(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Podcasting & eLearning

Saturday, October 15, 2005
Podcasting has been around for just over a year, but it has taken off amazingly quickly spurred on not least of all by Apple's decision to make iTunes podcasting-friendly, enabling basically a one-click solution for getting a podcast into the almost ubiquitous iPod. This semester I've had the pleasure of teaching a Communication Studies Honours unit entitled iGeneration: Digital Communication & Participatory Culture at the University of Western Australia. Fortuitously, UWA is also the home of the MultiMedia Centre who created the iLecture (or Lectopia in the US) digital recording, managing and publication system. I wanted to try out podcasting in iGeneration and get students to create their own innovative digital audio for their major projects and I was delighted to discover the the iLecture system was now podcasting-enabled, allowing me to basically drop audio files into the system which would then process and produce both full-file downloads and streaming alternatives. More to the point, the iLecture system can create unit level RSS feeds, basically allowing students to subscribe to the podcast for specific units, like so:
iGeneration iLecture Podcast
[Click to enlarge.]

With many of UWA's lectures recorded digitally, podcasts of lectures will, I suspect, rapidly become a very popular option for catching up on missed lectures. However, for iGeneration the students are producing the podcasts, not me (although I did produce a proof-of-concept podcast just to make sure everything works and to introduce students to podcast a la UWA). Students are currently working on their major projects and their digital audio projects range from an alternative commentary to a Simpsons episode containing a critique of popular culture to a godcast with local content. I'm looking forward to marking them in a couple of weeks and seeing how podcasting works at a tertiary level in terms of assessment. The best thing, of course, is that these final projects are useful far beyond their assessment for the unit. They should remain online indefinitely and should prove useful for online CVs and the like for students. They should also prove a good listen in general terms, so if you're interested, why not subscribe to the iGeneration Podcast RSS feed and at the end of October wait for the audio goodness to arrive!

All being well, I'll be putting up a critque/commentary of using podcasting in academia early next year.

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