In recent years, you may have heard the term “podcast” at the end of your favorite television or radio program. Perhaps, you are digitally savvy and know just what that means. Or maybe you are not sure exactly what the term signifies. Either way, you might not have considered how podcasts have become one of the latest education trends for online learning.
What is a “Podcast?”
A “podcast” is a digital media file (or series of files) that is distributed over the Internet. You play a podcast with either a hand-held digital device (such as an iPod—hence the “pod” in the word podcast) or on a personal computer.
Because you can download these “broadcasts” and listen to them at anytime that is convenient for you, the education podcast is an incredibly valuable tool in the world of online learning.
The Education Podcast and Online Education
Online learning provides flexibility and access to anyone interested in earning a college degree, an advanced degree or fulfilling continuing education requirements. With online learning, you can be miles away from the school of your choice and not have to uproot your life, career, and family to earn your degree. You can also earn your online degree in the evenings or on weekends—or even in the middle of the night!
Many online schools are taking advantage of the education podcast to better facilitate the online courses they offer. Online learning has become increasingly popular over the last ten years, and even the most reputable brick-and-mortar colleges and universities are hopping on the bandwagon and providing either partial or full degree programs online.
The education podcast has made online learning even more convenient. Unlike older digital video and audio files, podcasts are much more compact and simple to both create and download. They also do not usually require special technology to view or listen to.
How is the Education Podcast Used?
Professors use basic video technology to record their lectures, then convert the file to a digital format and place the lectures on a web host site as educational podcasts. Students can download the lectures and listen to them as many times as they need to in order to best absorb the information. Of course, students can also listen to the lectures at any time of the day or night—which is highly valuable for those that are working and earning an online degree.
As one of the more popular online education trends, many colleges are now using podcasts to enhance the learning experience of both traditional classroom students and those utilizing online and distance learning opportunities.
The education podcast will not, of course, replace reading textbooks, listening to live presentations or the multitude of other ways students absorb information, but it can augment those methods significantly—and certainly makes online learning much more accessible.
If you are planning on enrolling in an online university degree program, you may want to consider an MP3 player as part of your “school supplies.” With an MP3 player, you can listen to your podcast lectures while at the gym or stuck in traffic, which can assist you in multi-tasking.