The technology information that I read this week that resonated with me the most was, “Getting their iLessons: In a nod to popular technology, some Fresno State instructors are recording lectures so students can listen to them later on computers or iPods” by Doug Hoagland. This article helped me realize that the use of podcasts in education is not a mere fad, but will most likely become a staple in the pedagogy of professors and educators on all levels. I found myself relating to the story of Scott Sailor (our professor in this course) listening to his professor’s lectures via min audio cassettes. I used the same min-cassettes in the 90’s attending Mercyhurst College. It was adequate at the time, but it would have been great to have the utility of the podcasts of today. I truly believe I would have been more efficient and effective with learning course content if I had access to podcasts back in the 90’s. The learning is always on and available in a more user-friendly way with podcasts.
In the article, Scott Sailor mentions that students are able to access the course lectures and material multiple times. Instead of students being relegated to meeting their professors in a traditional classroom to learn from lectures, the professors are meeting student’s needs by reaching them anywhere and giving students more autonomy. Podcasts are part of this evolution of educational content being available anytime, anywhere through technological means.
With that said, I still feel the human interaction of being in a classroom has a unique dynamic that can’t be replicated with technology. In the article, Professor Bruce Thornton referred to it as “learning is a human thing, and learning means humans getting together in the same place.” Being an elementary teacher, I have firsthand experience with the energy and synergy of learning in a traditional classroom setting. I do not think podcasts and other progressive technology will make the human interaction of lectures in person obsolete. I feel that these new technologies will enhance and complement the traditional class setting.