Podcasting: A viable and relevant way to disseminate knowledge?


Source: Wikimedia.org

Podcasting, or Portable on Demand Broadcasting, is a great way for information to be disseminated. It is accessible through multiple media devices, portable, and convenient to utilize for the podcaster and listener. The podcaster can share his or her experiences, ideas, and tell stories in a variety of ways (audio or visual). It also opens up an avenue for podcasters to get information to more people and in ways otherwise closed off. The listener has more options for listening to media in settings and situations where she would otherwise be unable to do so.

Now, podcasting is new to me. I have had conversations with peers and conducted my own online research to be able to determine which podcasts are worth listening to based on my interests, how to evaluate them, how to create a podcast, and whether it really a viable way to disseminate knowledge.

Here are a few sites I found interesting, starting with the International Podcasting Day site. The site has a timeline that starts with the Adam Curry and David Winer, who are credited with inventing the podcast in 2004. Wikipedia discusses the roots of podcasting, which go back to the 1980s and were first called audioblogging. There is an interesting Youtube video that gives a nice overview of podcasting, and there are sites that offer information that lets you know how to evaluate a podcast from both the listener and podcaster’s points-of-view.

What I am learning so far about podcasting is promising. I am a current doctoral student pursuing my practitioner’s Doctorate in Social Work, a doctorate that, in the eyes of some in academia (social work and other professions), is seen as less valuable than the Ph.D. because the research focuses on context-dependent research—connected to the lived experience—versus context-independent research—big data and generalizable research. In the eyes of some, my type of research is not rigorous enough.

In my specific program, the doctoral student is learns to utilize narrativized case studies, taking a transdisciplinary approach, honors the client’s lived experience (using a phenomenological perspective) and grounds their research in traceable scholarship. In this way, practitioners  are creating and disseminating knowledge with a rich history.

 The podcast format is a viable and relevant vehicle for the practitioner to disseminate  knowledge in the form of narrativized case studies to a wide and diverse audience. 

For the remainder of this post, I will discuss two podcasts I found useful as it relates to the focus of my blog, which is to change the perspective of opposition in adolescence, to teach that opposition in itself is not a disorder and that there is value for an adolescent and their communities when an adolescent demonstrates opposition as advocacy. I encourage you to check out both podcasts and let me know where you find the connections with my ideas.


Eric Liu Source: nwasianweekly.com

Eric Liu, is a teacher and practitioner of civics. I viewed his TED Talk, entitled “Why Ordinary People Need to Understand Power,” on iTunes. He defines power and the role of civics, explains how power governs the operation of any government, and makes the argument for the ordinary person to become power literate and to learn to make change by using his or her power skills to fight power and fight for power. He encourages viewers to visit his site, called Citizen University, and write narratives or case studies, sharing how they learned about power and used it to bring about change.

When I saw this podcast you can guest my reaction. Yes!  It was a podcast right up my alley.  I was attracted to this podcast about the need and legitimacy of the use of power for everyone and the use of case studies to disseminate this knowledge. This is what our adolescents need to learn: how to express and use their power for good.


Source:  amazon.com

Another podcast to which I was attracted to right away because of its title was “Rethinking Adolescence” by Jay D’Ambrosio, which is based on his book of the same title. Rethinking how adolescence is perceived and how the person of the adolescent is treated is a great part of the work I do and write about. D’Ambrosio is a teacher and an author of ancient history, and he created four, short podcasts, which were published in 2007. He utilizes mythical stories, metaphors, movie scenes, and quotes to help the adolescent navigate life.

Utilizing the narrative form to disseminate knowledge feels natural. The narrative metaphor helps people understand their experience and communicate their experiences to self and others.

Children, adolescents, and adults alike connect, communicate, and learn through storytelling.

“The narrative metaphor suggest that we experience our lives through stories…Children are told by others and gradually begin to tell others who they are, what is important to them, and what they are capable of.  These self-stories are shaped by the children’s interactions with parents, peers, and available cultural models.  In this process, stories serve to perpetuate both healthy and unhealthy forms of self identity.” G. Combs and J. Freedman, Narrative, Poststructuralism and Social Justice

As a future podcaster, I found that it was helpful for me to experience both formats (audio and visual) of podcasting. I got a lot from listening to D’Ambrosio’s podcast, as well as other podcasts of a similar format, which I did not feature in this post. These audio podcasts gave me ideas on music, introductions, transitions, reflection of voice, number of interviews, and narrative format.

After you view the podcasts I have suggested and others you find interesting, come back to my blog and share your story and your experience with podcasting. Don’t forget let me know how the podcasts I suggested connect with my ideas about valuing oppositionality in adolescence.

One thought on “Podcasting: A viable and relevant way to disseminate knowledge?

  1. Pingback: Podcast: The Need for Mentoring Adolescents on Power Development, Assertion and Expression–Part Two – Opposition and Adolescence

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