What is a podcast?
Content delivery is a key component to any form of education, especially online education. There are many ways to deliver information to students, however, choosing the right technology takes a lot of thought and learning. One of the most effective and versatile educational technology tools that has been used for over a decade is Podcasting. Podcasts are an efficient tool for students at all levels to utilize and educators, at all levels to produce.
Podcasts are very similar to music files, if you have a way to listen to music, MP3 files, you will be able to access and listen to podcasts. Podcasts are very similar to blogs, you can subscribe to them when you prefer to and they update the files automatically (Starak, 2018). After a quick search on iTunesU of technology, hundreds, if not thousands of courses and other materials pop up. The topics range from Cyber Threats to iOS programming to Psychology. According to a 2016 Edison Research report on podcasts, the idea of podcasting has garnered greater popularity and awareness since 2006. Some key results of the survey include:
-the term podcasting has more than doubled in familiarity (22% in 2006, 55% in 2016)
-the percentage of people who have ever listened to a podcast has more than tripled (11% in 2006, 36% in 2016)
-podcasting has become more mobile, in 2013 58% of users listened to podcasts on a computer while 42% used a smartphone or other portable device, by 2016 only 29% of users listened on their computer and 71% used a portable device (Edison Research, 2016)
Being aware that many students are already familiar with the technology is a great asset for educators to take advantage of use for their courses to deliver content in the most effective way and to keep students motivated.
Connecting podcasts with education
Podcasts are simple to use and can easily be integrated into most courses. The evolutionary aspects of the technology make podcasting a viable option for instructors to use in their courses:
“when a user subscribes to a podcast, audio content is downloaded over the internet to a user’s computer; when his or her portable media player is attached to that computer, the new audio content is automatically placed on the portable device. As new editions of the podcast become available, the content (usually in the form of an audio MP3 file) is automatically downloaded to the user’s computer and, subsequently, his or her portable device: the subscriber being required to do no more than obtain the initial subscription. It is this simplicity that leads to the true power of the concept behind podcasting, which can be thought of as a series of time- shifted radio shows to be heard whenever and wherever it is most convenient for the user” (Savel, Goldstein, Perencevich, & Angood, 2007)
The concept of implementing and using podcasts is very purposeful. The podcast has a purpose in terms of content delivery and the educator has a reason for using it. They need to address the, who, what, where, when, why and how to make sure that this technology will allow their students to think critically about the content. Podcasts can offer a different prospective, be used in the real world for leisure or education, are a widely accepted form of content delivery that does not incur high costs, remains relevant due to their ability to update when needed and have longevity for use in the future. Students can listen to podcasts to brush on materials, study at their own pace, and they can use this technology, at home, in transit, at the gym or waiting in a doctor’s office (Watanabe-Crockett, 2016).
Suggestions for the future
Overall, podcasting is a very efficient, not highly technical and informal way for educators to deliver content to students. Podcasts should not be used to simply take the place of the educator, rather the podcast can be used as a supplement to what the student may learn in person, by a reading or through class discussion with others. Podcasts can also assist with students who want to dig further into a subject area or do their own self exploration into something they are interested in and motivated to learn about. However, developers need to be aware that podcasts they are creating can gain popularity outside of the group of students they are teaching, sometimes referred to as a positive problem. Podcasts can transcend to those that they are not intended to be used for, which is not always a bad thing. Users and creators need to be aware of this and know the broad reach of their content (Bryans Bongey, Cizadlo, & Kalnbach, 2006).
Bryans Bongey, S., Cizadlo, G., & Kalnbach, L. (2006). Explorations in course‐casting: podcasts in higher education. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 23(5), 350–367. https://doi.org/10.1108/10650740610714107
Edison Research. (2016). The Podcast Consumer 2016. Triton Digital.
