Two media teachers at our school, Stuart Rose and Andrew Nicholls are the latest example of educators I’ve seen using podcasting in a novel way. They wanted their students to enjoy watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, but they wanted to be able to point out particular features of the movie (devices that Steven Spielberg had used to create mood – or whatever) that relate to their media studies. To achieve this, traditionally, in class, the students would have to watch the movie, fragmented into 4 periods, punctuated by 24-hour intermissions involving Science, Maths, English, dinner and sleep. Hardly the immersive experience intended by Spielberg for cinema-goers! Alternatively, students could watch the movie in one sitting at home – but without the benefit of the teacher directing their gaze to features of curricular importance.
Stuart and Andrew’s solution is to record a podcast that students can listen to while they are watching the movie. Andrew and Stuart just sat together and watched the movie, discussing with each other the things they would like their students to notice in the movie. The podcast lasts the duration of the film, with periods of silence and periods of talking.
It’s a neat idea isn’t it? A student goes home, simultaneously presses ‘play’ on the DVD player and ‘play’ on their iPod , and then sits back on the couch with some popcorn to enjoy the movie, interrupted occasionally by their teachers drawing their attention to the important things to notice. It’s also a clever way of avoiding copyright violation, as the movie itself isn’t included in their podcast.
I can picture teachers using this idea in any number of ways. For example, I think it would be perfect for replacing the original narration on that documentary that has great visuals but uses terminology pitched at the wrong level.