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Peer Review

Podcasting in Plain English

by Lee LeFever


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Mar 10, 2009 by Teacher Education
Overview: This Common Craft video provides an easy-to-understand explanation of what podcasting is and how it can be used.
Type of Material: Animation. This web video in H.264 format that works well on YouTube and other Flash formatted web video players.
Recommended Uses: The video could be used for faculty development, in teacher education classes, and technology education classes to quickly explain what a podcast is and start a discussion of how podcasts might be used in individual's contexts. It is only 3 minutes in length so it would be easy to incorporate into a lesson on podcasting.
Technical Requirements: To view this video you will need to have a current web browser with the Flash Player plug-in installed. You will also need a high-speed Internet connection.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The object of the video is to help the learner understand what podcasting is. It does not explain how to create a podcast.
Target Student Population: This video can be used by K-20 and beyond. The author uses analogies and creative illustrations to clearly explain key aspects of podcasting. It would be helpful in Teacher Education classes and technology in education classes as well as for professional development.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The author has carefully planned how to explain podcasting "in plain English" in three minutes. He addresses major issues such as podcatching, syndication, and whether an iPod is needed to listen to a podcast. This video would work well as part of an introductory lesson in any class where students are being asked to listen, watch or create podcasts.
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The author is an expert at explaining technology in easy-to-understand terms. He clearly states the objectives of his lesson. He presents it, and then he reviews what he has told the audience. All of this in three minutes. Embed code is provided so that this content could easily be added to an online course. This is a good starting point for a discussion of podcasts in a variety of settings. It could be used to start a faculty development session, in a technology in education class to prepare a group for creating podcasts, or to a general education class to discuss pedagogy.
Concerns: None. The animation does precisely what it claims to do.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: All the user has to do is click the play button to use this content. The author provides links to familar formats such as YouTube and TeacherTube. He provides embed code to allow playing of the video directly from an online instructor's own course. There is also a link to email the video.
Concerns: This is a starting point. Instructors need to begin an in-depth discussion afterwards and not end the explanation of podcasting with this video. We did not see an option for Closed Captioning.