The History of Radio From Hertz To The Web. Communication, Entertainment and Education

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2016
80 Pages, Grade: Communication, Education

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Table of contents

Communications Technologies

Education and Communication

Radio - From Hertz To The Web

Web Radio - State of Art

The Educative Strand of The Hertz Radio To The Web Radio

The Educative Modalities of The Radio in The Digital Era

The Stations of Educative Centers

Arquitecture of Radio-Learning

The Case Study of Rádio Universitária do Minho

The University Web Radios

Radio Universidad de Navarra: The Case Study




The technological convergence of the mass media is the result of a long adaptation process of their communicative resources to the evolutionary changes of each historical moment. Thus, the new media became (plurally) an extension of the traditional media, allowing to the public access information in a wide range of digital devices. In this sense, our qualitative study with empirical descriptive nature focuses on a literature review about Web Radio and its educative strand. This is an innovator and incipient issue on literature when investigating the potentialities of the radiophonic universe to the online educative process. By itself, the fruitful study follows the path of the radiophonic evolution integrating the online education on the media sphere, especially on the production of educational content to the programs and the conception of a new language to the environment, a promising ambience to the contemporary radiophonic culture. Due to the unusual nature of this investigation, we intend to promote the phenomenon of the “Educative Modalities of Radio on the Digital Era”, that makes itself present on many European countries, at the same time, expanding the debate among the international scientific community. Such information offers us consistent elements to move from the tacit to the explicit knowledge, with property of causes and consequences, going beyond the bibliographic limitations.

Keywords: Media Convergence; Educative Technology; Radio-Learning; Radio Educative Modalities; Interactivity; Collaboration.

Communications Technologies

Communications technologies allow for the annihilation of distance and for globalization - the potential for rapid, synchronous and asynchronous communication also changes the relationship to time (Castells, 2000a). This is because communication technologies, such as the Internet, allow for decentralization of operations and focusing of control, increasing the effectiveness of networks relative to hierarchical structures (Castells, 2000b). To Dennis Macquail (2010, p.4), “the term mass communication was coined along with that of mass media, early in the twentieth century to describe what was then a new social phenomenon and a key feature of the emerging modern world that was being built on the foundations of industrialism and popular democracy”. Today, the mass media (newspapers, magazines, cinema, television, radio) developed rapidly to reach formats of virtual media on the network society, providing new supports of communication (Teixeira, 2012c).

Corollary between technology and culture, body and machine, David Hakken (1999) seeks answers to the contemporary cultural anxieties around a notorious “cyberculture”, which he conceptually disdains. Macek (2004) denotes that he describes cyberspace as a social space, technologically mediated and deeply involved in a social interaction system, referring to all lifestyles possibly related to the cultural being (re)produced by the new information and communication technologies.

Thereby, emerges the concept of Glocalization as one of the main aspects of media convergence (mass media to net media). “Glocalization is essentially a hybrid of globalization and localization. Glocalization is likely to empower local communities through strategic linking of global resources to address local issues for positive social change and to balance changing cultural interests and community needs”, says Mendis (2007, p.2). However, it was the ability to connect these technologies together, giving rise to such networks, which expanded and integrated the individual and groups into a wider setting and new standards of globalization. As regards education, it is considered that this new configuration allows communication to expand the territory of the local school to deterritorialized areas of knowledge, enabling viewing school as a true learning community (Silva, 1998). In other words, it is a cultural virtualization of human reality as a result of the migration from physical to virtual space (mediated by the ICTs), ruled by codes, signs and particular social relationships. Forwards, arise instant ways of communication, interaction and possible quick access to information, in which we are no longer mere senders, but also producers, reproducers, co-workers and providers. New technologies also help to “connect” people from different cultures outside the virtual space, what was unthinkable fifty years ago. In this giant relationships web, we mutually absorb each other’s beliefs, customs, values, laws and habits, cultural legacies perpetuated by a physical-virtual dynamics in constant metamorphosis.

These new interfaces brought facility of access to communication by the increase of storage capacity of news and by the processing speed of information in real time, promoting their educational applications inside and outside classrooms, with the possibility of sharing and storing contents in audio, video, image or text. When it comes to net media that develops “sociocultural activities” for informal and non-formal education, they almost always include formal programs when oriented directly to the school’s curriculum. The relatively recent development of the digital era has spawned interest in what has come to be called “virtual reality” and in delineating what this means for learning and creation of virtual learning environments (Weiss et al., 2006).

Anyway, to Teixeira (2015), new lifestyles are permeated by a global culture that enhances new sociability ways in the contemporary world through digital technologies. In fact, the need of new sociability behaviours promoted new ways of technological development, changing, shifting and creating unusual relations between Man and information and communication technologies (Lemos, 2003). This was exactly what happened at the turn of the 20th century to 21st century when many revolutionary network communication electronic devices were developed. As a consequence of globalization and technological growth, the subsequent multiculturalism established a new social structure, consisting of different kinds of people and corporations, guided by interactions, collaborations and knowledge exchange in the newly adult virtual universe. Therefore, communication gains a major role in knowledge building, turning the educational act into something more dynamic and appealing. In this sense, arise a new model of virtual communication (2014) based on “Mother of All Models” of Shannon and Weaver (1949):

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Figure 1. Adapted by Mother of All Models” of Shannon and Weaver (1949)

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Figure 2. The Communication Model of Virtual Universe

Relations between humans, work and intelligence itself depend on the constant metamorphosis of information devices of all kinds: writing, reading, watching, hearing, creating, learning are captured by a more advanced informatics, and it is no longer possible to conceive scientific research without a complex tool, that distributes old divisions between experience and theory (Lévy, 2010).

Education and Communication

The means of social communication have always performed a significant pedagogical role, something that has already been thoroughly investigated and it is known to have roughly two separate moments: a moment of open pedagogy, entertainment and leisure fulfillment as its main activity; and another when the media decide to broadcast a specific form of knowledge organization (Moran, 1994). According to Mário Kaplún (1998), in the educative communication context, the focus is on language acquisition and enrichment as well as on communicative competence. Communication is not seen simply as a helping tool anymore, but as a basic pedagogical and methodological component to be used in both teaching and learning. It can be said that communication is an element which acts on individuals, as it is through it that people interact with each other, exchanging information. Therefore, understanding communication results in the perception of human relations, in a process involving individualities, stories, feelings, values and ways of perceiving the world, bringing on changes in the way society individuals feel, think and act.

Therefore, communication gains a major role in knowledge building, turning the educative act into something more dynamic and appealing, according to Sartori and Martini (2005, p.6): “To Educate and to Communicate are verbs that tag along each other.” Then emerges the concept of Educommunication, which can be defined as “a set of actions inherent to planning, implementing and evaluating processes, programs and products designed to create and to strengthen “communicative ecosystems” in real or virtual educative spaces as well as to improve the communicative coefficient of educative actions, including those related to the use of informational resources in learning processes” (Soares, 2000, p.63). Such practices allow communicative resources to be inserted in the educative environment, not only as didactic interfaces (educative technologies) or objects of analysis (critical reading of the media) but mainly as a way to express oneself and to produce cultural practices (Horta and Eliany Salvatierra, 2006).

However, the Educommunicative paradigm demands a new way of thinking about the pedagogic models and new strategies to intervene in society; strategies that could respond to media and education contemporary processes. This demand is valid because both the technological development and the social and economic changes, as producers of new cultural patterns, have caused the school to realign itself regarding what is demanded from it: intentional actions that prepare people to insert themselves with a critical posture towards society (Sartori, 2006).

Since education and communication are concepts that cannot be dissociated; now, more than ever, institutions are making intense use of technological resources in order to turn information into knowledge in virtual teaching environments (Correia and Tomé, 2007). Hence, the main activity yet to be developed by educators is to advise educational institutions on the use of New Technologies of Information and Communication as a didactic support, promoting and spreading their educative applications inside and outside classrooms (Moran, 1994). This process belongs to a cycle that is based on the assumption that new technologies applied to education would solve all time, distance and transport issues, although never dissociated from the traditional teaching methods (Teixeira, 2012).

Commenting on the link between information and learning, Pinto (2002, p.185) concludes that “Information is present, more and more complex and frequent, in the environment surrounding the learner. His/her perceptions build in a structured manner (education) an informational model that he/she uses to survive in this very environment.” When it comes to mass media that develop sociocultural activities of informal and non-formal education, they almost ever include formal programs when oriented directly to the school’s curriculum (Trilla, 1998). That is the case of school and college web-broadcasted radio stations, which have an informative nature, but are very much biased towards formativeness, establishing mixed-type educommunicative configurations.

