Education through Podcasting (EPOD) Conference, June 2024

By Sam Coley on June 26th, 2024

The Education through Podcasting (EPOD) Conference, a collaborative effort between Keele University, York St John University, and Morley College, launched its inaugural event on Wednesday, June 19th, and Thursday, June 20th, 2024. Sponsored by Broadcast Radio, HHB, and Routledge, the conference was held at Morley College’s Waterloo Campus in Central London, coinciding with the 5th anniversary of Morley Radio, the College’s radio station, which offered tours of its impressive facilities.

The conference focused on the exploration of podcasting from an educational perspective, bringing together a diverse range of disciplines and viewpoints. Key themes included podcasting as a learning environment, new audio developments and their influence on the podcasting space, and future directions for the podcasting industry. Notable keynote speakers were Nicole Logan from Reduced Listening, Sandy Warr from City, University of London, and Mark Steadman, a creative mentor and podcaster (and proud Birmingham City University alumnus).

I contributed a paper titled “Podcasting as a Tool for Internationalisation: Past Case Studies and Future Opportunities,” which examined podcasting as an efficient, cost-effective, and engaging way to provide students with cross-cultural experiences. The paper began by exploring the origins of educational radio, its use in distance learning, and its influence on the production of educational podcasts. I presented case studies profiling several international projects, demonstrating how radio and podcasting can develop collaborative, practice-based learning initiatives. Through audio excerpts, I showed how these initiatives encourage interactions between students from different academic institutions and countries, delivering practical skills while fostering a global mindset.

Today’s students live in a global economy that requires “employability and life skills, knowledge, attitudes, and the ability to live and work across borders and within different cultural contexts; in effect, to become global citizens” (Atkin et al., 2015, p. 3). Student exchange schemes can be an effective way to deliver these attributes. However, the Universities UK Group reports a significant decline in UK students participating in exchange/study abroad schemes in recent years. My paper discussed how podcasting could potentially serve as an affordable alternative, enhancing the internationalisation of HE curricula and delivering meaningful learning outcomes.

As Swiatek (2018) notes, podcasts can create multi-social relationships that “cross socio-cultural boundaries, as well as international time and distance divides” (p.180). This was demonstrated by the work of Chudová and Kallus (2022), who profiled a collaborative podcast project between Masaryk University in the Czech Republic and a partner university in Poland. Students created 15-minute recordings, including group presentations, panel discussions, or expert interviews, which were then used to produce a series of transnational podcasts. These podcasts encouraged clear and effective communication while building valuable soft and hard skills, such as time management, research, attention to detail, presentation, leadership, team roles, and practical media recording and editing abilities.

Although the presentation was primarily pedagogically focused, certain elements were informed by my past research for BCMCR’s “Media and Place” cluster, which examined audience interactions and the local/global reach of podcasting and terrestrial radio. It also provided a useful foundation for a practice-based research project I’m currently developing. Proceedings from the conference will be published by Routledge in 2025.

I’m grateful for the hard work of the EPOD Founding Committee: Professor Carola Boehm from the University of Staffordshire, Tim Canfer from Keele University, Camilo Salazar from Morley College London, and Associate Professors Russ Hepworth-Sawyer and Mark Marrington from York St John University. Based on the initial success of the conference, I am hopeful it will become a regular event.



Atkin, C. Rose, A. John Sharp, J. Hill, Y. Adams, K. Sayers, R. (2015), Internationalising the curriculum: a developmental resource for initiating transformational

Chudová, K. Kallus, C. (2022 Developing Creativity, Soft Skills and Skills for Life through International Podcasting, Erasmus INCOLLAB Project.

Swiatek, L. (2018) The Podcast as an Intimate Bridging Medium, in: Llinares, D., Fox, N., Berry, R. (eds) Podcasting. Palgrave Macmillan