Podcasts are considered as a modern digital medium of audio content which can be used to deliver certain information. Podcasts have recently been used in formal education and learning and can be played don a variety of mobile and handheld devices, in addition to laptops and desktops.
Currently, podcasts content is diversified; some are very professional and some are no so. It is really hard to generalize and say podcasts are professional learning tools or not because it really depends on the content. Generally speaking however, and given the fact that the learners prefer to use mobile devices for learning, podcasts can be very beneficial and handy.
In the future however, I think podcasts will play a more important role in learning. Many publishers and educational institutions are increasingly offering learning material over podcasts and is hence becoming more reliable. However, there needs to be standards that govern the content and use of podcasts to enable more professional use of it.
One of the great benefits of podcasts is the fact that it can be distributed remotely to the masses and is usually free or low costs. Also, podcasts can be stored easily on many devices as they are small in size. They can be downloaded, stored and later played offline when the user doesn’t have access to the internet. This is exactly what make podcasts very useful and can make it a professional tool in the future.