Since the late 90’s the introduction of ICTs in education is accepted by school systems all over the world as an epitome of development in human history, and national governments have been massively investing in equipment, software and teacher’s continuous training, as “innovative technology resources” appear. In an opposite way, the country is labelled as a poor and info-excluded nation by the “International Bureau of Education”.

Aviram (2000), a globalized stigma was generated which co-relates the technological apparatus of school, university and learning centre education quality, synonymous with skilled labour, though there is no scientific evidence to support the argument that information and communication technologies are conclusive to the young and adult people’s learning process. Wouldn’t they be helpers? The author suggests that the most significant development resulting from ICTs revolution happens outside the school, thus, indicating the great amount of students who neither study at home nor belong to any formal education system (common practice in the United Kingdom). Bearing in mind the English case, the author states middle class people believe that the chances for their children’s educational progress are better at home (helped by didactic tools and support groups on the Internet) than at school.

The same happens at the universities with thousands of students attending upper level online courses. It is a fact that cyberspace allows self- learning, eases interactivity and encourages the exchange of information and knowledge, but it does not assure the success of learning, commonly discouraged by the lack of incentive. That is why school and teachers play an important role as mediators of the knowledge to be developed, together with teaching strategies, teaching materials and teaching methodologies.

At the same time, certain unknown or disregarded particularities sometimes make the difference when we “link”1 education to cyberculture. Having this in mind, André Lemos (2003, p.2), suggests new possibilities of knowledge socialization through three cyberculture laws: a) Law of Transmission Pole Liberation; b) Law of Connectivity; c) Law of Reconfiguration. The first refers to a change in the communication model, i.e. from a massive unidirectional model (from one to everyone) to an interactive- collaborative model, a post-massive multidirectional model (from everyone to everyone), whose maxim is “you’ve got everything on the internet”, “you can everything on the internet”. In the second, he states that “the network is everywhere”, greatly widespread, connecting everything to everyone (Teixeira and Ferreira, 2014).

The growing interconnection between digital communication devices enlarges the exchange of information between men and men, men and machines and, also, between machines and machines. Finally, the third is opposed to a mere replacement of the practice and favourable to its remodelling given the new possibilities rendered operational by cyberspace, thus avoiding the logic of replacement or the annihilation of old models, since, as Lima (2011) perceives Lemos (2003), the various expressions of cyberculture are ways of reconfiguring practices, media forms and spaces, without replacing their respective antecedents. There is an urgent need in education to change traditional teaching, secularly institutionalized, by reconfiguring educommunicative methods according to the new socio-technical context in vogue, given the emergency of new ways of interactive communication (from many to many) and the myriad of information content on the network. From now on, to go along with the media evolution and to use old and new communication resources is a great challenge, due to all specificities of each educational context (circumstantial situations resulting from changes in collective consciousness on the network). This is obviously in a figurative sense, since media literacy is not available to most of the world population. To the lucky “digital natives” it is possible to apply what has been mentioned, i.e. a virtual universe that motivates collective intelligence; hypertext; artificial intelligence; synchronous and asynchronous communication tools; virtual communities; design, production and distribution of products, information and services; mass collaboration; and interactivity in real time, in which people are linked and share knowledge (through pictures, videos, texts and audio) at a global level. For example, in some countries, the web radio is being used as an educational interface in virtual learning environments responsible for the divulging of various cultural activities on schools or universities.

Radio - From Hertz To The Web

Analyzing the history of radio, we can observe a natural path of adaptation of the Mass Media to the technologic changes of each period, particularly, on the modes of emission, reception and exchange of information between the stations and their public, says Teixeira (2012a) on the book “The Faces of Communication”. Harwood and Asal (2007) understand these modifications as the change of a unidirectional to a multidirectional model of communication media that stimulates, effectively, the collaborative exchange of information. In this regard, Silva (2008) supports the same rhetoric, considering that is a new relation between emission/message/reception, different from that which characterizes the unidirectional model typical from the mass media, based, exclusively, on the information transmission. In symmetry with the radiophonic context, Lopez (2010) realized that the competition changed, the production of information became decentralized, the geographic limits reduced and the public became more participative, sharing their common interests about the programs with their peers. So, the radio no more emits for a “passive listener”, but for consumers avid for mobility, time flexibility and synchronous and asynchronous interactivity. Now, the “new listener” is ever more consumer and producer of information and services, called “Prosumer” by Surhone, Timpledon and Marseken (2010), and comprehended by Teixeira (2013e) as a consequence of the media virtualization.

To Teixeira (2009), the Web Radio or e-Radio can be defined as the radiophonic emission on the Internet in real time, usually in audio formats (MP3, MP4, OGG Vorbis, WebPlayer, Real Audio, Windows Media Audio and HE- ACC). Different from traditional radio, your transmission could be followed by images, videos, texts, pictures and links. This advance allows the listener to do much more than just listen, making communication much more dynamic. Currently, it is possible to conduct online education, offering didactic material in PDF files or Word documents, video, podcast, and have access to up-to-date information through the RSS feed, clear up doubts with the instructor / educator through messenger, e-mail, chat, twitter, forums, as well as the interactivity in real time, through audioconference or videoconference. It is about the combination of various elements: Ubiquity, flexibility, low cost, emission in real time, synchronous and asynchronous communication, multidirected connectivity, multimedia sharing, streaming, collaboration and interactivity integrated with e-learning.

Often, the online reproduction of hertz signal through codification in the personal computer, through streaming, reproduces the emission on the Internet. The data is sent from PC packages for audio, video, text, images for Internet, which are stored on the platform online and made available to the public, which has access to a range of interactive resources. The web radio is nothing more than digital radio with support of the Internet, which allows the presence of audio, video, text, and promoting the emergence of new genres and new forms of interaction (ibidem).

Similarly, Tapscott and Williams (2010) say that the global interaction, based on the sharing of information and knowledge, and the advances of the technologies of information and communication, modified the concept of economy and society for ever: The consumers become producers and the producers become consumers of contents, goods and services, in a new planetary economic model, without restrictions or barriers, induced by a continuous process of massive collaboration. Is the open source transmission, the free divulgation, the decentralized and multi-polarized information, the fortuitous interaction, the purposeful communication, the shared, distributed creation and co-creation that find their maximum expression on the virtual environment, ideas from Castells (2001) on his famous work “The Internet Galaxy, Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society”. Corollary between organism and machine, Lemos (2003) argues that the emergency of new forms of communication and sociability foster other ways of technological development, changing and promoting unusual relations between man and the information and communication technologies, literary exponent of a “networked society”, connected, collaborative, hypertextual without corporeal presentiality and supported by Web 2.0 interfaces, recently, by resources of semantic web and by cloud computing, add Teixeira (2013a). This way, appears a set of possibilities brought by the digital age, opening paths to hybridizations between knowledge fields mediated by communication media, like radio.

Teixeira, Perona Páez and Daher (2010), based in Cordeiro (2005), explain that from hertz to Web the radio developed another language incorporating new elements to its discursive structure, by the form that the user takes an active attitude of research and consumption of contents and services. In parallel, the scheme of radiophonic emission and reception needed to follow this evolution, favoring the fragmentation of audiences in function of their specific interests (Cordeiro, 2004).

In fact, the traditional stations understood that the web radio could raise an audience in constant decline, providing a segmented, asynchronous, flexible and specialized in time and age program schedule (Geller, 2007). If for the advertisers the traditional radio had a low financial cost and reached a great number of people geographically dispersed, the internet emissions further lowered this cost, with a global level market share. So, the emissions began to operate on the hertz and web formats, giving to the advertisements an impact much bigger than the isolated hearing stimulus and, thus, a virtually decisive influence about the customer reaction, according with Katz (2004). Just as Straubhaar, Larose and Davenport (2012) mentioned, the contributions of the web radio to the networked society are undeniable, considering a new work dynamic supported by interactive resources and that allows the transmission of information to be made quickly and by different ways, stimulating, also, the sharing of contents with the public, that collaborate and intervene actively in the programming in real time.

