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Selected Sources About Podcasting and Its Use in Higher Education with Annotations


As podcasting has grown in popularity since 2005, writing about it has proliferated. This page will provide annotations to selections for those who want a quick introduction to podcasting and its use in higher education, with a focus on community colleges. Each section will link to additional sources for those who would like to immerse themselves more thoroughly in the topic.


If you are affiliated with one of the Maricopa County Community College Libraries, and are connecting from on the campus of one of these institutions, the links to articles from a database should display properly. Otherwise, you may need to search in a library database to find the fulltext of the article mentioned below. To search MCCCD databases from off campus, go to http://www.maricopa.edu/lts/databases.html


Overview of Podcasting and Uses


Campbell, with 13 years of professional broadcasting experience, reports on the growth of podcasting and mentions several colleges and universities that have begun to implement podcasts related to courses. While he gives a quick explanation of how podcasting is done, what makes his article unique is his discussion of the pedagogical aspects of how audio can enhance understanding of content. In particular, he speaks of " 'the explaining voice' " (p. 42) and its ability to convey meaning to the listener. He also mentions several websites that will help the reader to locate places to store podcasts and to learn more about podcasting. Link to the author's blog post about this essay and hear the (50 min.) podcast of this article at http://www.gardnercampbell.net/blog1/?p=263



An excellent introductory article defining podcasting and vodcasting and providing general information about what is needed to create a podcast or vodcast, although it is not a detailed how-to. One of the greatest values in this article are the two excellent charts, one for each type of cast, that quickly explain the process from creation to delivery. Written for the University of Missouri, the article details the infrastructure issues that should be addressed to implement the technology for an institution of higher education. The author provides some ideas about ways this technology can enhance the learning experience, and identifies several key questions that should be considered before implementation. Includes resources.


How to Podcast



This weekend project is divided into 8 parts, Step 1: Break into podcasting; Step 2: Tools for podcasting; Step 3: How to plan a podcast; Step 4: Podcast-recording software; Step 5: Record your podcast; Step 6: Edit and save podcasts; Step 7: Publish your podcast; Step 8: Test your podcast feed. Each section is complemented with a short video that provides more detail about the process. While Mac computers come with software that makes podcasting extremely easy, this article explains how those with PC's can create podcasts.



Farivar describes the process for creating a video podcast using a Mac. He refers readers to macworld.com/1102 for converting old footage to vodcasts. Advice is given for recommending filming style to get the best advantage from this medium. After preparing the footage, he takes the reader briefly through compression, adding descriptions, distribution and promotion.



Finding Podcasts



The Education Podcast Network, created by David Warlick and the Landmark Project, is designed to collect podcasts about and for teaching and learning. The site is easy to use with a navigation bar that is divided into podcasts about education in general, podcasts organized by education level, such as higher ed, high school, etc., and podcasts organized by subject matter. The site also solicits content for addition through a Suggest a Podcast form.



Apple's iTunes site for podcasting. Download iTunes application for either mac or pc. Using the application, find over 35,000 podcasts as well as songs, video and audiobooks. Organize content, play via computer, or sync content to an mp3 player from the application.



Developed to become the biggest and best place to find information about podcasts and podcasting, as of July 6, 2006, the site contained over 21,500 podcasts with about 300 awaiting approval for inclusion. The site allows selection of podcasts by genre, such as education or political/cultural, and also searching. A search under higher education resulted in 30 hits. Each result, when extended, provides a brief description, an option to vote on the podcast, get details about the podcast, and the option to get the podcast immediately. The website also includes a section on podcast software, a blog, a podcast forum, and the ability to submit a podcast for inclusion.



Podzinger, a search engine from BBN Technologies for podcasts and video, is created through the use of speech recognition software. It allows searching either audio or video or both. Results are displayed with brief sections of the transcript, which can be played using the player displayed on the left of each entry or by clicking a word in the transcript. Download and RSS options are also included in each result. It has a Spanish-language version for locating content in Spanish. It has won several site awards, and as of this writing provided access to over 200,000 podcasts. Creators can also register their podcasts with the site. Searching can use proximity (" ") and wild card (*) options for greater specificity.



