At yesterday’s workshop, Robin Sullivan said a few words to kick us off, including how the local UB Micro computer store claimed to sell forty iPod a day. Yes, at that point everyone went into shock (I should just quit school and sell iPods). While I touched on the academic motivations for podcasting, including what a podcast is and what it’s not, Jim did a demonstration of his podcasting session and showed us a few of his audio recording toys, including his M-Audio MicroTrack Mobile Digital Recorder, various microphones and audio editing software (Audacity of course!).
The hands-on demo unfortunately didn’t come out as well as I had planned. I wanted participants to use on of the three podcasting services with web-based podcast recording abilities (I chose Clickcaster), but upon signing up and getting into the recording phase, both IE and Firefox bugged out because the public user privileges on our lab computers denied us from quickly installing the required Java plugin. Reminder to self: Test all lab computers before trying out any web-based apps.
In any case, yesterday’s session was interesting in that our faculty participants raised various valid questions about podcasts in schools, from pedagogical applications to scholarship via podcasting. In short form, here’s what we talk about:
Issue: For undergrads, they might take lecture podcasts as a reason to skip classes
Do the risks outweigh the rewards in this case? Perhaps students should self-record the lectures instead as a form of active learning. Lecturer could podcast his thoughts (or shownotes) from each session so students can sense the bigger context of what happened. I always believe in “value-adding” through blogs and podcasts rather than to replicate existing material wholesale.
Issue: It takes too much time to make a podcast
It’s not too difficult for universities to set up podcast recording infrastructure for class lectures. The kicker is if a lecturer wants to adds his/her two-cents after lectures, does it still have to be a DIY effort?
Issue: Could dissertations be produced as a podcasts?
I know this sounds conceptually off the tangent, but Jim and I were seriously trying to scale this out. The question of impact factor came in: Would a research podcast be cited as much as a printed dissertation? While we believe that there is only about 1.5 readers per printed dissertation, would it be different for podcasts? We believe that there is that possibility… there are peer-reviewed sites that take in material of any medium (does anyone know a few such sites?).
In any case, if you came to any of my Web 2.0 presentations this past few weeks and are reading my blog, thanks for making the time and do let me know if you want future meetups on anything related to education and web technologies. Bye for now!