Session 1 - Introduction to Podcasting

What is Podcasting?

A podcast is often described as Tivo for radio. Podcasts are audio or video productions that you can subscribe to, so that when new episodes are published, they come to you instead of you having to go get them. You can then play them any time, any place. You no longer need to tune in at a certain time to listen to content to which you subscribe.

Podcasting allows users another medium for having conversations. There are educational podcasts on just about every subject, and more are being created every day. It's easy to search, subscribe, and listen to podcasts. Creating and publishing podcasts is becoming increasingly easy and fun as well.

For an introduction to podcasting, read this article by Wesly Fryer, Classroom Audio Podcasting . Another great how-to "vodcast" or video podcast, created by 3rd grade students in Bob Sprankle's Room 208 class, demonstrates the process of how to make a classroom podcast.

How is Podcating different from listening to a radio show online?

RSS feeds and tags are the key components of the Read-Write Web, including podcasts, that allow content to be easily categorized by everyone, then searched and accessed in new and profoundly different ways. So what is RSS?

RSS Feeds - What pulls content to our learning space

RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, is one of the driving forces that is shaping the new Read/Write Web. Podcasting is a Read/Write web tool. RSS allows users to subscribe to information. No longer does a person need to go find information, and continually revisit certain sites to find updated information. Through a tool called an aggregator, one can subscribe to the content being published. For podcasts, iTunes is a free and easy aggregator to use. When new podcast episodes are posted,external image 263038507_c07101ae40_m.jpg they are instantly accessible to the user, using the aggregator (iTunes). A good way to think of this of how one gets his/her newspaper. A person can read new editions every morning either by just having them delivered at home through a subscription (RSS), or can physically travel to a newstand to purchase new editions (going to static web pages). In the same way, podcast aggregators, like iTunes, pull in new audio/video episodes so that it is easily accessible any place, any time. You no longer have to constantly visit a website to find out if there is new content.
Photo Credit - NYTimes by 46137 on Flickr

If you would like to learn more about RSS, there are two great multimedia introductions to RSS, published for the K-12 Online Conference., include What is RSS and How Do I Use It? by Jeff Utecht, and a 4 part series webcast by James Gates and Kurt Paccio, These presentations clarify the use of Bloglines (an online aggregator), Netvibes and Pageflakes (online start pages that use RSS), Social Bookmarking and Tagging, and a summary of RSS and Tagging. These are excellent resources to learn more about how these technologies work.

More about Podcast Aggregators

Podcasts are audio recordings that use RSS to syndicate the recordings into a feed that one can subscribe to. A good combo podcast aggregator and player is Apple's iTunes. With this tool, one can search and subscribe to many different podcasts on both the Macintosh and the Windows platform. The quantity and diversity of podcasts available from the iTunes Music Store and other podcast directores is growing exponentially each day.
Other podcast aggregators are listed at Podcasting News.


Here are the slides for this week's presentation.

The other requirements of this course.

Legal Documents

AUP (Acceptable Use Policy)
Students must abide by LAUSD's AUP. Parents and students need to sign and return this document to school, where it must be filed for the entire time that the student attends that school.
Photo/Personal Information Release Form Please have a signed form for any student who will be participating in a project that will be published publicly.


Assess technology skills.
Go to EdTechProfile to assess skills. This is mandatory at the beginning of the workshop and at the end of the workshop. In order to receive salary points, a printed comparison graph will need to be turned in at the final session.