Using Audio in Education


Debbie & Sue

cc licensed flickr photo shared by sridgway


The use of audio in education is not new. Cassette taped recordings and audio books have been used to supplement face to face learning for decades. Historically within educational environments there has been a heavy bias towards written text, even early flexible or distance delivery was geared towards transferring hard copy text to electronic format. In Vocational, educational and teaching VET environments this has disadvantaged learners who benefit from multimodal delivery. Over the past 10 years a wide range of online voice and audio recording/ podcasting and publishing technologies have become available to both meet the needs and learning preferences of students but which also support innovative teaching and learning practices.

The rise of podcasting in 2005-06 helped to highlight uses of audio resources within education. The ubiquity of audio recording and playback devices combined with the user generated content revolution on the internet has meant that is is easier than ever for educators to produce and distribute audio resources. The popularity of podcasting and syndication via RSS to portable players such as ipods and mp3 players has waned in recent times due to the rapid rise and uptake of network enabled 3G smart phones such as the Apple iphone and Android based hardware. Many users can now access resources directly from the web using phone apps or phone based browsers rather than downloading mp3 files onto their portable players. The rise of video based social networking sites such as youtube combined with the ease of being able to record/edit video on smart phones and publish direct has also resulted in a shift away from podcasting. It remains however an effective tool for educators to enhance their learning programs in ways which enable learners to interact with course content at times and locations of their choice.

Some of the benefits of using audio recordings and podcasts in teaching and learning include:

  • Anytime/ anyplace access via mobile device
  • Review and revision - material can be used as reference and replayed as often as necessary
  • Replacement for missed classes
  • Appeals to audio/visual learners, literacy students or students who are visually impaired
  • English language models - NESB learners can play and replay language in action
  • Support for learners with reading and/or other learning difficulty
  • Can be used to show pronouncation of difficult words
  • Student voices can reach a global audience
  • podcasts can be syndicated in multiple contexts using rss embeds
  • Give students a voice in a learning network

Some of the ways to utilise Audio in Education

  • Interviews with Industry experts (can be recorded using Skype)
  • Recording the audio from online virtual meeting room sessions ie. Adobe connect, Elluminate, SecondLife etc.
  • Using mobile phones, smart phones to post audio from the workplace
  • Recordings of guest speakers from remote locations
  • Recording seminars and conferences
  • Enhance presentations (e.g. power-point slides, digital stories, Voice Thread)
  • Music lessons
  • Indigenous languages, Storytelling & oral culture for the indigenous community
  • Learner radio programs (news, current affairs, talk shows, music)
  • ESOL – pronunciation guides
  • Foreign language lessons
  • Students can create walking tours of art/sculpture they are studying or to accompany a museum exhibition
  • Student counseling - study guides, relaxation "tapes", stress management tips

Sean Fitzgearld, 2005, "Educational Uses of Podcasting"

Educational Examples


Why use iPoDs?


This video is an interview with a teacher who is using an iPoD in a variety of teaching and learning situations.



The video was developed as part of the Connected Learning Advisory Service CLAS for TAFE tool which is available from the DET portal for teachers to reflect on and enhance their use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in their teaching practice.
© State of New South Wales through the Department of Education and Training
TALE Direct Link

Benefits of iPods


This video is an interview with a teacher who is using an iPoD to deliver some of his lessons in the workplace and on campus.



The video was developed as part of the Connected Learning Advisory Service CLAS for TAFE tool which is available from the DET portal for teachers to reflect on and enhance their use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in their teaching practice.
© State of New South Wales through the Department of Education and Training
TALE direct Link


Podcasts


This video is an interview with a teacher who is using podcasts as an online learning tool.



The video was developed as part of the Connected Learning Advisory Service CLAS for TAFE tool which is available from the DET portal for teachers to reflect on and enhance their use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in their teaching practice.
© State of New South Wales through the Department of Education and Training
TALE direct Link

What is an iRiver (MP3 player)?


This video is an interview with a teacher who is using an MP3 recorder to give her students access to a range of teaching and learning resources.



The video was developed as part of the Connected Learning Advisory Service CLAS for TAFE tool which is available from the DET portal for teachers to reflect on and enhance their use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in their teaching practice.
© State of New South Wales through the Department of Education and Training
TALE Direct Link

Using Audio in Higher Education - Film & Sound Think Tank



Education Example: Substitute Teacher Audio Lesson Plan




Examples of education podcasts



Let's Talk - Rosa Ochoa, TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute, St George college, ESOL podcast

Talking VTE Podcast - A podcast with interviews and recordings made at conferences, seminars and workshops throughout the Australian Vocational and Technical Education (VTE) sector.

myLearning - TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute This is an example of a wordpress blog using the podpress plugin to provide podcast/vblog functionality.

podding downunder - Michael Coghlan's podcast, TAFE SA

EdTechTalk - Podcast on Educational Technology

List of education podcasts