Intro to Podcasting Session

I checked the registration for the session tomorrow – it’s up to 50 people. We’ll have to open the extra wings in the Big Room, but there will be lots of room for all.

I just tested the visualizer to make sure it showed my old 3G iPod clearly, and it looked like a Stevenote circa 2004 – I should pick up a black angora turtleneck. 🙂 Should be fun. I’ve grabbed a copy of the Creative Commons Senate Content Pack, and have a bunch of mixed podcasts preloaded for demonstration.

We’ll be followinng Levine’s Law, starting with a quick demo in iTunes to show the various podcasts out there. Then, to Audacity (if I can convince it to recognize the USB microphone) to create a quick and dirty recording and then publish it to either my blog or weblogs.ucalgary.ca (or both) to make a podcast. Then, back to iTunes to show it pull the file down, and then to the iPod on the visualizer to show the full round trip.

That part really shouldn’t take very long, so I’m hoping to leave a good portion of the session for a discussion of WHAT and WHY to podcast. And, perhaps more importantly, what NOT to podcast. Perhaps some brainstorming of how it might work on campus, and what kinds of activities would be appropriate. Should be fun. I’ll try recording the session – if that works out, I’ll share it with the rest of the class.

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Photograph and QTVR by King Chung Huang of the Teaching & Learning Centre, The University of Calgary.

9 replies on “Intro to Podcasting Session”

  1. Please have someone blog this or take good notes. I am very interested in the ideas that come up on how to use podcasting in the curriculum.

    Looks like a huge space, I’m jealous.

  2. I’m planning/hoping to spend at least half of the session talking about pedagogy, and potential uses. Lecturecasting is a definite and viable option, but it’s also the least interesting and engaging. What happens when students are creating their own podcasts? Interviews? etc… Lecturecasting is a good start, but I get nervous about the possibility that it may stop there.

  3. Rob,

    I’m going to have to differ with you on this one. Sure, a boring lecture makes a boring podcast, but even that may be helpful for students to review certain points. Even a boring lecture will indicate areas of emphasis that may be helpful to students. Note-taking in a wiki is a fabulous way to go, of course, but the recorded lecture is a good reality check next to that. In other words, I don’t think podcasts of lectures have to rise all the way to “engaging” to be of some value for some students. They won’t be shining examples of the power of podcasting, no, but if there’s little cost associated with producing, storing, or transmitting them, why not?

    I know that lectures have a very bad name in the academy right now, and I can’t say that there’s no good reason for that. A bad lecture is a truly horrible thing to sit through. But there are plenty of good lectures on college campuses. The genre itself is not necessarily more prone to abuse than, say, small group work, which has its own set of assumptions and abuses. And what is a great conference presentation but a lecture? I spend a lot of time every week listening to IT Conversations, and of course they aren’t conversations at all: they’re lectures with Q&A following. And in most cases, they’re superb.

    That said, I think “In Our Time” panel discussions would be where I would start with enterprise-wide professor content. The format is very engaging, and the side benefit would be to encourage cross-disciplinary conversations.

  4. Gardner – you’re right. Boring lectures should be outlawed, no matter what the medium. I’ve been lucky to attend several extremely interesting and engaging “lectures” so the format itself isn’t necessarily flawed – just that it allows (encourages?) people to be pedagogically lazy.

  5. I’ll try to be clearer, D’Arcy. Podcast lectures should certainly not be the stopping point for podcasts. If they are, people are just being lazy and unimaginative–though yes, that’s a perfectly valid concern in all levels of education. My point is not that lectures necessarily make the best podcasts. I think interviews, panel discussions, sound-seeing tours, student authoring, etc. are wonderful, necessary things and should be pursued with speed! My point is that lectures are not necessarily the least interesting and engaging. And I’m dubious of any blanket statement that any form of podcasting is the least or the most anything. It’s like saying that large ensemble casts make for the most or least interesting drama. Depends on the play! Or that proscenium stages are always worse than thrust stages, or theatre-in-the-round. All of that depends radically on the director, the actor, the play, the venue, etc.

    My fear is that any absolute embrace or rejection of any channel of communication in higher education will throw the baby out with the bathwater. A great lecture is an awesome thing. I’d give a lot of money to have recordings of some of the lectures I heard as an undergrad. No, I wouldn’t want a steady diet of lectures–but I wouldn’t want a steady diet of any one communication channel.

    Likewise: as a film studies guy, I’m used to hearing people say that books are always better than movies. ‘Tain’t necessarily so!

  6. In the name of sanity, please let us not have professors podcast lectures! Lectures are probably the least engaging and effective kind of content that a podcast could contain. Very few people are engaging enough in a purely audio format to merit putting the lecture in a podcast. Lectures are, for the most part, easily encoded by a small group of students into a few notes on a wiki.

    I’ve experimented with using podcasts for grade 11 and 12 students in a Computer Networking course. My experience is that short (under 10 minutes) podcasts work well, either for a summative overview of a module or section, or for providing some alternate explanations or analogies for students. I also think that podcasts could be great if students had the chance to create them as part of their learning and assessment, or for recording short Q and A sessions between an instructor and 1 or 2 students.

  7. Let’s have all profs at the UofC podcast all lectures. That would totally rock! They had something similar a few years back at an Australian University or something, memory is kind of shoddy.

  8. Best of luck, D’Arcy, and I’m looking forward to hearing your results afterwards. The EdTech Posse is giving a similar presentation – Podcasting in Real Time – at the Teaching and Learning with the Power of Technology conference on May 1 (conference link – http://www.campussaskatchewan.ca/tlt), so I will be curious to hear about your experience.

  9. A fundamental problem with podcasting lectures, at least IMHO, is that lectures, especially good ones (think steve-notes), are delivered to a large audience and they are very theatrical in nature. A podcast is a much more intimate conversation between the speaker(s) and the listener. A good radio host doesn’t speak to an audience, they speak to the listener. I wonder if really good lecturers/presenters for a mass audience make the best podcasters, or if people who are better at one-on-one conversation would be better? My bet would be on the latter. Hmmm – I sense a blog post starting to form in my brain.

    And Gardner, I think that you are a very good podcaster because you create that sense of one-on-one conversation in your podcasts – your radio background is showing! When I listened to A Donne a Day, I heard something read to me as an individual, not me as a member of an audience. The reminiscences you shared made me feel like we were having a chat over coffee.

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