We know, by communication theorists like Mashall Macluhan and Powers (1992), Dennis Macquail (2010), Henry Jenkins (2008), Jesus Martín-Barbero (2001), Lev Manovich (2001), among others, that the technological evolutions converged to an academic consensus about the concept of communication media, but today many people question the validity of the Web TV, Web Radio, Online Newspapers, for example, as mass media. About this text, we vaguely remember that on the humanity history the media evolution happened on an isolated way (case by case) and the development of some of them was responsible, direct or indirectly, by the development of other by a simple question of adaptation to the technologic changes and preferences of an audience eager for news. Inclusive, Teixeira (2013b) says that from the XX to the XXI century, radio passed by several evolutionary changes, between them we highlight functional differences and the emission format, let’s see:

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Table 1. Differences Between Radio Hertz and Web Radio

The convergence is described by Cádima (2009) as the capacity of different network platforms to serve as vehicle to services essentially similar or the combination of customer devices, like telephone, television, radio and personal computer, integrated in platforms that have as objective the common application of digital technologies to the systems associated to the delivery of the services. Grounded on this assumption, we investigated how the process of convergence occurred from the Hertz Radio to the Web Radio and its educative strand, guided by the little bibliography about the theme. This is the way our study contributes to broadcast new knowledge about the educative modalities of radio on the digital era (Teixeira e Perona Páez, 2014).

This book relates to an empirical descriptive qualitative study, in which we describe the journey of the traditional radio and the internet and, following its path, its educative strand. Mortgaged by "Modalidades Educativas De La Radio En La Era Digital", of the journalist, theorist and teacher of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona - Juan José Perona Páez, we defined the scope of the aspects which we approached in our investigation. Driven by these characteristics, we used the Literature Review and the Case Study as Methodological Strategies. As Dendaluce (1988) and Yin (2012) say, we investigate to learn the evolution of the concrete case, to understand specific situations, to describe dynamically what is happening, to explain the mutual influences of the factors and components of a situation, to see the causes and consequences of certain interventions, to study a particular aspect of the problem in an extensive and more or less in depth way. Be the case unique or multiple, intrinsic, instrumental or collective, the researcher will always be supported by well developed and tested methods on each scientific field, concludes Stake (2006). The research was made from January to December of 2013, based on the specialized radiophonic literature found on books, periodicals, scientific papers, doctorate thesis, Master’s dissertations, monographs, reports, among others, with emphasis on the studies of Marcelo Mendonça Teixeira, Juan José Perona Páez and Bento Duarte da Silva.

Web Radio - State of The Art

Etymologically, the word “radio” derived from the Latin “radius” = ray, also known as “radiotelegraphy” or “wireless telegraphy” until the 1920s. In turn, radiotelegraphy is based on the word “radioconductor” - substance or device that have its conductivity changed in some way by electric waves - from the French Édouard Eugène Désiré Branly (Teixeira, 2012b). The name “wireless telegraphy” was conceived because many radiocommunication projects developed in the late XIX century could not transmit voice or sound. A little known fact is that one of the factors that contributed to the development of radio as a Mass Media was the creation of the “radar” (Radio Detecting and Ranging), in 1904. The radar provides radiofrequency to the antenna by electromagnetic pulses, that is, the same principle of the radio broadcasting (ibidem).

In the contemporary literature, we have a large collection about the history of radio, but few are the registers about its trajectory on the Web. Since the priest Roberto Landell de Moura did the first transmission of spoken word, by electromagnetic waves, on Brazil, in 1893, the radio continues to improve. As said by Santos (2003, p.9) referencing Albuquerque (1988, p. 50): “Marconi is the initiator of the electronic telegraphic emission-reception. Landell de Moura is the pioneer of the photonic-electronic voice transmission-reception, being the precursor of the radiodifusion”. One hundred years after the Landell achievement, precisely in 1993, the scientist Carl Malamud, founder of the Internet Multicasting Service (Internet service for multiple receivers), creates the Internet Talk Radio - The first internet radio station (Malamud, 1997), sponsored by the O’Reilly Media previously O’Reilly & Associates, of the Irish Tim O’Reilly, creator of the Web 2.0 term, says Teixeira (2009). Consequence of the Globalization and technological expansion, the multimediality prescribed a new communicational structure between the people in the “Virtual Universe”. That is how emerged a new technological-informational paradigm, in the words of Castells (2010a), and a new culture of access to the information, where the human expressions and creativity are standardized and (hyper) linked in a worldwide electronic hypertext that modifies, substantially, the social forms of space and time: From the space of places to the space of streams, from the time marked by the clock to the timeless time of the networks (Ruiz, 2002).

Now, the radio is part of a complex global connection system, fed by massive procedures of collaboration between people on computer networks, says Teixeira (2009).

Reis (2011) claims that the fast progress on the development and improvement of the information and communication technologies highlights an universe of possibilities to the communication between distinct populations, unimaginable before, with the opening of research fields that offer investigation opportunities and application in an universe that renews itself every moment” (p. 252). Adapting the author’s words, we believe that the coexistence between the hertzian and the online radio figures as a universe where the communication increases itself on an inexorable way.

To understand the breadth of this reality, we analyzed the historical events that preceded the hertzian radiophony and conceived the internet radio. So, we built a “timeline” detailing the main facts that occurred on the history of radio and its use as a pedagogical resource, based on the doctorate thesis of Teixeira (2013a):

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Table 2. Differences Between Radio Hertz and Web Radio

The migration of the radio to the Internet allowed the opening of multiple communication channels and several interactive possibilities to the radio stations, circumstance that led to the creation of platforms to scholar and academic communities on the net, acting as a constellation of elements with textual, audiovisual and multimedia character, say Piñeiro-Otero e Ramos (2011). But the process of convergence and media transfer does not resume to the radio: On the one hand, the communication media is on a process of property concentration and integration of audio, video, text and image. On the other, the Internet and the digital supports individualized and democratized the access to the communication and the interaction, allowing the immediate development of new alternative or cooperative media that, on the same time, affect the traditional communication media (Raboy and Solervinces, 2005).

The described prospect, conceptualized by Fidler (1997) as “Mediamorphosis”, reflects the “Information Era” projected by Castells (2010b), that confirms the Macluhan and Powers (1992) theory about “Global Village”, as contextualize Teixeira and Ferreira (2014). Participating on the sociocultural production of the mass media and developing independent networks of horizontal communication, the citizens on the digital era are capable to invent new programs to their lives, completes Castells (2009). By his turn, Macquail (2003) agrees that the digitalization and technological convergence have revolutionary and unpredictable consequences, but not necessarily impose the end of the traditional communication media, acting more like an addiction to the mediated communication then as a substitute of the already existent. To Teixeira and Silva (2010), the use of the radio as educational resource contributed to its vitalization with the audience generation after generation, especially in periods of war or financial crisis. The following topics discuss the secular articulation between radio and education.

The Educative Strand of the Hertz Radio to the Web Radio

Speaking about education, we must consider the several contexts and procedures where it is developed. Silva (1998, p.60) divides the “educative universe” in three contexts susceptible to generate educative defects: Formal, non-Formal and Informal. The “Formal” context comprehends the educational institutions, having as basis a rationalized, sequential and systematic curriculum. The “non-Formal” context comprehends the set of institutions with intentional nature and with defined objectives, but that doesn’t make part of the Formal system. Comprehends also the extracurricular education and fulfills to very heterogeneous objectives: Permanent and adult education, sociocultural animation, education for the free time, community development, professional retraining and reconversion, etc. This modality can exist in formats similar to the scholar education (as, for example, the “scholar clubs”) - or in systems with more freedom, appealing to social communication media and specific educative technologies.

The “Informal” context that comprehends the set of procedures and factors which have educative effects without being expressly configured to this end, is promoted without explicit pedagogical mediation and spontaneously takes place from the relation between the individual and his human, social and cultural environment (Teixeira, 2009). This modality often manifests under the familiar and environment spheres, but is present also in the Formal and Non- Formal contexts. For example, the notion of “hidden curriculum”, present on the scholar system, adapts to this type of Non Formal education (ibidem). Aware of this differentiation of the educative contexts, we must consider that with the development of the mass media, the school hegemony as the only source of knowledge transmission was challenged. Therefore, by the popularization of the books, newspapers, radio and television, a new agent joined the family and the school, transmitting knowledge and attitudes, coated with a new style, so called “parallel school”.

Is in this context that the educative potential of the radio must be analyzed. Since the “Golden Era”, the radio showed to have a deep impact in the people’s life, inclusively, as an effective political propaganda resort (Oliveira, 2010). Portela (2011, p. 35) says that “In the early years, the people sat in saloons to hear the radio, searching for information, education and distraction, that came in the form of dramatic or comic plays”. Everywhere in the world were frequent the meeting of neighbors, friends and familiars to hear radio emissions of music, radio dramas and radio theatre, being that “the radio formed the public opinion in the private sphere, becoming progressively the first media truly for the masses” (idem, p. 35). From the popular adhesion to the radio entertainment quickly could be evidenced pedagogical purposes to the radio, giving way to the radio formation.

