What Exactly IS a Podcast Anyway?
Perhaps you are already immersed in the wonderful world of podcasts, listening as you drive to work or putter around the house. But if not, it can be a little challenging to grasp the concept. A podcast is basically an audio file (sometimes video) that can be downloaded from various sources and listened to at your leisure.
The most common directory of podcasts is iTunes, but there are currently over 80 different podcast directories to choose from. The vast majority are free -- like radio shows -- but some providers are now offering "premium" materials. This is where podcasting becomes interesting to online course providers.
Can I Teach an Online Course as a Podcast?
Is it possible to offer an entire online course through the medium of a podcast? Yes it is! The main limitation to using podcasts for teaching is that there is only one medium (audio), or as already mentioned, video. It is possible to include "show notes" text along with your podcast, and this would be a way to flesh out the offerings for educational purposes.
Video podcasts are an interesting option, but it does limit the portability of the experience. Many people listen to audio podcasts while driving. They have save many from the tedium of a long boring road trip. However we can't obviously recommend using a video podcast that way, unless it it for passengers in the back seat only.
Where To Host a Podcast
So far, I have done the research into the various hosting companies for podcast files. There are quite a few, and each has pros and cons. After reading all the reviews and trying several out, I've decided to go with Podbean. The main reasons are cost (ony $9 per month if paid annually, and you can get a free month by using this link), attractive-looking podcast player for my site, ability to host video podcasts (for the future), and easy implementation of premium, paid content. Check out Podbean here.
More to Come
Be sure to check back on this post as I implement my own podcast and update you all on the steps involved in setting it up and the successes (and challenges) of launching into this new arena of online communication.