In this module for Introduction to Learning Technologies course we focused on the topics of podcasts, screencasts, and other videos related to teaching and learning.
Podcasts are referred to as a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet most popularly in MP3 format. What makes podcasts different from simply downloading other audio files is the option to use Really Simple Syndication (RSS) that allows the user to subscribe to the feed of almost any media material online. (What is a Podcast?)
A screencast is video or digital recording of a computer screen often accompanied by audio for narration. Screencasts are used for many different reasons, but most commonly as a demonstration tool for teaching. (Screencast)
From this weeks reading Screencasting to Engage Learning we see that screencasts can be used to benefit teaching and the learning process in various ways. Screencasts provide a learning environment that is student centered to help increase student participation in the learning process. This gives students examples to follow in the learning process. Even more convenient, is that the student is free to pause, rewind, and watch when or where ever they find is best for them.
I feel that podcasts and screencasts are very valuable tools that can be used in the traditional classroom setting along with online learning courses. These tools give students a greater understanding and comprehension of the material that is being introduced and taught to them. I feel that these tools can make the learning process more understandable for students and prevent them from feeling situations where they might otherwise become frustrated. Often times when students are confused or frustrated they can lose motivation to continue to engage in the learning process. This aspect alone is just one of the reasons that podcasts and screencasts are such important tools that can be used to greatly benefit the education process.