Acting, mainly, in the field of the non-formal education (in activities of sociocultural animation and adult education), and through community radios, the radio-formation aims to establish a participative and inclusive relation with the population to whom the programs are destined, highlights the Teixeira (2009) studies. In this topic, we can highlight the pioneer spirit of the Argentine pedagogue Mário Kaplún which since the 40s did effective use of the radio at the service of the education. In 1942, yet a young teacher (19 years old), he emitted his first educative program on radio (about the history of Argentina), using the format of radio theatre titled Escuela Del Aire (Silva Pintos, 2001). The innovation consisted in put a substantive content to the narrative, without forgetting the entertainment: “Mario knew how to use all the resources of the theatre to transmit serious contents. Had the dramatization in his soul: knew how to tell, provoke interest, and capture the audience’s attention. Knew how to communicate. But while others did suspense, mystery or fairy tales, he dealt with our preoccupations” (Silva Pintos, 2001). At the same decade, in 1946, the University of South Africa (UNISA) opened correspondence courses and, in 1947, through the Radio Sorbonne, transmits classes of almost all disciplines ministered on the Faculty of letters and human sciences of Paris. In the middle of the 50s, when critics thought that was the end of the radio as Mass Media, because of the television, the inverse happened, with the growth of the sales of the portable radios focusing the transmissions of the soccer world cup, affirms Teixeira (2009), but there is no doubt that his educative strand never lose his value to the communicologist educators (ibidem).

Whether in Argentina, or in the other countries he was exiled (like Uruguay, Costa Rica and Venezuela), Mário Kaplún used the radio as communicative and educative media, to put in practice the ideas of the “liberating education” of Paulo Freire. Along with his team, he gone to the communities to promote the direct contact with the population and to adapt the contents to the concrete realities lived there, in order to the message of the programs be correctly perceived in light of the sociocultural contexts of the respective communities. In 1977, he conceived the “Cassette Forum” method, that benefitted the “Emerec” perspective of the participants (applying the concept of Jean Coutier), whose main objective was to do from the communicational process an intergroup dialogue. Each group received material about the theme of one side of the cassette tape, recording on the other side its contributions to a more wide debate, receiving in the end a new cassette with the recording of a synthesis of the contribution of each involved group. The first experience occurred with a group of farmers in Uruguay and the development of these practices with other popular groups permitted to Káplun to conceive the method of “critical reading of the media” (Silva Pintos, 2001). With these experiences, that established a fruitful relationship between education and communication, Mário Káplun is considered by some authors (Silva, 1998; Schaun, 2002; Rodrígues, 2009) as a precursor of the pedagogical edu- communicative movement, whose fundaments are enshrined in his work titled “Una Pedagogía de La Comunicación” (Kaplún, 1998).

The decades of 1960 and 1970 in the XX century where the golden years of the radio-formation, as we can note in the vast bibliography and reports of institutions, like UNESCO, with the incidence of radio in service of the adult education (Maddison, 1971; Waniewicz, 1972; Burke, 1976). John Maddison, author of a report to UNESCO about the role of radio and television in the fight against illiteracy, verified on the results of a survey about literacy (1967-1969) with the Education Ministries of 40 countries (20 on Africa, 12 on North, South and Central Americas, 5 on Asia and 3 on Europe), that all of them declared to use the radio (21 used also the television), numbers that represented an expansion in relation to a similar assessment did in 1964, in which only 17 countries indicated the possibility of use the radio and television on the literacy works (Maddison, 1971, p.5).

In relation to Brazil, the report highlighted the action of the educational foundation FEPLAM (Fundação Educativa Padre Landell de Moura), that used the radio and TV on the alphabetization of the rural population of Rio Grande do Sul - Basis Education Movement (MEB - Movimento de Educação de Base), that had 21 radiophonic schools that reached 70 thousand students in 8 states, and refers also to the Universidade Federal do Rio do Norte that, through his Rural Formation Center, had emissions of basic education, either via radio or television, destined to the technical formation of 10 thousand people on the rural and urban zones. José Filho (2010, p. 21) attributes to MEB, constituted in 1961, “a wide spectrum of popular education work, in the fields of alphabetization and social mobilizations of the peasants”, using the radio as a basic pedagogical tool, which allowed, “in function of its characteristics, the development of activities that aimed, at the same time, the use of communication techniques, considered ahead of its time, in a distance education perspective, and its interaction with the local activities, inside the classroom and the communities” (ibidem, p. 23).

Due to the universal scope of the radio, was possible reach the furthest places of the country, changed into classrooms. To achieve the objective of alphabetize adults, were developed three pedagogical activities: “The community get together”, the “Meetings” and the “Our joint effort”. “The community gets together” was a radio program, broadcasted on Saturdays, constituted by dramatized dialogues about the rural day by day, serving as an encouraging element of the reunions did on the communities at the Sundays. The programs had a strong entertainment component, fundamental strand on the pedagogical process that was used. The “meetings”, that started to be made in 1963, had the objective of direct contact with the populations and to plan the kind of work more suited to the continuation of the sociocultural dynamics, competing, then, the radiophonic work. The “Our joint effort” was also a radio program, inspired on the common practice of the working classes to do works of solidarity and fellowship, that recurred to the radio theatre genre, based on short sketches about situations lived by the people of the community, presenting “the background questions that served as a basis to a discussion between the monitors or leaders and the community, on the classrooms or any other place where was a radio. (Filho, 2010, p. 31).

In a perspective closest of the formal education scenario, were created stations dedicated to the planned offer of formation courses. Maybe the most exemplar case on the XX century is the foundation, in 1965, of the Radio ECCA (Emissora Cultural das Canárias / Espanha), considered one of the most important projects of radio-formation in the Europe (Pérez, 2005b), so as the Radio UNED (linked to the Universidad de Educación a Distancia), in 1997, on higher education.

Based on the exposed, we can verify that the radio had a strong intervention in education, on the formal and non-formal contexts, fact that is recognized by the authors that study the distance education, considering the radio as one of the main technologies responsible for the second technological generation that boosted in a decisive way this modality of teaching-learning (Moore e Kearsley, 2007; Gomes, 2008). In general, on the European scholar system, mainly, in countries like Spain, Portugal, England, Italy and France, were registered experiences about the use of the radio, as pointed Teixeira, Silva and Daher Teixeira (2008) and Teixeira and Perona Páez (2010). In complement to this affirmative, Pérez (2005b) observes that one of the priorities of the distance education was to reach the rural workers of the Europe, in an attempt to fulfill the ideals of universalization of the educational opportunities and to keep the people in the rural areas, avoiding the overpopulation in the urban zones. So, the states kept creating opportunities of activities and studies in the areas of agriculture, by correspondence or radio.

In the 80s, on the context of the free and community radios, groups of students acquired equipment and arranged studios, “pirate” style, starting to emit, on the “speaker” mode, information and music for the living spaces of the school. Some of these “plays” gave origin to radio clubs (integrating also teachers), existent in many schools and, taking advantage of the dynamics of the internet development on schools, many radios became Web Radios (Teixeira, 2013a).

Despite the absence of a historical milestone about the radio on internet for learning purposes, the first projects arose and consolidated in the end of the 90s, parting from projects coming from the conventional radio. In this period, emerged the first experiences of educative Web radio, that configured a scenario where coexist different initiatives, directed to the Formal and nonFormal education for the different teaching levels. Marciel Consani’s book (2007) “How to use the radio in the classroom”, is a reference work for the use of the radio language in education, idealized and developed for educators as a didactical-pedagogical resource, for class supporting.

Considering the actual scenario, it is worth highlight a set of factors that influenced an uneven international bibliographic production between the traditional educative radio and the educative radio on internet, among them, the resistance of some authors in recognize the Web Radio as radio and the lack of theoretical basis about the concept and attributed competences (Teixeira, Silva and Perona Páez, 2011). Hence the importance of investigate, justify and prove, with scientific rigor, the maxim that independent of the transmission channel, either Web or Hertz, we will be talking about radio where there is a continuous and direct transmission of a sound signal, whose present produce effects on the real life time of the listener, assures Portela (2011). The evolution of the hertzian radiophony to the digital environment implied a renewal of the sound product that, with the incorporation of multimedia elements (visual, textual) inherent to the digital system, reaches a projection beyond the sound and geographic scope, with new forms of creation, emission, diffusion and sharing of contents and services. Thus, the Web Radio reflects on a globally emergent media culture, with identity, in the service of the information, the communication, the publicity, the entertainment, the culture, the teaching and the learning (Piñeiro-Otero and Ramos, 2011), evidenced in this work.

