When Students create a podcast for class, they not only learn the content in a creative way, they learn 21 st – century communications skills at the same time.
“ Podcasting allows educators to take their students beyond traditional assignments by allowing them to include voice recordings, photos, movies, and sound effects to share their knowledge. For example, students can draft and perform scripts as a writing assignment, create a visual progress report for an ongoing project, or submit a recorded version of a science presentation.”
“ Podcasting is also a great way for educators to deliver content to their students. They can distribute homework assignments, record book narration for beginning readers to read along with, or create foreign language lessons that students can review at their own pace. For educators and administrators, podcasting is an effective tool for professional development, as well as for communicating with parents about classroom activities and school announcements.”
Answer: There are no maximums or minimums when it comes to podcast size. Obviously, the larger files might intimidate listeners with a slow connection. Podcasts can be successful at any size, generally wise podcasters balance the file size and the quality of their show.
Answer: ID3 tags consist of meta data that describe the contents of the audio file (typically ID3 tags relate to MP3 files). ID3 tags generally contain information related to the audio file, including things like title of the audio file, the artist, album, or other relevant information. There is speculation that podcasting search engines and directories will use the information contained in the ID3 tags to categorize, search, and group podcasts in the future.
Answer: No, while RSS 2.0 was the first version to support enclosures, RSS version 1 also now includes an enclosure tag for podcasting. While the current RSS 1.0 supports podcasting, RSS 2.0 is by far the more popular format for those podcasting. This is not only because RSS 2.0 was the first standard to support enclosures, but also due to the fact that Apple iTunes uses RSS 2.0 for it's podcasts.
Answer: Yes, while there are no provisions in the RSS 2.0 specification for passwords or protecting files, as with any web documents, podcasts can be password protected by placing it in a subdirectory. You can use any security mechanism available on the http server to protect the entire feed or the actual audio file.
Answer: Yes, while the model has not yet been widely adopted, some publishers have experimented with providing fee based "commercial-free" podcasts. Rather than charging advertisers to advertise in the podcasts, the publishers have monetized the podcasts by charging listeners for the contents of the podcast. Typically the audio file is password protected and only subscribers are able to download or listen to the file. The model is similar to that which the cable shows HBO/Showtime use, where they charge a fee for premium content. It is likely that educational podcasts, or language lessons will adopt this model.
Answer: It really depends on what your definition of a podcast is. Initially the term podcast referred to any RSS feed that contained an audio file as an enclosure. The usage of the term podcast has expanded and now many people consider any RSS feed that includes a file in the enclosure field to be a podcast. In other words, many people use the term podcast to refer to an RSS feed that has a video file, or power point presentation or other enclosure.
Technically you can put just about any type of file in the enclosure field. If you are referring to a traditional audio podcast, for the sake of compatibility, most podcasters use either MP3 or M4a. The added benefit of using an MP3 or M4a file is that both formats are also supported by iTunes, which allow people to expand their podcast with iTunes tags and include it in the iTunes Music Store.