Friday 7 September 2018

Podcasting Into The Future

They are educational, entertaining, sometimes funny but rarely ever boring. What am I talking about? Podcasts! 

In 1979, there was a popular song by The Buggles called “Video Killed the Radio Star.” The catchy tune sang of the inevitable invasion of modern technology, specifically video, taking over the radio. But today, fast forward to four decades later, just like fashion, radio stars have resurfaced in a new digital form called “podcasters”. 

 A British Band, The Buggles with their hit “Video Killed the Radio Star” (1979)

Podcasts in itself are not new as they’ve broken into the scene as early as 2004. (Fun fact: Did you know that podcast derived its name from iPod when it was first introduced by the late Steve Jobs?). However, its popularity to a leap in 2015, riding on the waves of an increasingly connected and digital world. Listed as one of the top future digital trends, brands are quickly banking on this new found love to engage their consumers, particularly a new generation of digital natives. 

But how is podcasting related to education? Podcast presents a great opportunity for educators to leverage this platform as a creative and cost-efficient tool for teaching and learning. Basic podcasting doesn’t require a lot – connectivity, a recording device (most smartphones can do that these days) and some practice. And all these while honing the podcaster’s creativity, storytelling and communication skills. 

In this new digital era, learning has never been more empowered by technology and education will continue to evolve beyond the confines of a classroom and a teacher. Just do a search for “science podcasts” and you’ll get a long list of recommended listens, with shows such as Star Talk Radio by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Science Weekly by The Guardian topping the list. One of my favourites is Science VS, that takes on fads, trends, and the opinionated mob to find out what’s the fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between.

One of the most popular science podcasts around, Star Talk by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Recognising its potential to communicate and spur dynamic discussions around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related topics, Petrosains piloted a podcast series in June this year. The talk series, entitled “Generation: Future Ready” or in short #GENFR, explores the challenges and opportunities in a fast-changing future, and how the generation today can prepare themselves better with the right knowledge and skills to be future-ready. 

Petrosains’ pilot podcast series, Generation: Future Ready or #GENFR

Centered on the themes of Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation, The Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) and Emerging Jobs of Tomorrow, this 12-episode series housed an exciting line-up of industry leaders and experts from diverse backgrounds such as Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Cyberview, Digi, FutureLab, Greenyards, Hap Seng Consolidated Berhad, Open Learning, Petronas ICT, The R.AGE and more! 

Episode 7 on “Smart Technologies and Us”, featuring Richard Ker (Cyberview) and Johnson Lam (KakiDIY) even had a digital personal assistant, ‘Alexa’ made a special appearance. 

It is easy listening over casual conversations on relatable content for youth and young adults. Covering topics such as Impact Driven Entreprises, Learning In The New Frontier,  The Music & Engineering and The Future of Work: A.I. vs Humans (just to have a few), our guests brought a wealth of professional experiences and insights as well as a peek into their personal journey during a fun segment - the “Have You Never Ever Challenge”.  

It’s a wrap! Behind the scenes of the final recording, featuring our guests, Lisa Chan (Petronas ICT) and Tay Yen Pei (Simplify Networks), with the Petrosains-KDU Campus Radio team behind #GENFR. 

So, if you’re enticed about what the hyper disruptive future holds while seeking a rewarding and meaningful career, #GENFR podcast series is now available on our website and multiple podcasting platforms such as Spotify, Google Casts and Anchor through the KDU Campus Radio channel. Generation: Future Ready was produced in collaboration with KDU School of Communication and Creative Arts. 

One might wonder if podcasting could just be another passing fad? I’d say think again - tech giants like Google have ambitious visions for the future of podcasts. And bringing it closer to home in the words of one of our guests, Pn Sri Maimon Arif Patail who helms the Corporate Social Responsibility for Hap Seng Consolidated Berhad, “Such podcasts content have great potentials for career aspirations, think of the exposures this could have especially for our rural school students. And, what a great resource for all teachers!” 

We hope you enjoy learning through the series as much as we’ve enjoyed producing them. Tune in, anytime, anywhere! 

Shared by Joanne Tay
Guest Blogger


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