The radio is distinguished on the education not only on the communicative sense, but as an interface of mixed or virtual formation, characterized by the absence of temporal determinations or limitations, encouraged by synchronous and asynchronous interactions with clear objectives of teaching/learning. Discuss the teaching-learning through radio assumes the necessary relationship between two realities, by themselves multi- faceted and shifting in diverse regional and technological contexts. On one hand, is the scholar or university educational institution, and on other, the radio sound stations and their related manifestations of the multiplicity of the offer (Ferraretto, 2008).

The Educative Modalities of the Radio in The Digital Era

Intending to promote a theoretical reflection about the contributions of the radio for the education, the Spanish journalist and educommunicator Juan José Perona Paéz, based on the studies about the audiovisual programming and the structure of communication, developed, in 2007, the Educative Modalities of the Radio in The Digital Era and classified them in: Stations of Educative Centers; Educative Programs; Edu-Web Radios; Formative Stations; Socio Formative Stations, to which we add, based in our studies (Teixeira, 2009; Teixeira and Silva, 2010; 2011), the Educommunicative Stations and the Radio-Learning. To Perona Páez and Veloso (2007), the educative modalities of the radio have been entering a stage of clear expansion, in both the scholar radios and the university radios, from which have tried to take advantage of the network as a platform of diffusion of programs in the sense of a Formal, non-Formal and Informal Education.

This way, the technological advances experienced on the field of the new technologies has permitted, between other things, that the modalities of the educative radio in the digital era pass by a remarkable evolutionary development, oriented specially and directly to a socio-educative end. In the point of the radio-formation we already referred to some of these Educative Modalities of the Radio in the Digital Era, so now we will focus the new tendency of the Radio: the Radio-Learning (the concept of Radio-Learning come from the social and educative characteristics of the Radio on the Internet. It is the combination of many elements common to the web Radio: Ubiquity - schedule flexibility - low cost of production and broadcast of the programs - synchronous and asynchronous communication - connectivity).

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Table 3. Categorization of Educative Modalities of Radio Web

The Stations of Educative Centers

Would be included all that radio stations that appear on an educative center, independently that on the referred center be distinguished contents of the basic, secondary or university education. The stations that transmit over the internet (the case of the schools) count with program schedules composed by spaces adapted to each formative step and with contents integrated basically on the areas of “languages, environment and music knowledge, poetry recitals, tales, riddles, cooing recipes, interviews, stories, debates about current themes”. The centers of basic and secondary education which have a scholar station use to involve all the students, being the radio activities object of planning, execution and assessment, as occurs in the RadioClick, created and developed by the Education Secretariat of the Government of Colombia, in Bogotá.

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Figure 3. Website of Radio Click Paris Retrieved on May 19, 2015 from «»

Educative Programs

The bet of some radio stations when including in their program schedules contents destined to the children and youth public, as an alternative to explore the educative possibilities offered by the radiophonic media. In the North America, the Radio Canada International (RCI) have encouraged the use of the radio as an interface that favors the creativity and dynamizes the pedagogical and communicative processes of the education institutions, bringing a new language on the learning process that favors the interaction and the educative innovations. The RCI make available educative programs about the history and behavior of the Canadian people, besides language courses (English and French) specially projected for children between 7 and 12 years old.

Figure 4. Website of Radio Canada International

Retrieved on October 04, 2014 from «»

Radiophonic Edu-Webs

Virtual environments that use advanced communication technologies to potentiate the use of radio and also to make known the particularities of the radiophonic language oriented to educative and formative actions. Are, in fact, edu-communicative platforms directed to the online radiophony, like the Media Radio, Publiradio and the Xtec-Radio, on Spain. Moreover, they spread the technological knowledge and the cultural events promoted by secondary and higher education institutions. One of the references on this modality is the Radioteca. Supported by UNESCO since 2005, the Radioteca is a portal for interchange and sharing of radio productions over internet, constituted by hundreds of stations of the Latin America and other parts of the World. Works like a virtual library of the radio stations, where is possible: Download audios by themes (Human Rights, Education, Culture, Gender and Sexuality, Health, Middle Environment), Share audiovisual productions between stations, debate actual themes, among other things.

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Figure 5. Website of Radioteca

Retrieved on November 03, 2015 from « tecnologias-software-internet-web/»

Formative Stations

Corresponds to the stations that feature an essentially scholar programming, so their spirit is clearly formative. Like Spain, with Radio ECCA, the e.86 Webradio, in France, is a formative station created by the French Scientific Office for Cooperation, in partnership with the Academic Inspection of Vienne, in 2005, aiming to support the French schools in the Poitiers region to develop educative projects with the use of the radiophonic language. The schools participating in the project are benefited with the lending of equipment to produce radio programs about any matter, and when the students feel prepared, a moderator of the office is called to pass some days on the education institution and record a program using an itinerant radio studio. Then, the work is made available on the website of the radio and, later, is nationally broadcasted during the program schedule of the Radio France. The activities are officially recognized by the French Ministry of Education for the gain of scholar credits, as a component of the classroom activities.

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Figure 6. Website of e.86 Webradio

Retrieved on November 03, 2015 from «»

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Figure 7. Website of Radio ECCA

Retrieved on January 12, 2014 from


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Figure 8. Website of Radio ECCA (Programs)

Retrieved on January 12, 2014 from «»

Socio-Formative Stations

Include the stations that, even without a strictly scholar programming, make an offer composed by spaces for education in values, health education, cultural identity, citizenship, artistic education, history and science, always conditioned by the interests of the local society as a democratic space for the exchange of information and knowledge. In Mexico, the Edusat Radio station that brings an innovative proposal for the popularization of the scientific- technological knowledge, encouraging the teachers of the Universidad de Concepción to discuss themes approached on the classroom with the community. Socio-Formative Stations produce contents of critical and questioning character, being space for debates and tendencies, concepts and experiences developed on the socio-educational scope.

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Figure 9. Website of Edusat Radio

Retrieved on May 12, 2013 from «»

Educommunicative Stations

We consider educommunicative stations those which produce educative contents in their programming without the support of Information and Communication Technologies. Despite the similarities, they differ of the Edu- Web platforms <<as they are radio>>. The Radio Australia have the profile of an edu-communicative station, either in relation with the activities developed on the virtual environment, and the format of the programs, merging the teaching of the English language with other themes: English for Finance - English for Business - English for Tourism and Hospitality - English for Study in Australia - English from Australia. The same occurs with the Vaughan Radio, in Spain, with programs dedicated to the teaching of the Spanish language. So, they are radio stations that act like a communicative didactic resource, collaborative and multidisciplinary, linked or not to education institutions.

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Figure 10. Website of Radio Australia

Retrieved on 19 April, 2015 from



Is recurring in the literature to say that the transition to an information based society has been speeded by the convergence of the communication systems, information technologies and integrated high capacity networks carrying information in digital format, but although this is a process under way, there is a series of characteristics on the evolution of the communication media that permits to consider the convergence a concrete reality (Del Bianco, 2010).

To define spatial and temporarily the evolution of the radio on the Internet is almost impossible, since this condition is intrinsically related to many factors, varying from the listening habits of the programs to socio-economical questions. However, a concrete indicator is the expansion of the Radio-Learning in the higher education (as occurs nowadays in some European Countries, like Austria, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, among others), customizing the radio platforms and the audiovisual communication interfaces according with the target population.

Possibly, depending on the scientific divulgation of the experiences of this radio strand, ever more higher education institutions inside and outside the Europe will make use of the radio programming as a complement for the classroom/online classes, as a common space for the exchange of information and knowledge between teachers and the student community. So, the great challenge of the educators is to know the edu-communicative contributions that the Web Radio offers and to use on their pedagogical practice. Other potential indicators for the future of the Web Radio are: The access to the web stations on the cars (through wireless internet) and the development of applications for mobile devices (cellphones and tablets) that allow the access with swiftness and sound and image quality.

Likewise, the Radio-Learning evolved this scenario, integrating the radiophonic communication and the technological resources of the Web 2.0 to the learning platforms around the world. On practice, the radiophonic platforms offer a set of interactive resources that socialize the communication of the learner community on the virtual environment and present an integrated system of learning management, focused on the production of audiovisual and textual contents, and multimedia interactivity.

