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Podcasting is a multimedia technology taking the Internet by storm.  These audio and video files are created by people who want to share their points of view, and can be downloaded from the Internet to a computer or to a portable music player.  Podcasts exist for just about every topic you can imagine, and people of all ages have embraced this technology to get all sorts of information.

Kids are especially heavy users of this technology.  They love to hear their favorite songs everywhere they go.  So if kids are already using the technology needed for Podcasting, why not use it to help students learn better?  There are a lot of ways podcasts can be used to help improve learning in, and outside of the classroom.

What are podcasts good for?

Podcasts are a great way to find information from people with a variety of perspectives, presented in an easy-to-consume audio or video format.  There’s no need to read endless pages of ideas from a lot of people – Just download the podcast and listen to it at your leisure.  Since podcasts use human voices to share information and to tell stories, they’re usually very conversational in nature.  Podcasts have many uses. 

Radio stations podcast their shows so people can download them and listen at their leisure.  This has fundamentally changed the way we listen to radio today, especially from organizations like NPR and BBC, both of whom have embraced podcasting more than any other traditional media outlet.  Businesses use podcasts to reach their customers in new ways.  Aspiring performers use podcasts to bring their acts to the masses with minimal cost.  Finally, teachers use podcasts to help their students learn.

Some teachers have avoided podcasts, either because they don’t understand them or because they believe podcasts are too complicated or may be expensive to produce.  It’s understandable to be apprehensive of the unknown, so let’s take a closer look at exactly how podcasts work.