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False Positives Adventures in Technology, SciFi and Culture from Toronto

Monday, January 03, 2005

Podcasting as an educational tool and The Napsterization of education

J.D. Lasica in New Media Musings: Podcasting as an educational tool notices a small paragraphs shout out by Thomas Hawk:

If every college lecture in the world were opened up for podcasting imagine the wealth of information at our fingertips. Further if through speech recognition software, or even simple meta tags if we are not there yet, having the capability to catalog and make available university lectures would be amazing.

And a links to Steve Sloan's EduPodder.com

It's a very interesting idea. It’s easy to get off the ground too with a nice value add. Very low bandwidth and wide availability of mp3 players makes it easy to distribute. Audio recording it well understood easy to do ad easy to edit, if necessary. Meta tagging with-in the audio files is well understood (say via ID3 format), with basic cataloging course catalog information as was as URI/URL for more information is well developed.

Being audio rather than video has a big few plus: it's less intrusive and people will worry less about how they look. Think about radio vs. television and the pretty boy news anchor head pheromone. Or 70’s rock stars vs. 80’s music video stars.

One limitation I would note is the habit of speaker’s referring to things the listener cannot see or visualize. So I would think at least a list of external materials referred to would need to be added for the diligent and curious to track down. This could be put with-in the file or on the URI/URL location.

Or you could go as far a MIT's OpenCourseWare, but I think something like this serves as a excellent starting point for colleges and universities to engage the process.

Even better: because it's less intrusive, what's to stop students from recording lectures right now and distributing them on P2P networks, rather than wait for the top down approach? The Napsterization of education!! Deliciously subversive.

I have a record function on my IRiver...maybe I should make a quite Podcast of my next meeting? For our internet, of course...


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