The educative modalities of the radio are applicable both to the hertz and the web stations, and, in the general context, works in synchrony in both formats. Independently of the communication channel, the radiophonic media have many contributions to the education over other mass media vehicles, considering, inclusively, that the use of multimedia interfaces on the communicational process doesn’t change the basic precepts of the communication, on the contrary, it permits a fast transmission of the information and the simultaneous sharing of the same information by a great number of people geographically spread.

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Figure 11. Website of Radio UNED

Retrieved on May 09, 2015 from «»

Prata (2009), based on the Fadul ideas (1986), explains that the progress experienced by the communication techniques represents to the mankind achievements and challenges. Achievements, as it promotes possibilities of diffusion of knowledge and information in a scale before unpredictable and unimaginable. Challenges, as the technological advances impose a serious revision and restructuring of the theoretical assumptions that guide everything is mean as communication, and their relation with the other knowledge areas (ibidem). This new communicational scenario reveals itself through the online radiophony, which inter-relates communication, education and informatics on virtual collaborative learning spaces.

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Figure 12. Website of Radio UNED (Programs)

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Retrieved on May 09, 2015 from


Arquitecture of Radio-Learning

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Figure 13. Characteristics of Radio-Learning

The Case Study of Rádio Universitária do Minho

The process of digitization suffered by conventional broadcasters and the availability of its content on the Internet, produced the latest step in the recent history of media - the Web Radio In turn, the education has been used in the new technological resources to produce educational programs multidisciplinary in several areas of knowledge and in different parts of the world.

The University Web Radios in Portugal appeared at the end of the 90’s, and today, after almost two decades, few remain active in the national scenario. According Teixeira and Silva (2009), the Rádio Universitária de Coimbra (, from Universidade de Coimbra; the Rádio Universitária do Marão (, from the Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro Region; the Rádio Universitária do Algarve (, from the Universidade do Algarve; the Rádio Universitária Beira do Interior (, from the Universidade Beira do Interior; the Radio Zero (, from the Instituto Superior Técnico and the Rádio Universitária do Minho (, from the Universidade do Minho, are the Portuguese University Web Radios. In global terms, it is possible to assert that they share similar objectives, but have different and heterogeneous structures and program typologies (Cordeiro, 2005).

However, among the mentioned radios, the Rádio Universitária do Minho stands out presently for its diverse and segmented program on the web, dedicated to the promotion and divulgation of cultural, scientific and support activities to the lectures of the Universidade do Minho, representing, at the same time, some of its departments and academic unities, besides a strong cultural intervention in the local communities of the Braga and Porto Districts.

The Rádio Universitária do Minho (RUM) exists since 1989, and since 2006 it started to transmit via web, with a clearly heterogeneous program offer, on which spaces of purely formative-instructive character are mixed with others that explore different categories and formats, closer to some ongoing experiences in Europe. According to Leão (2007), the RUM launched two crucial interfaces in the context of its strategy to conquer and gain the loyalty of new public: the website and the online emission. The consolidation of the online emission, particularly, revealed as an alternative to the “conventional receptors”, emphasizing culture, debates on education, science, economy, politics, news, local informs, chronicles, interviews and specialized reports (Teixeira, 2009).

In its relationship to the Universidade do Minho, the RUM makes available the virtual space and a group of technological interfaces for the lecturers to divulge their scientific works, suggest readings, stimulate the debate on themes related to their disciplines (discussion forums), to inform grades, tests, interviews, divulge local, national and international academic events (congresses, seminars, talks, colloquiums, meetings…), store lectures in podcast (in a way that the student can have access to the discipline contents in any part of the world), besides the possibilities of synchronous and asynchronous communication with the broadcasting station, through E-mail, Blog, Messenger, Twitter, Facebook, Forum, Chat, Newsletter. Besides, it is on the program grid that the RUM is most different from the other portuguese university radios, for its thematic diversity of the programs dedicated to the educative-cultural and journalistic categories, in 2013-2014:

- Caixa de Ferramentas (Tool Box) and the Diferença em 1º Plano (Difference in 1st Level) - debates and interviews and the promotion of specialized support services to attend the peculiarities of people with special needs;
- Ciência para Todos (Science for All) and the Universidade Sem-Muros; (No boundaries University) at the Democracia Viva (Living Democracy) - promotion and divulging of the university’s cultural and scientific activities;
- Campus Verbal (serves as a radio-phonic laboratory, where the students from the Institute of Literature and Science of the Universidade do Minho, of French and German areas, produce radio programs based on what they have learned in the lecture rooms, and store the contents at the university’s website in a podcast format;
-Olhar no Feminino (Look on the Female) - discusses themes related to the female world;
-Magazine da Educação (Education Magazine) and the Livros com RUM
(Books with RUM) - information and reflection on the Portuguese and international literary situation, with interview from critics, authors and specialists in literature;
-Praça Município / Café com Blogs (Municipal Square / Coffee with Blogs) - debate about the Portuguese political scenario;
-Eco RUM (Ecology RUM) - program focused on the protection and conservation of the environment;
-Rumo Econômico (Economic Route) - interviews and reports on the national and international economic panorama;
-Cultura Impressa (Printed Culture) - the main topics of printed media are debated on the program;
-Cultura Crónica (Chronic Culture) - program focused on stage arts, cinema, literature and shows; and the Escola de Rádio (Radio School), where courses on the radio-phonic universe are developed (the courses are given by communication experts from the Rádio Universitária do Minho and lecturers of the Universidade do Minho), with more than 60 specialized programs divided by categories and for all public.

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Figure 14. Website of Cultura RUM

Retrieved on May 09, 2015 from «»

This is the RUM online, functioning as a social communication vehicle of local communities and as a valuable space for the divulgation, socialization and popularization of science and technology, produced by different departments at the teaching institutions. According with the researcher Paula Cordeiro (2005), the contribution and influence of university radios in the development of the future professionals’ formation, allied to the importance in the context of radiophonic communication in general are incontestable, and, in a context where the main concern is the profit-making of the station, university radios appear as elements that offer alternatives of program and formation.

The University Web Radios

The history of university stations started at November 23, 1923, with the foundation of the Radio Universidad Nacional de La Plata - Doctor Benito Nazar Anchorena, who ordered the installation of a radio-telephonic workshop, able to broadcast to all the regions of the country the conferences of the University (Radio Universidad Nacional de La Plata, 2012). After months of successive tests on the head office of the National College, the Radio Universidad was inaugurated in April 5, 1924. Benito believed that the radio would be not only an education and research element in radiophony techniques, but an additional resource for the diffusion of the popular culture and university extension, integrating the academic society to the Argentine society. Its sophisticated system of transmission of Hertz Waves guaranteed a nominal power of 1000 Watts with high propagation speed; enough to neighbor countries receive the signal (ibidem). That is how the Radio Universidad influenced the creation of new university station in the Latin America¹ and from there to other parts of the world.

The academic web radios appeared after successive advances on the quality of the radiophonic transmissions (from AM to FM - from the analogic to the digital), being the Internet a viable option for the reduction of operational costs. This way, the extension to the virtual universe filled significant gaps of the hertzian radio, like a Multi-way and interactive communication, the access flexibility to the contents and global coverage.

In the global scenario, the university radios follow the trajectory of the radio over the decades, like the communication vehicle that represents the interests of the academic community and the local society, promoting cultural events, disclosing technical-scientific productions developed on the departments and research centers of the university, debating current themes and demanding for actions of the public power to solve common problems to the life on society. Both Assumpção (1999; 2003) and Ozosco (2004) claim the University Radio as an important communicative interface for socialization and popularization of the science and technology produced by specialists inside the University Spaces, allowing the access of the public to the scientific advances on an informal and colloquial language and with didactic clarity. Except for these characteristics, they differ one from another on the broadcast format, the program schedule genres, the interactivity with the audience and on the level of student participation.

With the computerization of the mass media and loss of audience for the new information and communication technologies, many radios started to choose by the extension of the broadcast centers (from the antenna to the web), or by the extinction of the physical structures and migration to the virtual universe. The benefits of the convergence came after, expanding the offer of genres and services and starting to interact in other knowledge areas, beyond the entertainment, the journalism and the publicity. Possibilities never thought before in terms of hertzian broadcasting. On the Internet, we verified a growing movement of independence of the University Stations in relation to the education institutions (even representing them socially), with administrative- financial autonomy and less humanistic and more mercantile objectives. Understandable, since the lack of institutional funds was the reason of the discontinuity of many traditional stations. Going against the facts, the university radios of Spain distanced of commercial interests, with the support of their respective education institutions and cultural organisms, innovating their program schedule formats with activities of entertainment, education, culture, information, sport and provision of services to the population.

