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  1. 1. Podcasting Phenomenon/ Podcasting Phenomenon: a discussion on the development of podcasting as a professional medium for learning Part I Current use EXECUTIVE SUMMARY What is podcasting? The word podcasting is derived from iPod – Apple’s ubiquitous media Podcasting – rich media files player – and broadcasting. Most podcasts are audio files, similar to available for download through segments of broadcast radio, available for download by subscription. automatic subscription - is a new and rapidly growing medium. Digitised media files (such as audio in MP3 or AAC format) can be made available on a website to be downloaded and played on a computer or Education establishments in the media player such as an iPod. This would create a passive store of files US and Europe have caught on through which the recipient would have to search for new material. Many to the potential of podcasts for media downloads dubbed podcasts are of this nature. However, this is a recording lectures, lessons and misnomer. other learning materials and as a new medium for students to A true podcast also includes subscription, so that once the visitor has submit work and express their subscribed - often a one-click process - new podcasts from that source creativity. will be downloaded to their player or browser automatically without having to return to the site and search. Media companies, from traditional broadcasters to The subscription service normally used is RSS (really simple syndication). newspapers, are experimenting When media files made available through Podcasting are posted to a site, with podcasts distributed to a the publisher updates an accompanying RSS file with the new media file’s select but growing audience. And name, topic description, length and location. Recipients subscribe to the podcasts are finding application publisher’s RSS feed once. Then each time the recipients are online their in industry in general for training web browser or iTunes (see iTunes page 2) polls the RSS feed for new and public relations. entries and automatically downloads any new content. One of the reasons why podcasts Podcasts are often associated with blogs (weblogs), a regular posting to appeal to a new generation which readers’ comments can be appended and downloads, such as of digital consumers and podcasts, can be attached by the author. Subscribing via RSS to a blog increasingly mobile workers is which contains podcasts will download the podcasts automatically as their portability: podcasts can be new content along with the blog each time the subscriber logs on to the consumed on the go, using either internet. a laptop computer or portable media player, such as an iPod. Podcasts are platform agnostic and work equally well on PC or Mac computers. There are an increasing number of applications, such as This paper looks at examples GarageBand from Apple and Open Source alternatives, for creating of current usage of podcasting, podcasts. in education, media and wider industry, and speculates about Podcasts are not confined to audio files: JPEG still images, PDF documents the role this technology will play and MPEG4 video can also form part of enhanced podcasts. Podcasts in the fundamental changes containing video are sometimes referred to as vodcasts or videocasts. But occurring in education in the near the majority of podcasts are audio-only or audio with images. There are future. fewer video-capable players and audio podcasts are simpler to make and easier to consume on portable players. Contents What is podcasting? Growth Education – current use 2 The ubiquity of the hardware – some 60 million iPods have been sold Media 5 worldwide to date – and the rapid increase in players capable of handling Training 6 video, such as the iPod, means podcasts will quickly be established as a Public relations 6 recognised medium alongside more familiar media such as print, radio, Education – future use 6 tv, film and the internet. Forward-looking media organisations with high-value content, such as the UK’s BBC, are experimenting with mostly audio podcasts. So far audiences are small compared to traditional broadcast media. But recognising the potentially broad appeal, media companies expect the popularity of podcasts to grow rapidly over the next few years. Aside from media companies, profit-making and not-for-profit organisations are also exploring podcasting as a means of disseminating In association with Apple information, such as for training courses. We will turn our attention to the use of podcasting in media organisations and wider industry later in this paper.
