Podcasts a wider net

A new publication was waiting patiently for me on my desk when I finally sloped back into work yesterday. It's a review copy of 'Podcasting for Learning in Universities', edited by Gilly Salmon and Palitha Edirisingha. I will be writing a review for the journal Interactive Learning Environments for this one in the next few weeks, but here are my first impressions:

This is a slim volume, with less than 230 pages, but it contains 17 fairly heavyweight chapters, focused on various attributes, applications and outcomes of the use of podcasting techniques in higher education, from academics in the UK and Australia. It's in essence a celebration of the IMPALA project (IMPALA - Informal Mobile Podcasting and Learning Adaptation). Contributers include the Gillster herself and Pal, and a galaxy of fairly well known names including Mark JW Lee, John Traxler, Simon Bates, and of course the host of researchers who count themselves members of the Beyond Distance Research Alliance.
One neat little touch in the book is where Gilly and Palitha along with Ming Nie provide a chapter (15) entitled 'Developing Pedagogical Podcasts' in which they provide an overarching critical review of the preceding chapters, and essentially put the cream on the cake of the IMPALA project. There are very useful 'how to' sections, and large tracts covering such topics as collaborative learning and reflective learning. Most of the content is case study based, but much is also expertly theorised.

At first glance, this looks like a welcome addition for many online educators, and I suspect that in due course, and with more considered glances it will be regarded as a seminal text for those interested in developing podcasting as a serious educational tool.

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