Díez (2009) and Sande (2005) explain that the university radios in Spain have distinct finalities, since the universities that expect that their radios be the place where the academic community does their practices in Audiovisual Communication, Publicity and Journalism, the educative institutions which want that their radios be places of expression for the students, passing by those who intends to convert in communication media of an information and experimentation center. These radios had not hesitated in explore the technological resources of the radio web, what can be confirmed with the quantitative growth of the online platforms, through them we can access the habitual program schedule in real time by a great number of devices connected to the Internet. According with Perona Páez (2009), the social communication media are instruments of public service which traditionally has been granted the power to inform, entertain and teach, and turn out to be very useful to encourage the debate and ease the comprehension of the students about the contents taught on the classroom.

We perceived that the experiences of the Web Radio in education are growing dramatically on the last years, promoting the interaction and the educative innovations on the cyberspace. Secondly, as an interface of teaching and learning on the Web, it extrapolates the transmission model of the traditional mass media, encouraging the interaction and the collaboration on the scholar and university environment. Now, integrating to learning platforms, new windows are opened to the educative radiophony.

The type of communication which prospers on the internet is related to the free expression in all its forms, according to the predilection of each person, write Castells (2001). Because of this, has to be highlighted that a new communication technology as the Web Radio sharpens the scientific investigation about the possible contributions which the media can provide to the cyber audience and the different knowledge fields. Because on the education, referring to the teaching-learning process, lacks contemporaneously of macro and micro studies which come to clarify doubts or show on practice how the educational action occurs, and its relation with the leaner community.

Staying in line with the Magali Rei’s (2011) discourse, we believe in a set of possibilities brought by the digital era, opening paths to pedagogical innovations, not only the comprehension of the new contexts in which are inserted the technologies, but the understanding in fact of the capacities of the radio on the Internet.

The Spanish University Radios on the Internet

During the Teixeira’s doctors research (2013ª), till July 2013, were counted 30 university stations in that country, on which 73% belong to public education institutions and 27% to private education institutions¹. From this percentage, 21 radios broadcast their programs on antenna and on web, synchronously, while 9 exclusively on Web (being 7 from public universities and 2 from private universities). Among the stations, 4 are inactive and 26 function in both formats.

About the discontinuity of the four radios, some causes for the discontinuity were: The payment of licenses and/or operation permits for the local government (of the autonomous communities), the lack of financial resources to maintain the Website and to pay the employees, and the lack of support, in many ways, of the education institution to which it subscribes. In front of the organizational diversity of the 30 stations researched, let’s see how they are managed (according with information available on the website of the analyzed radios):

A) University stations managed by the academic community which receives subsidies from the education institution Radio UMH - Radio UNED - Radio Universitaria - UPV Radio - RUAH - Vox UJI Ràdio - Radio Girona Campus - Radio Autónoma - Villaviciosa Radio - Blanquerna Ràdio - Inforadio - Radio Campus - Radio CEU (represent 43% from the total of the researched university radios);
B) University Stations managed by the academic community, but selfsufficient in relation to the education institution Onda Campus - Radio URJC - IRadio - Cuac FM - Radio Complutense - Radio Kampus Ourense (20%);
C) University stations managed by some department of the education institution Onda Villanueva - Radio Universidad - Radio Universidad de Navarra - Radio CEU - Radio UC3M (17%);
D) University stations managed by student associations UNI Radio - EUB Radio - Radio Al Pilón - UNI Radio Jáen (13%);
E) University stations managed by the academic community in collaboration with local stations UPF Ràdio - UDEC Radio (7%).

Geographically, the stations are spread as follow:

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Table 4. List of the University Web Radios in Spain in 2013

Source: List of radios with their respective institutions based on the Asociación de Radios Universitarias de España (2012); Fidalgo Díez (2009); Teixeira and Perona Páez (2009); Perona Páez (2009); and Sand (2005).

We consider important to research all the Spanish University Radios with broadcast on the Web, between active and inactive, to know globally those who have the educative strand and how this characteristic was developed on radio. Because of this, we understood that the inactive stations deserved to make part of the sample.

That year, the researches on the internet and bibliographic sources revealed that all the Spanish university radios were present on the internet, and 40% of those contained edu-communicative programs on their schedule, besides the formative activities on their radiophonic activities (some of them will be described on the next phase, based on the educative modalities of the radio). The higher concentration of stations was found on the Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid (30%); on Cataluña (13%); and on Comunidad Valenciana (13%), locals where the educative strand of the radio is widely explored. While the university students use the radio as a media for entertainment, information, education and culture, with different options of program schedule, the teachers have at their disposal an audiovisual multimedia environment with infinite educational and communicational possibilities.

Radio Universidad de Navarra: The Case Study

The Radio Universidad de Navarra, also known as 98.3 Radio, started broadcasting in internet in the end of the 90’s from the radio diffusion studios of the Facultad de Comunicación da Universidad de Navarra, where is provided the physical structure and the technical support necessary for the production and transmission of the programs. The radio follows an operating pattern linear among the Spanish University Radios, centered on the disclosing of information of community interest, promotion of cultural events, disclosing of scientific- technological advances developed on the departments and research centers of the university, promoting the interaction with the local society. The 98.3 Radio is a rich source of information, formation and entertainment. Every half hour, are played micro spaces of five minutes about the most varied themes: Health, science and technology, history, theology, philosophy, literature, economy, popular culture, music, arts, cinema and publicity. In this sense, the cyber- audience has access to information in real time and a large collection of contents, chronologically stored on the Web page of each program. It is, in fact, an academic space of professionalizing practices in radio for social communication students. We can see, clearly, the educative strand of the Radio Universidad de Navarra on the virtual environment of the radio, as the following pictures show:

Teixeira (2013a)

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Figure 15. Website of the 98.3 Radio

Teixeira (2013a)

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Figure 16. Website of the 98.3 Radio

Teixeira (2013a)

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Figure 17. Website of the 98.3 Radio

Often are incorporated to the program schedule formative contents that count with the official recognition of the Universidad de Navarra to the gain of obligatory scholar credits (potential educommunicative practices that could be extended to other disciplines of the Universidad de Navarra, beside the radiophonic communication). In the 2nd semester of 2012, became highlighted the disciplines: Seminario de Comunicación Radiofónica I, II, III, IV, e Convalidación de Programación Radiofónica, integrated on the curriculum of the Periodism, Comunicación Audiovisual and Publicidad courses. After the theoretical classes, the practice component emerges and the students are allocated in three workgroups (production, schedule and radiophony execution) according with the individual profile previously analyzed.

The first group is responsible for the production and linking of the journalistic programs (reportages, sound edition, press reviews). Once formed on these aspects, they gain access to the programming profile where they do full programs under the supervision of a teacher. Finally, they receive a definitive profile for the execution of specific sections on the radio. All these steps are accompanied by online guides (podcast and text information) to ease the clarification of doubts. Additional radiophonic orientations provided by the Radio Universidad de Navarra to the students in its platform for the execution of the proposed activities (pioneer teaching methodology among the 30 university radios in Spain). The 98.3 Radio proves the edu-communicative potentialities of the university web radio as media of the Universidad de Navarra and the Facultad de Comunicación of that university invest on this strand, so much that new disciplines are being introduced on the website of the radio, as seen in February, 2013.

In relation to the Spanish university radios, we discovered, in our study, that the use of the radio as educative media switched from the distance education to the online education in the end of the late twentieth century, motivated by the multiple exploration possibilities that the virtual environment is able to offer. This change, on the accurate definition of Perona Páez (2009), originated the “Educative Modalities of the Radio on the Digital Era”, synonym of multimedia interactivity, collaboration and knowledge exchange between educators, learners and their peers, much beyond the instructive potential provided by the conventional stations. It is a referential model to classify the educative or socio educative nature of the station or radiophonic platform (Edu- Web) according to its characteristics or operation structure, effectively recognized by investigators of the areas of social and human sciences. With this support, we analyzed dozens of Internet radios and verified the incorporation of educative contents on their program schedules, even on commercial radios. The tendency to the heterogeneity is discussed on the studies of Prata (2009) as a constellation of genres which houses old, new and hybrid formats, born from the complex digital weaving of the Web Radio, beyond the proposed by Filho (2003) on the book “Radiophonic Genres: the formats and the Audio programs”. The combination of genres shows a potentiation of the generality in the scope of the segmentation of the audience, aiming to attract a broader audience outside that specific niche. In Spain, in 2010, we observed that the Radio Klara València was traveling the path of a community radio with a light commercial inclination, but which provided educative content on its schedule, being near to the classification of a “Socio- Formative Station”, according to the “Educative Modalities of the Radio”. Although, the Radio Enlace shared a similar initiative, when introduced other genres (as the educative-cultural) on the program schedule, in an evident effort to deal with the commercial stations of Madrid. The Radio Australia and the Radio Free Asia have the same classification. Castilla, Calderón and Rojano (2007, p.39) affirm that “…las posibilidades que ofrece la audición de espacios de radio comercial como medio de conocimiento y aprendizaje son amplias. Las distintas materias curriculares pueden ser analizadas a través de los programas de ocio, cultura, debates, coloquios, noticias, musicales, etcétera. No se trata sólo de encontrar un referente inmediato de las asignaturas tradicionales: La radio ofrece una visión global de la realidad con frecuencia ausente del contexto escolar y por eso resulta provechosa para los alumnos”.

