The Challenge of Teaching a Computer Literate Generation: Podcasting as a Tool in Educational Contexts
Presenter: Hind Belooshi
Sharjah Women’s College - Higher Colleges of Technology
Theme: The Role of Education in Meeting Global Challenges
Abstract: Technology has the great potential to expand and extend learning outside the classroom. Podcasts, publishing of audio files on the Internet, is one type of learning that education is currently using as an educational tool in campus-based learning environments. Many students are experiencing learning through this technology and it is impacting their learning. In this paper research was conducted to determine a need for a training course on the use and creation of podcasts to be offered to college faculty in the UAE. Data was collected through a mixed method approach and analyzed to assess the need. Both students and faculty participated from a selection of college departments. What was found is that students are active learners and using audio to listen and learn on their own, while faculty also used audio files for entertainment and learning they were most concerned about being provided with enough support in their podcasts training. This research study provided information that students are already familiar with this style of learning and faculty are willing to learn to use them as a resource with their students provided they have support.
“Today’s students – K through college – represent the first generations to grow up with … new technology. They spend their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Today’s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV). Computers games, email, the Internet, cell phones and instant messaging are integral parts of their lives”. Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, digital immigrants. On the horizon, 9 (5), 1-6. NCB University Press.
According to Jonassen (2006) “Technologies have the potential to enhance, expand, and amplify learning if we reconceptualize the ways that they are used”. (Jonassen, p.xiii, 2006)
The question raised here is does some teachers use technology that is provided for them in the college effectively? Or do they integrate technology into their teaching as a support tool to foster students’ knowledge? (Mariam & Zubaida, 2007).
By this said, some teachers are facing a challenge of meeting the needs of a generation who are switched to learn through a variety of technologies that could be used in the teaching-learning process. Podcasting can be one way to apply technology in the classroom context to engage the learners. As some faculty members in Duke University used podcasting as a tool to distribute digital audio content including class lectures, discussions and verbal feedback to their learners in order to support them. (Duke University, 2006).