I have always been a fan of podcasting and/or using any Web 2.0 tool in learning and education. I truly believe that all learning should be personalized to fit the individual's needs and goals; even young children should have a say in how they learn and the educational activities that are best or most interesting to them.
With podcasting (and other Web 2.0 tools), educators are able to mix things up and prepare students for global work. Students are no longer, or should I say have never been, 2 dimensional beings that learn from one teacher, one medium, one environment. We must continue to recognize that the world is changing and students will adapt accordingly. As a matter of fact, they adapt before we do! More students are using technology for learning than we are using for teaching.
Podcasting is just one tech tool that we can use to our (and students) benefit. They are listening to music and watching videos anyway. Why not use it to our advantage? I believe that a podcast is a weightless treasure you can carry everywhere unlike a heavy book that no one wants to carry. It's a present that you can open again and again; an educational present. Podcasting connects us with students. We become a part of their world outside of school/class. This means that they are constantly immersed in the content. This provides for an enhanced educational experience.
Here are a few ideas for using podcasting in the classroom:
-motivation/engaging intro to content
-analysis and critiques for a particular content area
If you have any other ideas, feel free to share.