I would definitely consider using Podcasts for my professional learning. After reading the “Enhanced Podcasting” article, I liked the idea of using podcasts with narration to summarize the school week for parents. It can be created with students’ narration and emailed home to parents… Brilliant!
I chose to listen to the Podcast about Student Loans on EdReach. I particularly enjoyed EdReach because it offers lots of information about education all at one central location. I thought this was an intriguing interview with some great opinions and suggestions. I would definitely use a podcast as a professional development tool in the future. The podcast addresses issues in an easy way, as listeners can be away from their comuputer or can multi-task and still receive the information.
During the podcast I listened to, I learned that right now Federal Stafford Student Loans are at 6.8% instead of 3.4%. President Obama is pushing Congress to reduce the interest rate, to help provide students with more stability.
Since Congress did not come up with a long term solution by July 1st, they have voted to extend the 3.4% rate for another year. The podcast addressed the larger issue of a generation of debt and the rising cost of higher education. The podcast addressed how the government has had to subsidize the rising cost, and how keeping the interest rate at 3.4% is only a temporary solution.
One theory the podcast discussed is that the government is perpetuating the increase in college costs because it is gaining huge profits from these student loans. Another idea is that colleges are not investing in the right areas, and are instead spending the government money on sports, such as renovating football fields, instead of giving out more grants.
One idea the author gave which I liked was the idea of online courses. The author suggested that cost savings can occur if the government utilizes technology advances to create more online courses, and thus reduce the costs of college. I would be more than willing to take course entirely online if it made graduate school less expensive!