In the educational literature, previous research – mainly North American – have attempted to assess the impact of podcasting on student performance and attitudes of students. The conclusions of these studies involving both on audio podcasts and video podcasts are at least discordant: some argue that there is no significant difference in the use of the tool, or that the will generate negative behaviors among students – including absenteeism. Others argue that podcasting operates some positive effects on the results, motivation, commitment, anxiety or student satisfaction.
The recent work of Kay (2012) is a perfect example: analyzing 53 research on the integration of podcasting, the author recognized, based on different themes, positive and negative conclusions. If eleven studies conclude that higher scores of students – level exam results or tests, six show that there is no significant difference between students who use the tool and those who do not use. About absenteeism, four research suggests a lack of impact on the presence in while four others were updated less busy classes called “podcastés.”
This lack of clear scientific answers about the advantages and disadvantages of podcasting is perhaps an explanation in ancient philosophy, and especially in Plato’s Phaedrus. As noted by Derrida (1972) in his interpretation of the book, the Greek philosopher sets about writing it is a pharmakon, both poison and a remedy. Thus, for Plato, if writing allows men to be better educated and gives them the ability to remember events, it can also be a tool of alienation able to lose the memory of men or create about volatile disconnected from their author.
We believe that Plato expressed about writing is completely transferable to podcasting. Both are hypomnemata, “supports artificial memory” (Stiegler, 2012a), like the alphabet, Sumerian tablets, photography, computers, Internet, etc.. As mentioned Stiegler (2012b), while hypomnématon carries the ambivalence of the pharmakon, both poison and cure. Therefore, podcasting, as qu’hypomnématon, is no exception to this ambivalence pharmacological: if it allows students to complete their notes, further material to better understand some of the concepts in the context of promoting their learning, podcasting may also contribute to a transmissive learning, making students more passive or even encourage them to do more to come over in person and to rely on these valuable recordings.
However, podcasting only characterize its “pharmacological” is, in our view, particularly technocentric vision. In other words, this would mean that the development of technology would automatically lead to an improvement or a deterioration in the quality of teaching and learning. This is also called technocentric with this vision that the scientific literature has always been based on the supremacy of technology to the detriment of users and contexts, focusing on exploring how this tool could have an impact on these users and not how they could influence the technology.
In contrast to this vision technocentric, we adopted a systemic approach to user-centered that we call ‘pharmacological mediators. ” Indeed, it is the teachers and students who, through their ownership and their use of ICT, will tip the balance toward the pharmakon remedy rather than the side of the poison. Our approach is also “systemic” because we do not expect users as independent entities but as interdependent within a single system.
Beyond the findings of the literature mentioned above, it is necessary to examine, in the light of our approach “pharmacological”, the relevance of methodological conditions of this research. On the one hand, studies on the impact of educational podcasting are difficult to compare because of variations in both the methods used in the contexts in which they were made – academia, disciplines, forms of education, tradition educational, etc.. (Heilesen, 2010). On the other hand, the methodological conditions necessary for a rigorous evaluation of educational impact of the introduction of a technological tool seems very difficult to obtain (II Joy & Garcia, 2000 Barette, 2004). Finally, even in the most optimal conditions, the use of podcasting is only one of many dimensions of the general educational and positive effect on students’ scores can not be strictly due to its introduction into this single device ( Barette, 2004).
In addition, at the conclusion of his summary of meta-analyzes and meta-research on the use of ICT carried out between 1995 and 2010, Loisier (2011, p. 105) points out: “It appears from the research, studies, analyzes and speech of all kinds, he must not look in technologies recipe raising the success rate of learners. Success factors are elsewhere: on the one hand, the personality of the learner and, on the other hand, in the art of teaching that guides and supports. “Therefore, the main challenge does not seem to impact assessment of educational podcasting in a quantitative perspective – its due to methodological impossibility – but understanding the interests of individuals to use the tool and how they take ownership thereof. It is essential to go beyond the traditional belief of the possibility of isolating the variable “pedagogical implications of podcasting” in the evaluation process for our interest to teachers and students in order to “emphasize the importance of active individuals and competence in the interpretation of their lives and the changes introduced by the system. “(Caron et al., 2007, p. 45).
In this context, we have transformed the recurring question of the literature on podcasting – “What is the impact of podcasting on learning? “- A new question:” Why and how users – teachers and students – they fit (or do they not fit) podcasting in their teaching methods and learning strategies? “. This particular focus on teachers and students can open unexplored avenues of research to date. On the one hand, the above technocentrisme denounced led researchers to investigate how technologies guided educational thinking and influenced the results, however, focus on the teachers can understand the perception that they have opportunities for this technology and how they inflect on it so that it meets their needs to the best benefit of their learners (Depover, 1999). It thus appears necessary to replace the podcasting as an educational tool in the device in which it is embedded, that is to say his relationship with the methods of teaching as well as the objectives of the course (Lebrun, 2007). On the other hand, it is essential to understand how this technology sees understood by students: it can certainly be interesting to know their perception and satisfaction with regard to podcasting, it ‘s is mainly to understand how they use and take ownership of this technology in their daily life and student in terms of their learning strategies.