Wednesday, November 14, 2007

E-tivity 6

Podcasts

A podcast is a multimedia file (audio or video) distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds. Podcasts can be downloaded onto personal computers and mobile devices like mp3 players so that users can listen to or watch the podcast whenever and wherever they want to. Some podcasts are also offered in streaming, i.e. you can listen to or watch them directly online. The term was coined by combining the word "broadcasting" (from radio and television) and "iPod" (the most popular mp3 player). The number of podcasts available online has grown exponentially in recent years. The BBC, radio RAI, NPR, etc. all offer podcasts of their most popular programs. But podcasting has grown beyond that. Many amateurs have also taken up podcasting producing their home-based radio programs and putting them online. Universities like Stanford and Duke in the United States now offer many lectures online in the form of podcasts. To sum up, there is now a quantity of freely downloadable high-quality materials available in English that learners could only dream of in the past. Imagine, you don’t have broadband at home, so you download the podcast at the Uni or an Internet point, upload it onto your mp3 player and listen to it whenever and wherever you want.

Purpose: To explore the world of podcasts to find several that you can use to practice your listening skills in English.

Task:

1 - Search for podcasts that might be useful for English listening practice. Do a search for the word “podcast” and another word like “English”, “education”, or anything else that might interest you in Google, del.icio.us and odeo.

2 – Find at least 3 that are good (unfortunately as is the case in the blogosphere, you’ve got to be critical!).

3 - Save the urls in del.icio.us using at least "bloggingenglish" and "podcast" as tags. Subscribe to the podcasts in your Bloglines (you could even make a playlist!).

4 – Take notes on what the podcasts you chose offer and how they could be helpful and make a post to your personal blogs in which you list the urls of the podcasts you’ve chosen explaining why you’ve chosen them and giving your impressions of the world of podcasts.

Respond: Read the other the posts of the members of your group go visit at least one of the podcasts each has suggested. Then write a comment to their blogs giving your impressions.

Timeline: Sunday, November 18 (task), Tuesday, November 20 (respond).

4 comments:

Imma said...

Hello Sarah,
I'm posting this comment because I had a problem in adding one of my podcast website in Bloglines.
The URL is:
http://chatt.hdsb.ca/~magps/boylit/Podcasting%20in%20Education
I'm probably doing something wrong but I don't understand because I did't have any problem with the other podcast websites. Could you please help me?
Thanks
Imma

Lamericaana said...

@ Imma - As a general rule, if you try and subscribe to something in Bloglines and it doesn't work, it's not that you're doing something wrong, it's that the site you're trying to subscribe to doesn't have feeds. Many sites still don't have them either because they are NOT updated regularly or because they don't have the technology. Unipd is a great example of a regularly updated site that doesn't use feeds. In this case there's nothing you can do but save it in your del.icio.us as a resource.
I went to the site and it actually doesn't look like there's updated material (a podcast should be regularly updated) so that's why it doesn't work in Bloglines.

Hope this helps!

Sarah

Martina said...

Hi Sarah,
I've got a very big problem with e-tivity 6. I haven't got the broadband at home so I can't choose the podcasts because I can't download and listen to them. I went to the labs in Maldura this morning but in lab A there was a lesson and lab B was closed! I asked to the technician if he could open it (I explained to him what I was supposed to do) but he said that he couldn't. And it was free(welcome to Italian university!). I checked the timetable of the labs for tomorrow but they won't be free.

So...What can I do to work on e-tivity 6? It's really frustrating this situation in our university...There are many interesting activities but we haven't the tools to work on them!:-(

Thanks in advance for your help!:-)

Martina

Lamericaana said...

@ Martina - No need to fret - Marta Guarda had already expressed a similar difficulty to me during lesson on Wednesday. I'm well aware of the fact that you don't have very good access to computers at the Uni and I certainly don't expect you to have broadband at home. On Monday, the Lab B in Maldura is reserved for you from 2.30 to 6.00 as if we were having lesson so you can complete e-tivity then. As I told Marta, just write a post to your blog letting your peers know why you're not able to complete e-tivity 6 until Monday afternoon.
Technology can be helpful and rewarding and at the same time very frustrating. Believe me, I know!

Let me know if there are still problems.

Sarah