Podcasts are a viable option when sharing information. They are useful to distribute recordings intended for educational or entertainment purposes since the content of a podcast fits the need of the intended audience. A benefit of publicly publishing podcasts is that those who are interested in the same topic can find them and receive the same information (Evans, 2008). Podcasts can replace face-to-face lectures as a method of disseminating information to learners. Using this method, learners can access the material in the location of their choice and using the device of the choice (Parson, Reddy, Wood, & Senior, 2009; Brookes, 2010; Evans, 2008). This makes education much more flexible than it is in a face-to-face environment. Looking at some of the available literature surrounding educational podcasts, I see that there is information on both sides of the argument on using podcasts for educational purposes. While I have limited experience with podcasts, I can see their value as an educational tool. Having the ability to listen to a lecture when and where works best for the learner is a worthwhile feature of this technology. Also, having the information available outside of the formal lecture time allows learners to go back and review it should something be unclear at a later time, allowing the learner more control of his/her learning.
How does this fit with training staff? That is what I am planning to explore for the duration of this course. I volunteer at a seasonal not-for-profit living historical museum. Each season begins with training for all staff (paid) and volunteers. This training happens in a face-to-face setting and consists of only a lecture style of delivery. This style of training goes against the interactive nature of the museum, given that one of the primary goals to interact with the guests. I would like to start to explore the idea of building a blended training program for the museum, incorporating both interactive and individual components. Here are some questions that I plan to explore:
- How can podcasts benefit training?
- What needs to differ between training for volunteers and paid staff, if anything?
- What is the best content for podcast training?
As part of this research, I welcome comments and questions from you.
Brookes, M. (2010). An evaluation of the impact of formative feedback podcasts on the student learning experience. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education (Oxford Brookes University), 9(1), 53–64. https://doi-org.libresources2.sait.ab.ca/10.3794/johlste.91.238
Evans, C. (2008) The effectiveness of m-learning in the form of podcast revision lectures in higher education. Computers & Education, 50,491–498. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2007.09.016
Parson, V., Reddy, P., Wood, J., & Senior, C. (2009) Educating an iPod generation: undergraduate attitudes, experiences and understanding of vodcast and podcast use, Learning, Media and Technology, 34:3, 215-228, DOI: 10.1080/17439880903141497