How audio podcasts can bring your learning to life.
When Coracle first began podcasting 6 years ago, in February 2007, we frequently found ourselves having to define 'a podcast' to people. The ubiquity of smart phones has now familiarized swathes of the population with the concept and people regularly enjoy listening to their favourite radio shows at a time and in a place that is convenient to them.
At Coracle, we use podcasts as an educational tool and we podcast regular market reports in the fields of shipping, law, currency and recruitment for two main educational purposes.
- Firstly, to ensure that professionals can access the latest news in their markets on their way in to work between a couple of tube stops, thus keeping up to date with developments within their industry.
- Secondly, to enable learners to see how their theoretical material applies to the real world.
It is within this second group that the real value of podcasts as a learning resource is most powerful. We have listeners in over 70 countries, who can all access the same primary source material whether they are in South Korea, Singapore or Sweden. This has several advantages ranging from replacing the need to travel to a classroom; to improving their comprehension of real life scenarios in English.
Studies into the effectiveness of 'poducation' were carried out by Duke University and the University of Washington, which were so positive that both have expanded their podcasting programmes. The benefits they discovered include greater student engagement and interest in class discussions, field research and independent projects incorporating the use of podcast technology and interestingly that students are less likely to drop podcasted courses because the recordings help them to keep up with the material.
Having produced over 1,100 podcast episodes and received over 8 million downloads, we feel well place to know how productive podcasts are for disseminating information to a world wide audience. We believe it is the convenience that allows individuals to listen in their own time and space, be it in the car on the school run, on the train to work, or even whilst relaxing in the bath that is the key to reaching such a diverse group of listeners.
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