Podcards: Authoring E-Learning Resources in ELT
This is an abstract from ASIA TEFL Conference, Bali, Indonesia. Thank you.
The present paper aims at discussing podcards as e-learning resources in digital English teaching and learning. With the advancement of the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), there has been strong demand to effectively use and bring into reality its applications in classroom teaching. ICT becomes one of media to learn English in an interesting way. The use of ICT in education is rapidly expanding in many countries, and is now seen worldwide as both a necessity and an opportunity. According to Merchant (2003), the use of ICT for communicating with those not physically present in the classroom can add a new dimension to literacy work, ICT opens new possibilities for students, enriches the curricular emphasis on genres and forms, and expands their horizons by encouraging them to study in new ways for new audiences. The ability to master English is very important for students for their future life. To learn English, students can learn in many ways ranging from conventional to modern approach. Using technology-based learning approach for example, they may learn using various ways from the traditional-based technology approach to the more recent digital-based technology approach. In this digital age, one of the ways that can be applied to enhance in a situated multi-learning environment using ICT systems in English teaching learning is the use of podcards. To put it in a simple way, podcards are audio postcards that can be downloaded to digital gadgets, like iPod, mp3 player or to computer which contain information about a particular town or city from different countries around the world or biographies of famous people, inventions, films or events.
The idea of podcards is probably originated from podcast, an online audio sharing using RSS feeds that enable the listeners to listen and use particular materials into the teaching and learning practice of English (Santosa, 2007). The idea is similar in the sense that it uses audio as its main media but in different form and focus. Podcards are more to description of cities and related topics in the country. Based on the audio materials, worksheet can be provided and these can be used as one of innovative ways for teaching English skills and components for students. There are many choices for teachers and students to optimize podcards as e-learning resources. Here, some already downloaded podcards are used as materials, and both teacher and students create and develop their own podcards, and at then subscribe the podcards under a podcard site that hosts other countries’ podcards. This practice of authoring podcards is believed to be able to foster learning, innovation, and practice in the use of ICT in the digital age of English teaching learning process. This practice provides a real and potential interactivity, literacy skills, and team development. Especially in the teaching of English, podcards will help the students improve their English skills as well as their creativity.
Key words: Podcards, E-Learning Resources, Digital Age, ELT