NEWS

Mount talk explores educational applications of podcasts

April 06, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -

David Gallagher, Mount Saint Mary College associate professor of education, discusses “New Possible Selves: The Potential of Podcasting for Learning and Identity,” on April 6.

 

It’s like Netflix for audio and DVR for radio. It’s the revival of the Golden Age of radio for the modern era. And it’s got excellent potential as a teaching tool.

That’s how David Gallagher, Mount Saint Mary College associate professor of education, described podcasts in his talk “New Possible Selves: The Potential of Podcasting for Learning and Identity” on April 6.

A podcast is an audio program that can be downloaded to computers and mobile devices. Just like a radio program, podcasts range in subject matter from real life crime investigations to comedy talk shows. Anyone with a computer and a serviceable microphone can produce a podcast.

The word podcast is derived from “iPod” (a portable digital audio player popular in the early- and mid-2000s) and “broadcast.”

While podcasts can be a fun way to pass the time on the drive to work or while hanging out at home, Gallagher noted that they can also have important teaching applications. Podcasts can be used as sources of information, similar to other texts. A lecture could also be recorded and disseminated as a podcast, allowing students to review sections of interest as many times as desired.

Additionally, teachers could have students create their own podcasts for book reports, to help remember the definition of scientific or mathematical terms, and to practice new vocabulary in foreign language courses.

“Podcasting allows students to create, write, and share for authentic purposes,” he said. “Often, students are really motivated to revise their script before they read it into the recorder, because they’re very aware that someone is going to listen to it.”

The talk was part of the Investigating Research on Campus (iROC) series. The goal of iROC is to “provide a forum for Mount faculty, staff and students to showcase their research endeavors with both Mount Saint Mary College and the local community in a manner easily understood by attendees,” explained series coordinators Evan Merkhofer and Jennifer Park, assistant librarian for access and outreach services. Presentations include research proposals, initial data collection, and completed research projects.