Podcasts are audio files that are published on the internet on a regular basis so that users can subscribe to them. They are digital files that can be downloaded and listened to using portable devices or on your desktop. Free software makes it easy to subscribe to podcasts using RSS feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers. It is the subscription feature that makes a podcast so powerful as a form of social media. People have long been able to upload audio content to the web, but the subscription feature means that people can build regular audiences and communities around their shows. It effectively puts private individuals or brands on a level playing field with traditional media organisations when it comes to competing for people's attention with audiovisual content online. Podcasts are part of a shift in media consumption patterns, which increasingly sees people watching or listening to content when and where it suits them.
The important thing to remember about podcasting is that it is only a podcast if new digital files are regularly published via an RSS feed. Otherwise it is just an audio file that has been published on-line!
Podcasting in Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy
Continued Education and Professional Development
Podcasts allow autonomous learners to watch or listen to content when and where it suits them. They are particularly useful in remote communities where health workers have limited access to continuing education and professional development.
Examples of using podcasts for continuing education and professional development:
- subscribe to the RSS feed and download podcasts or vodcasts from your clinical area of interest, listen to them in your own time
- create regular podcasts simply using free on-line software to develop your knowledge in a particular topic and broadcast them to the community
Podcasting is often used in education to archive face to face taught sessions or administratively to provide supplementary information to students.
Examples of using podcasting in Education administration:
- archive face to face taught sessions
- provide supplementary materials to taught courses such as audio or video tutorials
- provide regular feedback on assingnments
- provide podcasts about the application process and attending interviews
iTunes U is an area within iTunes where an educational institution can provide its own collection of audio and visual material (such as lectures, talks and interviews). Unlike the music and films, this material can be downloaded free of charge. Universities can use the service to reach out to a global audience with its vast wealth of audio and video material.
Students can also be tasked with completing assignments as a podcast as an alternative way to engage them with the assessment process. It is an effective method for developing media production skils and more importantly for developing oral skills for physiotherapy practice.
Ideas for student assignments using podcasts:
- produce a podcast of patient advice for conditions such as back pain
- interview leaders from the physiotherapy profession
- dissemination of student research projects
- role play the presentation of a condition to a patient
- deliver a news report on a new piece of evidence
Podacsting can be a novel way to engage the community with your research project and publisise your work.
Examples of using podcasting in research:
- providing information on the progress of a research project
- dissemination of results
- interviews with researchers
- providing journal abstracts by podcast
Podcasting can be an effective method of marketing your business. You can set up your own ‘channels’ on iTunes for uploading regular podcasts.
Examples of the use of podcasting for Business:
- interviews with staff members
- providing patient information and advice on conditions
- delivering regular news about your clinic
Examples of Physiotherapy Podcasts
In physiotherapy, there are a few free podcasting services:
Other examples podcasting in health care
A few free, health science podcasts are: