My Rabbit Hole

Down the research rabbit hole | Tracy Abell

(Abell, 2017)

Our group chose podcasts for the team learning event and delivery technology assignment.  I was excited about choosing this topic, as I have been an on and off fan of the technology for the past few years.  I have to admit, it was a coworker who recommended Serial, that got me hooked on listening to podcasts.  The concept of being able to do other things while listening to something isn’t foreign to me.  In fact, it’s how I spend majority of my day.  I am a multitasker through and through.  To me, podcasts were just like listening to music, but instead, I was listening to a story.  I didn’t really think of podcasts in terms of education, or furthering my knowledge on a subject.  I had classified podcasts as a source for entertainment.

It wasn’t until my group decided to use this technology for our project and through my research, I realized that podcasts offer so much more than just entertainment.  Fang wrote a terrific article that outlined why people listen to podcasts and I found it very enlightening.  From creative inspiration, to entertainment, to expanding ones knowledge on a multitude of subjects; podcasts can provide a convenient source of just about anything (Fang, 2019).  Podcasts offer opportunity to individuals to be efficient with time by providing on demand accessibility.  Through further exploration as to the impact of the podcast technology on education, I found it really interesting that there was such a positive response from students.  “Irrespective of the form of podcasting, student satisfaction is typically strong and students generally perceive podcasts to have enhanced their learning” (Chester et al., 2011, p. 236).

As I continued down my rabbit hole of research, I started to feel overwhelmed.  There is so much information out there regarding different topics and it became clear to me that I needed to answer the question of how to deal with the abundance within podcasts.  I have come up with a few questions that I would like to consider in my research and I am open to suggestions regarding how to deal with the abundance of podcasts:

  • What questions are relevant when looking at the abundance of technology?
  • What are you doing with the information?
  • How do you navigate through an abundant amount of resources?
  • What makes a source credible?

I would appreciate any insight or thought regarding my topic of abundance or podcasts, and how the two relate.

References:

Abell, T. (2017, December). Retrieved from https://tracyabell.com/2017/12/07/down-the-research-rabbit-hole/

Chester, A., Buntine, A., Hammond, K., & Atkinson, L. (2011). Podcasting in Education: Student Attitudes, Behaviour and Self-Efficacy. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 14(2), 236–247.

Fang, W. (2019, December 24). Why Do People Listen to Podcasts in 2020? Retrieved from https://www.listennotes.com/podcast-academy/why-do-people-listen-to-podcasts-in-2020-5/

6 thoughts to “My Rabbit Hole”

    1. Thank Irwin. I recall reading some of Martin Weller’s work in earlier courses. I included this particular suggestion in my outline. I found it quite insightful.

      1. Leigha I just noticed this comment. It looks like I forgot about your reference to Weller the first time around. Sorry about that 🙂

  1. Hi Leigha,
    You pose some interesting questions regarding technology and the excessive amounts of information and resources currently available. If ever there was a modern example of the old saying about separating the wheat from the chaff, our current world conversation regarding COVID is it.

    In his audio book, Digital Leadership Changing Paradigms for Changing Times, Sheninger speaks to our school system’s need to educate today’s learners in the skills needed for the use of and discovery associated with internet resources. He speaks of the need to develop discerning learners capable of vetting their own information through reflection and investigation (Sheninger, 2018). The ease with which someone can produce and distribute a podcast only adds to the potential volume of information.

    If ever in time there has been a more obvious case of too much information, it’s now. With every information source inundated with COVID references; often conflicting information can be contained within the same news feed. This makes your final question of how to define a credible source even more poignant with respected members of society expressing divergent opinions.

    The skills we are honing in our MALAT program of research, reflect, compare and contrast will prove invaluable as we continue to navigate these complicated waters. My approach has been to engage with people with whom I have mutual respect and exchange ideas and debate the validity of various points of view.
    Applying the same principle to the abundance of information available via podcasting, I’d identify if it was presented as opinion or fact. Additionally I’d consider their references and examine the validity of the statements in the podcast against the popular beliefs.

    Specifically regarding educational podcasts I’d consider Cebeci and Tekdal’s criteria that to be considered educational it must have a specific learning objective and adhere to accepted theories of pedagogy. Further that is should be reusable, accessible and searchable (Cebeci & Tekdal, 2006). I think this alone will separate many podcasts out of the formal educational category and into one of informal lifelong learning.

    Figuring out that distinction offers its own rabbit hole to go down.

    Thank you for posting such an interesting subject to consider.
    Owen
    ________________________________________
    References
    Cebeci, Z., & Tekdal, M. (2006). Using Podcasts as Audio Learning Objects. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 2(1), 47–57.
    Sheninger, E. (2018). Digital Leadership Changing Paradigms for Changing Times. – Audiobook. Corwin.

    1. I couldn’t agree more Owen!
      I have found with every media release, I get 20 calls within a matter of hours. This pandemic has caused a financial hardship people of recent generations have never had to experience. I am hopeful that as a nation we are able to pull through.

      The idea of quality and credibility has really come to surface, especially in my line of work, through this current example of abundance of information. Thank you for the guiding resources, I will be sure to take a listen to these.

      Thank you for insightful comments.
      Leigha

  2. Thank you Leigha for your post and your perspective. I too feel like I am deeply in the rabbit hole. It seems a very modern issue to have so much information available to us it is overwhelming to find where to dig in and where to exclude.

    Focusing on educational podcasts, I have yet to deeply explore this media however your team’s presentation in Unit 2 does tempt me to open yet another informational floodgate. I greatly apricated podcasts lowered barrier to entry for those who have limited broadband access and students seem to respond to educational podcasts favorably.

    Great post Leigha!

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