One of the cover stories in the September issue of GradPsych, the magazine of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students, features comments from Chris Green. In it, he discusses a new teaching tool: podcasting.
Podcasts — digital media files listeners download from the Internet and play back on a portable media player or computer — are the latest educational technology craze among students and professors. The technology has become so prevalent on campus and off that the New Oxford American Dictionary proclaimed “podcasting” 2005’s word of the year.
After chatting up an iTunes Top100 podcast on animal behaviour, the article turns to the new tool’s potential to contribute to the teaching of psychology:
Christopher D. Green, PhD, a psychology professor at Toronto’s York University, created a 30-episode series called “This Week in the History of Psychology” that’s available to anyone. The free series features interviews with psychology historians, who talk about topics such as Sigmund Freud’s first visit to the United States and Stanley Milgram’s obedience studies.
“There’s no way I could invite all 30 of these historians to actually appear in my class,” he says. “This allows me to bring them in.”
But, of course, podcasts are no replacement for reading. Rather, they serve to open up a topic for further exploration: an appetizer, to whet one’s mind in anticipation of the main course.