Thursday, October 09, 2008

Podcasts in Adult Education

My colleague Branka Marceta did a presentation to the staff of the Adult Education Office at the CA Dept of Ed the other day on podcasting in adult ed. We have a wiki page where we collect examples of adult ed podcasts. We have examples from ESL, VESL, EL Civics, and Citizenship. It would be great to have more program areas, but it looks like we aren't there yet.

Questions from the CDE Consultants:
* Are there any administrator podcasts? We haven't heard of any, although we've heard a few administrators who are thinking about it. I think people are a bit intimidated by the idea of doing a radio show kind of thing, unless they have experience in radio or theater. It isn't hard to produce a podcast, but producing an interesting one is a bit more challenging. The interview or conversation format works well, but I've listened to quite a few ed tech podcasts with teachers that have good content but are just boring to listen to because there is too much meandering, inside jokes, off-topic conversation or whatever. Maybe we need to put some resources into this.

* What are the issues of access for our students if these are all online? More and more adult learners every year have Internet access at home, but it is still not 100% and probably never will be. Teachers that are using podcasting extensively either teach in a lab or have access to a lab. But more and more learners, especially younger ones, have mp3 players, and would like to have some learning activities they could listen to outside of school. It's become free and easy to create these, so I predict we will see more and more of them.

Branka ended the presentation by having a couple of people call in to our Gabcast channel on their cell phones and moments later we listened to their podcasts online. This is a fun activity for a presentation because of the instant gratification. We've done it at conference workshops, but still haven't had anyone tell us they're using it in their teaching.

Got more adult ed podcasting ideas? Post a comment!