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Sounds like progress, as teachers learn the benefits of podcasting

Teaching professionals gained an insight into cutting-edge ways to create and publish podcasts from mobile devices at a workshop in Glasgow this week.

Chartered teacher David Noble, a director of the eLearning Alliance which ran the workshop, introduced participants to new ways of using mobile devices such as phones, iPods or iPads to capture audio and disseminate sound files to students, parents or colleagues.

One innovative tool demonstrated was iPadio, an App and website where, rather like recording a voicemail, participants can dial a mobile number from their phone to record a message or event. As soon as the phone call finishes, an mp3 file is created, which can be embedded into a website or emailed.

"I use it to capture debates and put them out for people to listen to. If people are away on school trips, the teacher can pull out his phone, dial iPadio, do a little review of the day, and parents as a group can be updated almost in real time," Mr Noble said.

Another tool demonstrated at the workshop was Drop Box, which allows teaching professionals to send files across computers, but it also has a public folder into which files can be dropped. People can be directed to the file, amend and add to it.

"Dozens of teachers I know use Drop Box to link their work files with home or to make files available for pupils," Mr Noble explained.

He also taught teachers how to use the Levelator software, which tidies up podcasts created using Audacity. "All you do is drop your sound file into this black box on your screen and within the space of a minute or so, it equalises, normalises, tidies up, just makes it a more professional recording," he said.

Mr Noble believes teachers are becoming more aware of the benefits of podcasting: "Teachers and lecturers are realising they can very easily capture their own audio, and post them on a website or even email them out."

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