  2. 2. 2/Podcasting Phenomenon iTunes EdUCATIOn One area of life where podcasting has already found more widespread iTunes is Apple’s client which acceptance is education. In establishments as diverse as the HEC business provides personal access to its school in Paris to Sandaig Primary school in Glasgow, podcasts are being Music Store. The iTunes Music used to disseminate information, such as lectures to students, or school- Store is used increasingly by magazine-style audio programmes. organisations to store podcasts which can contain audio, video or A podcast’s content can be anything conveyed by an audio or video file: a pdf files. recorded lecture, a foreign language or music lesson or a demonstration of biology principles from an external source. In the US, higher education institutions can run an instance Podcasts are also an ideal way of integrating learning materials from of iTunes Music Store called external experts with standard curriculum texts or materials generated iTunes U, providing a public or in-house, deepening and personalising the learning experience. private repository of education media files. Podcasts are also being used by students and pupils themselves as an alternative means of presenting information which would otherwise be “iTunes U will make education handwritten. Teachers whose pupils frequently make podcasts attest to content distribution as easy as the technology’s power to engage pupils, build literacy and oratory skills music distribution,” says Herve and develop confidence and teamwork. Marchet, Apple director of EMEA education markets. The use of podcasting in schools and colleges in Europe is largely a grassroots movement, driven by enthusiastic teachers and students. Digital lifestyle It is no wonder that podcasts appeal to students and pupils. The boom in downloadable music, which started in the late 1990s, means that most young people of school or college age are familiar with the principles of downloading media files from the internet. The roaring success of Apple’s iPod and iTunes Music Store has built on this. The iPod is seen as a cool product, ergo using it as a learning tool makes school attractive to pupils. Furthermore, there is growing realisation among forward-thinking educators that the factory-style learning of the previous century is no longer a viable model for teaching the latest generation of technologically savvy students for whom interaction and collaboration is de rigour. The traditional chalk-and-talk lecture-style of teaching fails to engage those who daily use interactive digital tv and swap digital media in online forums. “In the last century we built big entities that did things for people - the BBC, a national rail network etc - but in this century it’s much more about helping people help each other,” says Professor Stephen Heppell, chief executive of international learning research and policy consultancy “The big success stories are eBay, Google etc. Like podcasting, they are essentially symmetrical applications: you consume and you produce at the same time. Crucially, these democratising technologies give people a voice. Everyone can make a contribution.” Usage Teachers can use podcasts to disseminate routine information, such as lesson plans, topic backgrounds, homework assignments and the fundamentals of lessons, in class or remotely from the school network. This reduces the amount of chalk-and-talk time, increases the time pupils can spend in smaller collaborative groups where learning is more intensified and generally freeing the teacher to be more creative. Audio files of lessons can also be distributed automatically via podcast to those who were unable to attend.
  3. 3. Podcasting Phenomenon/ Personal VLE POdCASTIng OffERS A The growth of podcasting as a popular means of disseminating education nUMbER Of bEnEfITS TO content has led some schools to look at providing iPods for students. The integral hard disk can be used to carry the student’s work, timetable, EdUCATORS school correspondence and become a private portable part of the • Engages learners student’s virtual learning environment (VLE). • Promotes personalisation and is a research project in which Heppell is involved, aimed at collaboration in teaching re-engaging young people of school age who for a variety of personal and logistical reasons have been out of the traditional educational system. • Uses familiar interface, medium Students of are called researchers. and equipment “In the early days we gave Notschool researchers iPod Shuffles where they • Ubiquitous device of kept their e-portfolios,” says Heppell. “So when they go for an interview consumption – portable media and are asked, ‘so what have you done?’ they whip out the Shuffle and player or web browser answer ‘let me show you’. Now they’re doing that on iPods with screens.” • Relatively small investment in Producers equipment required to get started The real power of podcasts for school-age learners is realised when the pupils become producers as well as consumers. • Intuitive software for creation, eg iLife ‘06 from Apple “The role of teachers is changing from delivering content to a knowledge coach,” says Alexandre Bonucci, vice chancellor IT at University of Lyon • Relatively low level of technical II. “Teaching used to be about teachers delivering content to passive skills required to get started students. Now teaching is much more interactive, an act of common construction between teacher and student using the media.” • Ubiquity of free open source editing and distribution software Using technology with a high perceived cool value can be used to engage otherwise disaffected pupils. Podcasts produced in small groups • Automates dissemination of encourage collaborative learning and team-working. Producing podcasts routine information improves literacy through script-writing and through researching the script, topic knowledge is imparted almost by stealth. Recording audio • frees up time for tutorial work develops oratory skills and builds confidence, especially if pupils’ podcasts are distributed to a wider audience than class peers and positive • Opens new channel of feedback encouraged from the audience, for example by podcasting a communication for students school magazine. • builds literacy and oratory skills, “In the media it’s about sounding like BBC Radio 4, but in education, the confidence and teamwork fact that you’re doing it is almost as important as the content, because you are opening up a new channel of communication with parents • Enables students to review and the wider school community,” says Jimmy Leach, editor of Public, lectures and lessons without The Guardian’s public sector supplement and formerly editor of the taking verbatim notes newspaper’s education section. • frees students of the constraints At Sandaig Primary in Glasgow, year five and six pupils podcast a of the physical classroom chatshow-style programme called Radio Sandaig, scripted, recorded and edited by the pupils mostly in their own time. • Assists distance learning model “Over the course of two years, I can listen to children now and compare • Moves towards an on-demand it with their original podcasts and I can hear the difference in their teaching material model speaking,” says John Johnston, year six teacher. “It impacts on things like self confidence and self awareness, a whole spectrum of skills in • Enables students with lower personal social development (PSD), which are not so easy to pin down traditional literacy skills to and measure.” participate in learning at all levels Lecture by podcast • Ease of integrating learning In higher education, again, podcasting can be used to automatically material from external experts disseminate routine information, such as course plans, backgrounders and generic information about the college which would otherwise require physical distribution via handouts.