Savel, R. H., Goldstein, E. B., Perencevich, E. N., & Angood, P. B. (2007). The iCritical Care Podcast: A Novel Medium for Critical Care Communication and Education. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 14(1), 94–99. https://doi.org/10.1197/jamia.M2205
Starak, Y. (2018). What is a podcast? Retrieved from Entrepeneurs-Journey: https://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/230/what-is-a-podcast/
Watanabe-Crockett, L. (2016, December 12). The Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet [Infographic]. Retrieved from Global Digital Citizen Foundation: http://globaldigitalcitizen.org/critical-thinking-skills-cheatsheet-infographic
Biddinger, P., Savoia, E., Massin-Short, S., Preston, J., & Stoto, M. (2010). Public Health Emergency Preparedness Exercises: Lessons Learned. Public Health Reports (1974-), 125, 100-106. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.cmich.idm.oclc.org/stable/41557943
Given that emergency preparedness exercises are a basic part of any university, business or large corporation these days, yet the actual scenarios do not happen that often, knowing how effective the training is needs to be known to produce an effective program. The Harvard School of Public Health Center for Public Health Preparedness created a program in response to a need noted by their partners for an evaluative program. This study assessed two goals, how their programs educated the public health workforce on key public health system emergency preparedness issues and identifying specific systems-level challenges in the public health response to a large-scale event. They evaluated 38 exercises, including tabletop, functional, drill and full-scale formats. They found differing responses based on regional (higher satisfaction) vs single institution scenarios, in terms of understanding their role, providing the right environment to practice, and promoting cooperation and aid to others. They also found that participants from small and large towns reported the highest level of satisfaction with the effectiveness of the exercise clarifying their roles and responsibilities.
I like that they used three equal evaluation processes (facilitators to moderate within the exercise, evaluation experts that created the evaluations instruments, and external evaluators to document all aspects of the processes) within each exercise that collected both quantitative and qualitative data. The number of programs that they studied, 38, is quite impressive as well. These types of exercises are not easy to put together and take a lot of time and effort to develop in the most effective way. I also like that they studied how supplemental work to the actual exercise was very effective in the participants learning more about available resources. This relates to other literate I have read regarding supplemental materials used to scaffold learning and giving the learner something to hang their knowledge on as they move through a scenario and learn more about a specific topic.
I really like this study given its comprehensiveness and useful data collected. Where I work, we put on an Emergency Preparedness Exercise for the medical students and do our best to get non-medical students involved as well. Knowing your own role is crucial to knowing how to respond to an emergency, but knowing other resources that are available during an emergency and knowing how many other scenarios are playing out during a scenario is vital to dealing with it properly. A medical student knows how to treat a patient but knowing the determinants of that problem and what other life factors that person will be dealing with due to the public health emergency is a great skill to learn early on in a career. Emergency Preparedness exercises are necessary to have in place and need constant development with new technologies and new agencies that become involved. Being aware that these things do happen, however, infrequently, will keep the public as safe as possible when everything is working against everyone.
Grieb, J., & Clark, M. E. (2008). Regional Public Health Emergency Preparedness: The Experience of Massachusetts Region 4b. Public Health Reports, 123(4), 450–460.
Kamoie, B. (2005). The National Response Plan and Legal Issues in Public Health Emergency Preparedness. Public Health Reports (1974-), 120(5), 571-573. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.cmich.idm.oclc.org/stable/20056840
Neuhauser, L., Ivey, S. L., Huang, D., Engelman, A., Tseng, W., Dahrouge, D., … Kealey, M. (2013). Availability and Readability of Emergency Preparedness Materials for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing and Older Adult Populations: Issues and Assessments. PLoS ONE, 8(2), e55614. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055614
Turoff, M., Hiltz, S. R., Bañuls, V. A., & Van Den Eede, G. (2013). Multiple perspectives on planning for emergencies: An introduction to the special issue on planning and foresight for emergency preparedness and management. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 80(9), 1647–1656. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2013.07.014
Schlegel, E. F., & Selfridge, N. J. (2014). Fun, collaboration and formative assessment: Skinquizition, a class wide gaming competition in a medical school with a large class. Medical teacher, 36(5), 447-449.
This article used gaming technology to address the fact that medical students benefit greatly from frequent feedback in formative settings due to the large amount of knowledge they are expected to know and the frequent testing they do through. They note that, “data are needed for educational games applied to large groups of students” (pg 447). This statement could not be truer in all levels of education, not just medical. They used a, “fast-paced competitive interactive quiz game, Skinquizition” (pg 447), at the end of the course to help students gauge where they were knowledge wise and to allow them to work together in groups, which is an imperative skill for medical students to obtain. After they assessment, they looked at the scores the students obtained on, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Pathology and Clinical Medicine exams and compared those to the scores students obtained before they integrated Skinquizition into the curriculum.
I like that the data they collected provided them with information for both the students and the faculty. The students were able to gauge where their own knowledge base was before they took a high stakes exam and the faculty were able to critique their own quiz questions to better help the students learn along the way. Students often struggle to translate what they learn in the classroom to how they take exams, which, in medicine, exams are part of your career, they never end until you retire.
