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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


NPR Topics: Education Podcasts

by
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Dec 17, 2012 by Teacher Education
Overview: These NPR podcasts center on a wide variety of topics in global education that might be interesting to teachers (and others) in a variety of disciplines.
Learning Goals: To utilize internet-accessible broadcasts to engage learner in current educational trends/issues.
Target Student Population: For professional development, college level civics or education course or for a high school civics class.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic computer skills
Type of Material: Collection of Podcasts
Recommended Uses: The podcasts serve mostly as professional development, however, they could be used in class or assigned as homework if the topics were relevant to the class.
Technical Requirements: The podcasts can be accessed via iTunes which can be downloaded on any computing device such as PC, MAC, smartphone, tablet or iPod or the user can listen to the podcasts by accessing the website directly via any browser. Speakers or headphones are necessary.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Easy to create lessons or use as materials for professional development sessions or high school/higher education civics classes or college level education majors coursework. The quality of the podcasts is excellent and directions for accessing them are clear.
Concerns:

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Can be used during introduction of new concept, as application of material already presented, and/or topics for debate. Great source for study of education trends. Items are available for free and offer students and educators access 24/7, tasks can be set up for working at individual pace or as group collaborative. With some planning as to how to incorporate these podcasts into their lessons, these podcasts could become the basis of a variety of assignments, including debates, essays, or discussions.
Concerns: None

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: Easy to use as it is set up in familiar audio playing mode. User can listen online or if using iTunes can open podcast and fast forward and rewind to exact location. Mouse over tool allows user to view the topics within each weekly podcast. Menu indicates length of the podcast so user can allocate time accordingly. Works on multiple devices.
Concerns: The titles of the podcasts are not visible on the website although they are visible in iTunes. Also navigation could be improved, if the user wants to listen to the second or third podcast there doesn't seem to be a way to skip or fast-forward through the first. If a user wants to listen on device without the iTunes app, it requires a couple of extra steps to either download the appropriate app or sync the download from computer. These steps do not require a lot of time.

Other Issues and Comments: Allows for student interaction with instructional material. Material can be set up to allow for student/professional to work at own pace. It can be used as task to complete prior to class/session. Anyone who enjoys NPR will find these podcasts very engaging.