Podcasting Possibilities

Long before we had the World Wide Web -- back when most people would've guessed YouTube was some sort of plumbing fixture -- artist Andy Warhol predicted . . . "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." Considering the enormous popularity of podcasts, Google Blogger, Twitter and other personal communication systems, Warhol's vision was amazingly prophetic. As educational technologies, the practicality of these cyber systems actually outweighs their popularity. Once connected to the classroom, the Internet's new technologies become dynamic tools for productivity, research and communication -- as well as agents for personal expression and self-empowerment.

Podcasting is nothing short of a revolution in the speech classroom. Students are able to record and revise speeches using both audio and video. The web now makes using complex multimedia systems that interact with the world as simple and inexpensive as using a telephone. Gone are the olden days (the 1990s!) when "media" referred to large broadcasting companies like ABC, CBS and NBC. Now, with a digital camera and an Internet connection, literally anybody can make the headlines . . . if only for a little while!

The ability to launch a personal broadcast through a world-wide multimedia system has completely changed the way we think about "media" and the way speech students interact with it.

As research technology, podcasting can be an invaluable tool for learning and teaching high school speech. Through podcasting, students can efficiently gather, evaluate, and process information. Beyond the treasure trove of e-books and historical texts made instantly available, podcasting connects students to a global library of audio and visual data. Through skill manipulation of RSS, pertinent research information will actually find its way to the student!

Video blogging -- vodcasting -- is a phenomenal communications tool for high school speech students. Inexpensive and easily manipulated video gives the average ordinary speech student the opportunity to shine with communication equipment that was once reserved for wealthy media stars. Vodcasting's other great feature is its easily stored and easily transportable format.

Learners, excited by their technological accomplishments have a way to show off their school work and communicate their discoveries to the world. Through the use of new web technologies to research and produce material, students are now able to finish a project and pin it up on every refrigerator door in the country! So, Andy Warhol was right when he said we'd all be famous for fifteen minutes. However -- it seems podcasts and similar new personal communication systems have clarified that it will be the same "15 minutes" for everybody!

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