Having students learn while competing is a great way to engage them in medical education. Simply giving lectures on PowerPoints is not efficient any more, and getting students in to real life scenarios helps them translate their knowledge into practical work. I have used turning point before and it works well, it is simple and not a distraction from the actual assessment that is being done. Interprofessional education and team based teaching are emerging more and more in medical education and getting students into these scenarios in their earliest years of the field is key to their success in the long term. Getting them out of their chairs and out of books or online databases helps the students see what their jobs will really be like. They can also use a scenario like this experience and apply that to actual test questions for the exams that mean so much to their futures.
Squire, K. (2010). From information to experience: Place-based augmented reality games as a model for learning in a globally networked society. Teachers College Record, 112(10), 2565-2602.
This study noted previous literature on the ability of individuals who self-identify as gamers as having characteristics that would greatly benefit them in the work place and in their adult lives. Some of these characteristics are: being collaborative, believing challenges are solvable, driven to accomplish goals, confident in their abilities, wanting to be paid by performance rather than title and showing a greater need for human relationships (page 2572). Given this background information, they wanted to know how to integrate augmented-reality gaming into schools and how to support game play and learning in this context. They did this with a water scenario where people became sick after visiting a beach and the students had to figure out why and could play a wide range of roles in doing so. The teachers played a big role in maintaining the use of the game and were prepped on how to do so in training sessions beforehand. Overall, they were able to learn a lot about their students and how they think both individually and as a group. Watching their problem solving skills unfold was very useful for the instructors and taught them a lot about the effects of the gaming curricula.
I like that this study integrated a scenario that related to the community in which the students lived. This made it easily relatable and something that they may hear about on the news or within their own homes. Also, the fact that the teachers were as involved as they were does not leave everything up the technology. They were able to change things on the fly if the students were getting off task or needed extra motivation to move in the right direction. The use of multi-disciplinary educators is helpful to. This shows students that when you are learning science you are also learning critical thinking and reading skills which can translate to a language arts or math class. Moving away from siloed education can be very beneficial to students.
This study relates a lot to the idea that getting students ingrained into real life careers in an education setting can be very beneficial. As a high schooler you are supposed to know what you want to go to school for and do for the rest of your life. A teenager can say they want to be a doctor or an engineer, but what does that really mean? What is the true role of a doctor in everyday life? What does an engineer do in a typical day? Being able to see this at a young age can help an adolescent frame their career goals to their benefit or experience things they never would have access to otherwise. Also, in gaming you are able to make mistakes. Making mistakes and learning from them is key to growing as an individual and learning ones strengths and weaknesses.
Cheston, C. C., Flickinger, T. E., & Chisolm, M. S. (2013). Social media use in medical education: a systematic review. Academic Medicine, 88(6), 893-901.
The authors of this article, conducted a systematic review of social media use in medical education specifically how social media affected out comes of satisfaction, knowledge, attitudes, and skills and challenges and opportunities that arose from these interventions. Out of 928 articles initially found in their search, they narrowed their results down to 14 articles that met their inclusion criteria. While this is a small amount, it points to the need for more research on this topic. They found that the biggest challenge was technical issues, which is common amongst early inclusion of technology based programs in education. They also found that no study reported professionalism or privacy issues.
In my opinion, the main strength of this study was that it was simply done. There is not much research out there on social media uses in medical education and as they state in the article, it will catch up eventually and medical educators will be behind. They used very broad terms and went through hundreds of article to best narrow their articles to study to those that fit their model. Blogs are very useful but need to be maintained and run efficiently and as the authors note, were the most commonly used amongst the 14 studies.
While I agree that there are significant limitations with the systematic review, I believe that more work needs to be done in this field and this study showing that they found only 14 reviews is a good turning point for the idea of social media in medical education. For the courses that I administer, students cannot function without technology but integrating more than just the basic BlackBoard or email systems is crucial with keeping up with the times. There are lots of apps related to medical education that have been produced but have not been widely used among medical educators. Simply producing PowerPoints and speaking in large group instruction rooms does not work like it used to, students expect different instruction styles that fit how they function in everyday life, high technology based.
Chodos, D., Stroulia, E., King, S., & Carbonaro, M. (2014). A framework for monitoring instructional environments in a virtual world. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(1), 24-35.
This authors in this article researched the effects of recording and analyzing students actions in a virtual world related to patient hand-off from EMTs to Emergency Room doctors. Their virtual world had two settings, a car crash scene and a hospital emergency room. They specified all possible actions (movement, sensing, object manipulation, and communication) within their virtual world excluding irrelevant actions such as changing the clothes of the avatar. The sequence of the interaction with the virtual world started with a brief one-on-one training, the actual scenario and then a debrief session. They found that the 2 participants actions fit their roles accordingly however, the coordination among the participants needed improvement.
