectively.
There is no doubt that Podcasts are very popular and incredibly useful for our teaching purposes, Apple offers an application to manage them on every iOS device and it is a very important section on iTunes, they add:
For podcast listeners, podcasts are a way to enjoy great content from around the world for free. For podcast publishers, podcasts are a great way to reach a wide audience.
So, there is a great possibility to explore as teachers and language learners.
In this occasion I am going to show you one application that it’s great to create your own content, manage it and share it:
It is one of the best social sound platforms and lets you to record, store and share your sound to the most popular social networks or your blog, your recordings can be listened by your followers, friends or the ones that you allow because you can manage your privacy.
To create your content you need to create a free account at www.soundcloud.com
After that you can update your profile, it is very simple. Then press the button to upload your previously recorded file or create a new one.
Wait for the recording to be processed, meanwhile you can add some descriptions.
You can make it public or private and even use the Creative Commons Licence to protect your creation.
Once it is ready just press save. There you are! you created the first of many podcasts.
Using the Mobile app is even simpler, just tap record and follow the steps.
The result is something like this (press Play to hear):
The possibility of adding comments to a specific part of the recording can be very useful when using it with your students, you can provide accurate feedback and motivate them to make it even better the next time, increasing students motivation and engagement.
You can also suggest them to follow the most popular ESL/EFL podcasts in the application (web or mobile), interact with the authors of the content and generate a social network that will help them to be more confident and learn according to their interests. This can also be done on iTunes but without the possibility to add comments.
If you can generate your own content as a teacher you can also improve your communications skills and get a huge audience, which means new possibilities of continuing your professional development. If you are thinking of podcasts it is a very interesting possibility.
On the dark side the free account just allows you to upload 3 hours of sound and if you need more space you will have to pay a monthly or annual fee. Another disadvantage is the time necessary to create the recording you want to share in your channel, sometimes it will be very difficult to find the right place and time to start recording, then editing and finally uploading your content, but once you master your abilities on it, you can reuse it anytime you want and just add some quick updates, so try not to give up and keep going on!