Yahoo launched their beta version of podcast search engine, dubbed Yahoo! Podcast, in October of 2005. In addition to a search engine that allows subsearching by series, episodes or both, it also includes directories of podcasts such as education. Results allow either listening immediately or subscribing to the feed as well as how many have subscribed to the feed, date published and length of feed. Series results indicate numbers of episodes. Yahoo! Podcast site also includes a brief tutorial for creating podcasts.


Podcasting Research and its Application in Higher Education



Stephen Abram, VP of Innovation at SirsiDynix, the vendor providing MCCCD library automation system, reports on a presentation by Christine Dowd, K-20 education consultant with Apple. Dowd identified several potential uses of mp3 players in the classroom, such as lecture notes, expert presentations, audio and video tours, etc. She also identified some of the uses of mp3 players in library settings. The article also includes a webliography of sites referred to in the article. One site mentioned, Free Classic Audio Books, contains podcasts of several of the books that are supplementary reading in MCCCD RDG 081/091 classes.



Of initial interest in this article is the identification of several software sites and podcast directories. The author describes several examples of uses of podcasts by institutions of higher education, such as Artmobs, in which students created commentary on art works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Another example incorporated the sharing of podcasts created at Haverford College with students who created podcasts of discussion at the Rabat American School in Morocco. Alexander also touches on many of the questions that need to be resolved such as copyright, storage, and access issues.




Presents the report of Duke University's experiment to present iPod devices with recording capability to 1600 entering freshman in 2004. They found that usage of the device by faculty was as a means to share class content, record class content, record supplemental materials outside of class, assist with studying class content, and file storage and transfer of materials. The report indentifies the benefits and challenges of using mp3 players in academia as well as the institutional implications of embracing the technology systemically. The continuation of the Duke Digital Initiative project is described at http://www.duke.edu/ddi/ Duke also held a Podcasting Symposium, a two-day event on September 27-28, 2005. Audio podcasts of all symposium sessions are available via DukeCast by posting the following podcast feed URL http://dukecast.oit.duke.edu/podcasts/rss/11 in any podcast aggregator application.



While the Duke University podcast experiment is well-known, this article mentions the first podcasting experiment in academia conducted at Georgia College & State University (GC&SU) in 2002. Usage of podcasting at University of Dayton, University of Michigan, and Virginia Tech as well as Stanford, Drexel, and Duke Universities are also mentioned. The article mentions the ease of use and accessibility of the iPod as positives for incorporating the technology. Some of the challenges associated with the technology include administrative and technical support as well as the effort required by faculty to incorporate the technology into their courses. GC&SU has used podcasting to explore service learning with college students as mentors to middle school students. GC&SU have now created the iVillage project which uses technology-- iPods, iChat, and iSight cameras--to help establish a "virtual community" for incoming freshman. The goal of the project is to assist with retention and student success. Learn more about podcasting in academia at the panel discussion, From Tunes to Teaching, iPods on Campus, at the Summer 2006 Campus Technology Conference on August 1, 2006.


  • Chan, A. and Lee, M.J.W. (2005) An MP3 a day keeps the worries away: Exploring the use of podcasting to address preconceptions and alleviate pre-class anxiety amongst undergraduate information technology students. In: Dirk HR Spennemann & Leslie Burr (eds), Good Practice in Practice. Proceedings of the Student Experience Conference 5-7th September ’05. Wagga Wagga, NSW: Charles Sturt University. Pp. 59–71. Retrieved June 8, 2006, from http://www.csu.edu.au/division/studserv/sec/papers/chan.pdf


Chan and Lee have designed a study of the use of short, well-crafted 3-5 minute podcasts to explore the impact of these podcasts on alleviating student anxiety in a technology class. The actual study is slated to take place in Fall 2005, thus this report does not cover the findings of the study, but only the preliminary design. The design of the podcasts are not intended to teach the content of the course or to remove the necessity of attending classes. The podcasts developed included two or more current or previous students of the course discussing issues related to the course in a radio talkshow style. The findings of their study are presented in their article, Exploring the potential of podcasting to deliver mobile ubiquitous learning in higher education, published in Fall 2006 issue of the Journal of Computing in Higher Education on pages 94-116. Unfortunately, this article is unavailable electronically, but can be located at the SMCC Library.