We also perceived that the stations are focusing in “Educative Programs” like an alternative genre available to the audience, accustomed to the entertainment, the journalism of news, the publicity and the public utility services. In parallel, are developed “Radiophonic Edu-Webs” with the support of universities and international bodies (United Nations Radio, Radioteca, Publiradio, Xtec Ràdio, Edu3.Cat, Web Radio European Parliament Education, Radio Web Europe). Understandable, seen that the radiophonic language subsidizes, with success, the education in all the modalities and education levels, maxim among the “Stations of Educative Centers” and the “Formative Stations”.

The “Educative Modalities of the Radio on The Digital Era” are always evolving, as confirm the researches of Perona Páez and the most recent phenomena of the online radiophony are the “Educommunicative Stations” and the “Radio Learning”. Furthermore, we conclude that the positive aspects are infinite and fit according to the characteristics of each modality in particular. So important as the research have provided the creation of an analysis pattern based on the “Modalities”, until then something unprecedented in the literature, is the study became a rich bibliographic source for the researchers of radio.

Being educative or not, in an interlocution between theory and practice, we prove in many points of our research that the radio on internet can be used as a complimentary and supporting media to the classes in any teaching level, while offering multiple possibilities of use inside and outside the classrooms. Is in this sense that Perona Paéz (2009) helps us to understand the educative characteristics of each station with the “Educative Modalities of the Radio on the Digital Era”, potentiating their use in the teaching-learning process.

Other question, as we saw in Spain, is that the institutional “recognizement” of obligatory credits for the execution of certain activities on the radio supports the dynamism on the curriculum, especially on the area of Social Sciences, where the students continuously study radio and television. Many people who work and frequent the university after the working hours not always have the opportunity to live the practice on the discipline. We add the advantages of “low cost” and “time flexibility” to access the contents.

We found that, from Guglielmo Marconi to Carl Malamud, the technological convergence of the radio resulted from a natural evolutionary process of the mass media facing the new exigencies of the audience, driven by the technological advances and the rise of new media. This happened, for example, in the 50s with the advent of the television. In this period, while many experts believed in the end of the hertzian broadcasting, the radio intensified its services, acting like an uninterrupted spokesperson of the problems which afflicted the society, at the same time, as an important informative, educative- cultural and entertainment vehicle.

Over the years, the media gradually adapted itself to the technological development and the social changes of each period, so much in the program schedule format, as in the genres and in the segmentation of the audience, transformations which ensured its continuity on the contemporary times. Provided with historical facts, Bianch (2010) explains that is possible to see clearly that happened important changes on the hearing habits of the people. The first of them is directly related to the changes that the radio passed through, implemented on the production sphere which found a correspondence according to their own logic on the scope of the perception. And the second is related to the changes in the personal life of each of these individuals. Nevertheless, authors like Marcelo Kischinhevsky (2007) are emphatic in postulating that the traditional radio would be no long and the Web Radio will take its place, following an inevitable tendency of media convergence.

The thought of Kischinhevsky echoes on the many functionalities that the radio acquired with the emissions over the Internet, since the creation of the Internet Multicasting Service, by Carl Malamud, in 1993. The emissions over the internet are supported by images, videos, texts, photos and hyperlinks through multimedia interfaces, comprising different forms of temporal contact with the informative message audiovisual and hyper-textual, allowing the collaboration between users and the interactivity in its most comprehensive conception, ponders Filho (2003; 2004). Likewise, we add the comments of Cordeiro (2004, p.9): “The internet changed the form of the radiophonic reception, transforming the concept of receiver in another which is closer to the notion of user, by the form that the hearer/user takes an active attitude of search and consume of the contents”. Because of this, the researcher justifies that the scheme of radiophonic emission and reception needed to follow this evolution, favoring the fragmentation of the audience according to their specific interests. From this, arise new genres and new ways of interaction with the public on the virtual space through online radiophonic platforms.

Taking up a thought of Bianch (2010) on the “hearing habits of the people”, the communication with the station changed from merely passive to actively participative, including the contact with other cyber-listeners in real time and the storage of contents in podcast or videocast produced by the own audience. Therefore, the fertility of contributions find its fullness on the synchronous and asynchronous access to the program schedule of the radio, and in the mobility of the mobile devices (tablet, cellphone, notebook, palmtop, etc.) destitute of predetermined geographic location to catch the signal, without time limitations. However, is known the burden on the obligatoriness of the user have a connection of good quality, because the speed of the traffic influences the browsing on the virtual environment of the radio, so as uploads and downloads of contents. If we retain on the access to the programs of the station, the traditional radio is more democratic and less expensive to the public, because it does not rely on internet, but in a cheap equipment that receives electromagnetic waves. In contrast, for those who have technological resources and network connection, the online radiophony is preferable, without doubt.

Is interesting observe that the current scenario is of complementarity of the hertz to the Web among radios of different segments around the world, an extension of the electric transmission to the virtual. It proves that the end of the traditional radio is still far from happening and that in reality is one more adaptation of the media to the technological development. We also found on the results of the investigation that the Spanish University Stations are genuine edu-communicative spaces, producing knowledge from different departments of the education institutions. To his advantage, the recognition of these institutions and the credibility of the teachers on the educative potentialities of the radiophonic language, which adapts itself to the student’s (who see it as an auxiliary interface on the process of teaching-learning) needs. If we immerse chronologically in the history of university radios of Spain, we can see that this strand establishes in a connection between the new and old “modus operandi” of the teaching practice, especially in courses of the Social Sciences fields. Over the time, other knowledge fields discovered its benefits and incorporated the Web Radio on the classroom as an interface for didactic support. Ahead, the migration to the virtual universe dimensioned the educative communication on the university radios through the digital resources and, this way, could overcome the loss of audience of the young public (university students) for the new information and communication technologies (Teixeira, 2013).

Is possible to clearly observe the benefits that the technological advances are meaning to the development of the radio communication, when meeting the experimentation with new sound formats, the mediated interaction and the communicative complementarity which come from different digital interfaces on the Internet (Perona Páez, 2012). Certainly other causes contributed to this scenario: “Inmediatez, heterogeneidad de la audiencia, fugacidad, credibilidad..., son características estrechamente ligadas a la radio, como también lo es el bajo coste que, comparado con la televisión o la edición impresa, supone la producción de espácios radiofónicos”, confirm Perona Paéz and Veloso (2007, p.9). We add the fact that the students seek ever more time flexibility, low cost to access the information, mobility and communication in real time with their peers. So, this is a wise investment for the universities, with guaranteed return on the production of knowledge on the teaching perspective, reality that we knew in Spain with their University radios. Is a cultural question that transcends the “want to do”, the “want to implement”. Ahead of the possibilities, if the characteristics of teaching and learning be oriented in the way of incorporate the Web University Radio as an educative technology on the higher education; it will be a very interesting option for the online education.

The integration of the university radios in learning platforms deserves to be implemented, being through partnerships with the education institutions, being by initiative of the own university radio, potential doesn’t lack for this. When introducing the educative strand, new horizons are established and new possibilities are evidenced toward the classroom and online education. However, once consolidated, is necessary to investigate the impacts of this integration on the teaching practice and the contributions to the academic community “in loco”.

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1 Informal synonym for the word “connects”.

80 of 80 pages


The History of Radio From Hertz To The Web. Communication, Entertainment and Education
Federal Rural University of Pernambuco  (Núcleo Semente)
Núcleo Semente
Communication, Education
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ISBN (Book)
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3312 KB
radio, webradio, history of radio
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Marcelo Mendonça Teixeira (Author), 2016, The History of Radio From Hertz To The Web. Communication, Entertainment and Education, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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