Quick Navigation

Podcasting

facebook button twitter button Youtube button


The word podcast is a combination of the words broadcast and iPod. The Apple iPod is currently the most popular MP3 player on the market. Apple did not invent the word podcast; however, it set the stage for the growing popularity of podcasting. In order to listen to a podcast, you do not have to have an Apple iPod. You can listen to a podcast via your computer or on anything that plays the media files.

Podcast image


Podcast offers a way for individuals to selectively subscribe to audio content over the Internet. Once you have "subscribed" to a podcast, the content you subscribe to can be automatically downloaded for listening on a computer or mobile device. Subscribing to a podcast is usually free as the term "subscription" refers to signing up for new episodes rather than paying for the content. The audio files are received by subscribing to what's called a podcast feed. They are also referred to as an RSS feed. Notification of new content is automatic, as the subscriber need not manually revisit a specific web site to download new content.

How to create a podcast

All over the world, people are creating podcasts on a wide range of subject matter. Podcasting can be effectively used in the classroom. Instructors can create podcasts to provide additional and revised materials to students to download and review at a time that suits them. Students also can create their own podcasts allowing them to share learning experiences. It provides them with a wider audience that makes learning meaningful and assessment authentic. The flexible accessibility and ease of creating a podcast makes this technology a valuable educational tool.

There are three main stages in creating a basic podcast:

  1. Recording. You will need a microphone and software such as Audacity (free cross-platform) or GarageBand, which comes with the Apple operating system, to record your sound file.
  2. Publishing. Once you have created your audio file and saved it, usually in mp3 format, you need to upload it to a webserver. Many sites on the Internet, including NIU eLearning Services offer free podcast hosting services for the NIU community.
  3. Publicizing. Now you are ready to provide access to your files. This may be as simple as providing a link from an existing webpage or more complex, such as creating an RSS feed document which will allow users to subscribe to your podcast.