I appreciate the degree to which they monitored and collected data on the participant’s movements. I also like that this study could be replicated an infinite amount with the same participants for learning purposes and for anyone that was interested. It is much easier for those new to the medical profession to practice simulations and then apply that learning on real life situations. You can use VW’s to critique different aspects of the simulation multiple times and learn how to work as a team in ways people may not consider in real life application. I think this study is a great place to start and can be redesigned along that way as different mechanisms of handoffs change.
The topic of VW in teaching of hand offs applies to what I do in my current job. Part of our preventive medicine course is an emergency preparedness exercise. We do this in a classroom setting which could definitely be improved upon. A lot of the material has to be imagined by the students and I think something like a VW would be a great adaptation of the scenario we use. In the world we live in today, there are many things we need to be prepared for that may never happen but knowing what to do in a certain situation can mean life or death. Using VW’s to instruct an everyday civilian to a medical professional is a great place to start in reaching the most amount of people with interest.
Ertmer, P. A., Richardson, J. C., Belland, B., Camin, D., Connolly, P., Coulthard, G., … & Mong, C. (2007). Using peer feedback to enhance the quality of student online postings: An exploratory study. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 12(2), 412-433.
The objective of this study was to analyze if peer feedback in online courses, specifically related to discussion postings, would increase the quality of the postings. The concepts of communication and feedback in online courses raise many questions regarding efficacy and efficiency. This study posited instructor and peer feedback to the learners and how this feedback was valued by the students. The majority of the participants were either currently of previously employed in education or administration and were all in an online graduate course. They used Bloom’s Taxonomy to assess the postings and everything was anonymized and run through the instructor before it was given to the students. They found that the quality of the postings did not improve over time and that at the beginning and end of the course, instructor feedback was more valued than peer feedback.
I appreciate that they also looked into how students felt about the process overall and did not just look at the quality of the postings. They found that students valued giving and receiving feedback equally which points to the learners working together and appreciating what the other students are doing which is integral in peer feedback. I also like that they started the class off by having the instructor give the feedback as preparation for the students having to do so later on in the course. This helps the students know what the instructor expects and how they use the rubrics.
Overall, I think peer feedback is essential to all deliveries of education, whether it’s online, blended or face-to-face. Peer feedback can be really helpful in terms of growing throughout a course since the student is receiving feedback from someone at their own level. However, it needs to be framed correctly, and shown to be useful to the students, not just a way for instructors to ease their workload. I believe that the instructor, no matter what they level are teaching, needs to frame expectations for the skill in a meaningful and deliberate way. They need to take themselves out of it in a way and simplify assessments to be meaningful to everyone in the course. I also strongly agree with peer feedback helping to create communities within online courses and having the feedback assist in communication between students and allow them to feel that they are not alone in a class and can work together with their peers in many different facets.
Knobel, M., & Lankshear, C. (2014). Studying new literacies. Journal of adolescent & adult literacy, 58(2), 97-101.
In this article the authors give an overview of new literacies and their implications on K-12 education. The idea of new literacies is ever changing and a necessity for preparing children how the real world works and has proven to be successful in educating students and leading students to educate other students and receive constant feedback from one another. New literacies are able to encompass both novices and experts and create social situations that can be adapted to other parts of their lives. For this reason I really appreciate their description of new literacies as social practices (pg 98).
A lot of the article points out how new literacies function opposed to how typical classrooms do and what is absent in classroom and normal pedagogies taught to new educators. They express how changing literacy from print to digital functions completely differently and creates new possibilities. We cannot resist technology and realizing its potential and showing this to students at a young age will only help our work force in the future. I also like that they point out that writing is generally required for students for a, “hypothetical, generic audience” (page 99). New literacies opens the door to a much greater audience that may share the same interests or can learn something new that they didn’t know before.
As our class work has progressed I greatly question what potential educators are learning pedagogically in school and how that may need to change to adapt to things like new literacies and the ever changing landscape of technology in education. I like the ideas they present and how they use a real case study of a 16 year old who is thriving with new technologies based on a topic that many teenagers can relate to or want to learn about. We cannot ignore technological advancements and the fact that many elementary aged students have cell phones, tablets and computers at the ready in every setting except school. School is a great place to open student’s eyes to their potential interests and new literacies seems like a great way to incorporate this idea into education.