What's on Your Playlist? The Power of Podcasts as a Pedagogical Tool
34 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2009 Last revised: 12 Dec 2012
It is six in the morning and a law student is walking her dog before beginning a full day of classes. Across town a few hours later, a classmate rushes onto a crowded subway train, forced to stand sandwiched between strangers during his commute to school. That afternoon, an evening student sits in rush hour traffic, hoping to make it into the city in time for class. Later that night, a student jogs on a treadmill at the gym after a long day of school. What do all of these students have in common? They are learning by listening to their professors' podcasts. Even though they are located in different places, at different times of the day, while their hands or eyes may not be free to open a book to study, they can still listen and learn. This article discusses how and why professors can use podcasts to supplement their classroom instruction to enhance their students' education. Podcasts provide students with an opportunity to listen to their professor outside of the time and space constraints of the classroom. This article discusses the accessibility, portability, and simplicity of using podcasts. Whether a student is a night owl or a morning person, whether she prefers to listen to a podcast on her iPod or MP3 player, burn a CD, or listen to it on her computer, the student decides when, where, and how she will listen to the podcast on her own terms and timetables. The article also examines the benefits and challenges of using podcasts. Finally, it illustrates how professors can use podcasts as a teaching tool to reach today's multi-tasking, technology-savvy student in a different way than traditional classroom teaching methods. Now instead of just listening to rock, pop, jazz, country, or any other musical genre, students can add their law school podcasts to their playlist.
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