Saturday, June 4, 2011

Podcasts, voice tools and audio recorders

Session 6

Wikipedia defines podcast as ¨a series of digital media files, either audio or video, that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication. The word replaced webcast in common use with the success of the iPod and its role in the rising popularity and innovation of web feeds.¨ If you scroll down on the page you will read ¨The mode of delivery differentiates podcasting from other means of accessing media files over the Internet, such as direct download or streamed web-casting.  A list of all the audio or video files currently associated with a given series is maintained centrally on the distributor's server as a web feed, and the listener or viewer employs special client-application software known as a pod-catcher that can access this web feed, check it for updates, and download any new files in the series. This process can be automated so that new files are downloaded automatically.¨
According to a group of academics, journalism & communication Research group at the University of Texas at Austin in the USA a podcast is ¨a digital audio or video file that is episodic; downloadable; program-driven, mainly with a host and/or theme; and convenient, usually via an automated feed with computer software¨.    The term "podcasting" was first mentioned by Aled Williams in The Guardian newspaper in a February 2005 article, along with other proposed names for the new medium. It is a blend of the words "pod"— from Apple's iPod —and "broadcasting".
¨Podcasts have been introduced into the curriculum in a variety ways to meet a range of learning objectives¨ (Chester, A., Buntine, A., Hammond, K., & Atkinson, L. (2011).  Podcasts can be used to enhance the four skills but they can also be used to practice a certain aspect of the language, for instance, pronunciation, intonation and stress.  Nowadays, the use of podcasts in the EFL classroom is becoming very popular as a great means to expose learners to authentic and real pieces of language.  Teachers can record or use existing podcasts in order to have their students practice real life conversations, course participants can listen to different accents and in this way learn more and gain confidence towards their learning process.   Podcasting is an important tool in relation to assessing oral production which has always been such a sensitive area to test, through podcasting we can create the evidence and support our testing results. Wonderful activities can be designed integrating skills by means of a podcast, but the most important thing is that the use of Web 2.0 tools lead to learners´ autonomous learning.   Regardless the type of podcasts, student satisfaction is typically strong and students generally perceive podcasts to have enhanced their learning (Goldberg & McKhann, 2000; Maag, 2006; Soong, Chan, Cheers, & Hu, 2006). 

Podcast Powered By Podbean

My first interview



Session 5

Wikipedia defines Wiki as "a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include community websites, corporate intranets, Knowledge management systems, and note services. The software can also be used for personal notetaking".
Wikis can be used for different purposes. Some allow control over different functions (levels of access). For example editing rights gives you the options of changing, adding or removing material. Others may permit access without enforcing access control. Other rules can be imposed for organizing content.
Ward Cunningham, the developer of the first wiki software, WikiWikiWeb, originally described it as "the simplest online database that could possibly work." "Wiki" (pronounced [ˈwiti] or [ˈviti]) is a Hawaian word for "fast".
Nowadays, there are millions of Wikis for different purposes, many of them for the purpose of teaching different subjects or topics.  Among the most famous wikis is Wikipedia which is a collaborative encyclopedia on-line.  Experts from all around the world offer their expertise in order to feed this powerful tool with their knowledge and in this way people can benefit and get information in a very fast way about different topics in a huge number of languages.  Another important one is WikiEducator which aims to be an evolving community for learners based on collaborative free learning.   Wikis are very powerful artifacts as far as working collaboratively in the TEFL class is concerned.  A Wiki can be used by teachers at different levels and with different learners needs, from children to adults, it can be adapted for designing projects for students, it allows to share relevant information about so many topics and therefore, knowledge can be shared and meaningfully built up.