Podcast, or not?

At the risk of upsetting some folk and risking a host of ‘does it really matter?’ replies, I think we’re not doing our pupils justice by geting our technical vocabulary wrong.

For example, asking pupils to create ‘A PowerPoint’. Wrong! They’re creating a presentation and PowerPoint is just a piece of software that they can use.

The misuse that currently irks me is the constant misuse of the term Podcast. It seems to have become the norm to refer to any sound or movie file that goes up onto the web as a podcast. Well, I’m sorry. It’s just not. It’s a file on the web.

I recently sat through a very nice lesson where some primary pupils were told they were making a podcast. Nope, they were making a movie, and I don’t care that the term podcast sits in the menu in Garageband.

So, what is a podcast? Well, this link provides a thorough definition, but essentially they are a series of publications on the web that users subscribe to with a piece of software and are delivered automatically. Think of it as a magazine subscrition. Once you’ve set it up, the magazine drops through the letterbox regularly and you do nothing.

Does it matter? I think so as I think we ought to get the technical knowledge right in ICT just as we do in other subjects. Is it critical if we confuse series and parallel circuits in science? Oh yes!

Some might view me as a bit of a pedant on this, bit I do think we should get it right. Of course, this does refer back to the whole debate on teachers’ subject knowledge, but that’s for another blog entry.

So, pedantic? I think not, but then again, I couldn’t resist the temptation to wet my finger and remove the apostrohe outside the local pub advertising¬†¬† ‘Todays Special’s’. If only I’d had some chalk!


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