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MERLOT's first publication on podcasting pedagogy 

Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching | CSU MERLOT


In 2006, California Polytechnic State University conducted a pilot study to evaluate podcasting technology's effectiveness in enhancing educational outcomes. This study, grounded in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, investigates the pedagogical impact of podcasting, challenging preconceived notions and exploring the educational potential of dynamic podcasting technology. The study delves into three core concepts: Method (Toy vs. Tool), Content (Novelty vs. Knowledge), and Delivery (Convenience vs. Competence).

The ubiquity of iPods, iPhones, and similar devices on university campuses significantly shifts how students consume information. This study examines whether these portable devices enhance or detract from student learning and engagement. It addresses faculty concerns and highlights the need for educators to integrate technology effectively into the learning environment.

Myths & Realities:

  1. MP3 Devices Promote Social Isolation and Educational Apathy: Contrary to the belief that MP3 devices cause disengagement, this study finds that they can foster a more inclusive and dynamic learning environment when used as educational tools. Clear guidelines and proactive communication from instructors can harness these devices' potential.

  2. Podcasting Negatively Affects Classroom Attendance: The study argues that high-quality, engaging content can complement and enhance traditional classroom experiences rather than replace them. Instructors must maintain their role as facilitators of knowledge, guiding students through the vast array of available information.

  3. Podcasting is Merely a Rehash of Course Lectures: Effective podcasting should extend beyond simple lecture recordings. By offering supplementary content, educators can provide students with additional learning opportunities that are both inspirational and motivational.

  4. Podcasts Increase Student Anxiety and Cause Information Overload: The findings suggest that podcasts can reduce anxiety by allowing students to review material at their own pace, leading to better comprehension and retention of information.

  5. Podcasting Fosters the Divide Between Mac and Windows Users: The study reveals that podcast accessibility is not limited to iPod owners. Many students prefer to listen to podcasts on their computers, demonstrating the medium's flexibility and adaptability.

Conclusion: Podcasting, when correctly implemented, can significantly enhance educational experiences by providing dynamic, timely, and engaging content. It promotes an inclusive, interactive, and technologically adept learning environment. The study underscores the importance of competence over convenience, suggesting that podcasting is a valuable educational tool that aligns with contemporary students' digital proclivities.


Technological Myths | Digital DNA | Americans with Disabilities Act | Technology and Learning | iPods in the Classroom | Online Teaching Tools | Podcasting Pedagogy

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