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Podcasts as a part of open education

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Edited by Anna Greathead, Thursday, 25 Apr 2019, 13:35

I am a podcast geek and the further my OU studied take me the more I a convinced this technology is both under rated and under utilized (though I must confess to having done a sneaky search to check that it was them, and not I, who had under utilized the podcast!)

The OU does produce a number of podcasts around disciplines as wide ranging as learning Italian (amongst many other languages), creative writing, astronomy and project management. I cannot describe how helpful I would have found additional instruction about the theories of education or a glossary of key terms at the start of my studies. Whilst there are resources I could have found and read, having something to listen to on my commute, or at the gym, would have made use of some time in which I couldn't read or watch.

That is, I think, the strength of the podcast - it uses a spare sense (hearing) in times and spaces where other resources aren't useful. There is something quite special about hearing experts explain their expertise. I often understand things I have heard explained better than things I have read. 

Outside of my OU studies I listen to dozens of podcasts - some for entertainment but many for learning as well. The learning is pretty non-linear and scattergun as I can only listen to material which has been produced. An institution like the OU would be in a position to create short (or long) series on the fundamentals of hundreds of subject matters. This would not only be useful for people studying those subjects but may simply be interesting for those who love to learn outside of formal structures. 

Podcasts are free and easy to access. They make use of the one commodity we all have in equal measure and which cannot be bought or sold - namely time. I hope, in time, a podcast version of YouTube with the vast choice of professional and amateur content, every subject under the sun and ease of access and sharing will develop. 


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Picture of Ed Jones

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I completely agree with you - the use of podcasts in H817 would have been a great time-saver and I could have maximised the efficiency of my studies if I had been able to listen to course content on my long drives to company meetings via a podcast, rather than having to wait until the working day was over to read pages and pages of screen text!

strong girls club!

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I agree too... I want to make podcasts in my setting (also a distance learning provider) but it's persuading others that they are useful for education, over, videos (which is where we tend to focus our money).
It's a shame that there aren't any for this course as it would be nice to have had some good practice demonstrated.

Picture of Anna Greathead

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Is there any opportunity for us to create one (obviously from a student perspective) as part of our assessments?