Lim, instructor in teacher-training programs in East Asia, describes the results of his experiment in using podcasting in geography education. The author relates this use of technology to the educational theories of Vygotsky. He comments on the motivational factors for using mp3 players as well as the use of existing podcasts related to coursework, such as Education Podcast Network for general educational podcasts or 'Very Spatial' podcast for specific geography content. He considers that authoring podcasts might be performed by instructors as well as students. He considers that video episodes would be more beneficial for geography instruction; however, he mentions the significant difference for use because of podcasting being audio only versus how one must use a vodcast. He concludes by describing his use in his course and the responses that students made about this usage.



This article provides several instances of how podcasting is being used in classes, such as Spanish civilization and by administrators for addressing student concerns (ASU's president Michael M. Crow). The article cites an one example by Dr. Don McCubbrey of University of Denver to get the views of East Asians about the topic of exporting software engineering jobs to India. The Journalism and Mass Media Department at North Carolina AT&T State University are also involved with learning using the technology. The article is supplemented with charts of data about use and creation of podcasts.



Bellevue Community College in Washington state announces a pilot podcasting project during the spring 2006 semester involving about 20 instructors. The goal of the project is to "... assess the application of podcasting in multiple academic disciplines, to determine where and how it best enhances the educational process, examine the effects of podcasting on students, identify an solve podcasting's technological challenges, assess the technology's financial requirements, and investigate the technological and legal implications of publishing podcasts on the web." (para. 3) The results of the pilot will be published on the National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET) website during summer 2006 (http://www.nwcet.org).



In this article, Read documents several uses of podcasting of lectures at Duke, Purdue, and a new for-profit venture, Pick-a-Prof. At Purdue, the podcasting project, called BoilerCast, is allowing students to skip using the college library. The goal of the project was designed to enable students to study without needing access to computers. The article describes how one professor, Ms. Linda Herkenhoff, is using podcasting to provide review for students in her business class while creating other podcasts which allow her advanced students to expand their knowledge beyond class content. As expected, some professors express concern that students will avoid attending class; however, supporters overcome this argument either through use of attendance points or testing on content that is delivered in class visually, but not covered in the podcasts. The article also touches on intellectual property rights as they relate to podcasting of lectures.



Nash discusses podcasting theory that online learners seem to prefer using audio and web-based information in ways that counter what researchers recommend. She discusses podcasting principles and how they relate to various learning theories and how it sometimes is counterintuitive to certain theories.



Podcasts of Interest



Twenty-minute weekly announcements about activities for faculty development at Seattle Community Colleges as well as interviews with faculty members involved with various faculty development activities. Also available through the Education Podcast Network at http://epnweb.org/index.php?request_id=422&openpod=25#anchor25 RSS feed



Ivy Tech Community College releases new weekly podcasts each Wednesday with information about college offerings, news and events. Podcasts range in length from about 8 minutes to about 15. Also available through the Education Podcast Network at http://epnweb.org/index.php?request_id=349&openpod=25#anchor25 RSS feed



Podcasting Legal Issues


This guide provides a general roadmap of some of the legal issues specific to podcasting. The guide (http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Podcasting_Legal_Guide ) is provided by Colette Vogele of Vogele and Associates, Mia Garlick of Creative Commons and the Berkman Center Clinical Program in Cyber Law. This guide was produced as part of the Non-Residential Fellowship Program of the Center for Internet & Society at Standford Law School.


Developed 6/14/06, last update 10/8/06.

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