  4. 4. /Podcasting Phenomenon POdCASTIng LECTURES Entire lectures can also be podcast with an audio recording synchronised with visuals aides or images provided by the instructor. This can be used AT UnIVERSITY Of by distance learners or those otherwise unable to attend the lecture. But bRAdfORd it also has great value to those who were present for the live lecture, freeing them from making verbatim notes because the lecture is available dr bill Ashraf, senior lecturer in for review. microbiology at the University of bradford, caused a stir in late “Sometimes students spend the whole lecture with their heads down May 2006 when he told the bbC and never look up at the slides,” says Adam Burt, technical tutor at he wouldn’t be doing any premier Ravensbourne College. “Knowing the lecture is podcast means there’s less first-year lectures in the next angst in terms of note-taking.” academic year. Once a library of podcast lectures and learning material has been Instead, he will podcast the established, students can access it at will, reviewing lectures on demand lectures and spend the time he to assist revision or to cover for absences. saves on more tutorial-style teaching which he says his HEC, a business school located near Versailles, France, has signed a students find more valuable. two-year partnership with Apple to integrate iPods and other Apple technologies into its undergraduate business and MBA programmes. “Lectures are not the most efficient way of imparting When the MBA class starts at HEC in the 2006/07 academic year, about half information to students,” says of the lectures will be captured as digital video and provided for students Ashraf. “There is the logistical to download as video podcasts an hour later. Every student will be given problem of getting 250 people an iPod with video capability, engraved with the school logo, which can plus me into the same room at be used for the course and to play the student’s personal music and video the same time. When you ask files. students, they would prefer to be taught in smaller groups The iPods will come preloaded with a message from the Dean, HEC’s RSS where they can focus on case feeds, class schedule and campus maps. Day-to-day the iPods can be studies and applying the course used to view the video lectures and other course materials, to subscribe material to specific problems or to news feeds from European news media, for language training, to access assignments.” HEC’s digital library and still leave room for the student’s personal choice of music and video. Ashraf experimented with podcast lectures for a year and The iPods will allow HEC and its students to show how these technologies received positive feedback from can be integrated into higher education and business, not just as a students. “I’ve never had a class delivery mechanism for course material, but also by students creating in the final year that has wanted new content. to interact so much and have asked such detailed, penetrating More tutorials thought-provoking questions,” he Furthermore, reducing the time lecturers spend delivering traditional says. lectures can increase the time available for tutorial sessions with smaller groups. Here, learning is focused on specific issues rather than the broad sweep of the subject; it is personalised in the sense that students take responsibility for the pace at which they learn; and it is collaborative, with students dividing research topics among a small group with common interests and assisting each other to learn under the guidance of the tutor. See University of Bradford for an example of podcast lectures in practice. Student assignments Encouraging podcasts as a means of filing assignments is not confined to school-age students. Podcasts can also be used effectively in higher education and lend themselves especially to subjects such as broadcasting or other courses that require audio work. See Ravensbourne College for an example of students creating podcasts in HE on page 6. This is especially relevant for students, such as dyslexics, who lack highly attuned traditional learning and communication literacy skills. See Podcasting offers a number of benefits to educators on page 3.
  5. 5. Podcasting Phenomenon/5 Ease of use Teachers and lecturers quite rightly point out that they are often too busy teaching to spend time learning how to get the best from a new technology, or that the equipment required is beyond their budget. However, at an individual level podcasts of lessons can be created from a single personal computer running GarageBand from Apple. “There’s no more upfront work to be done to record a lecture than to use a felt-tip pen on an acetate and very little technical knowledge is required,” says Dr Bill Ashraf, senior lecturer in microbiology at the University of Bradford. As podcasting becomes more popular in education and moves beyond the realm of enthusiasts towards established best practice, systems such as Apple’s Podcasting Server are emerging which enable teaching staff with near-zero technical skills to automate the production of podcasts on an institution-wide basis. The University of Lyon II, in France, has already started to offer an automated podcasting service to lecturers. Bonucci describes it as revolutionary technology because it removes the need for IT knowledge among teaching staff. “The benefit for the teacher is that he doesn’t have to be a computer scientist,” says Bonucci. “You can’t expect a professor of philosophy to know Java Script and XML – it’s not their job.” MEdIA In the UK it is no surprise that the BBC, with it’s wealth of radio programming, leads the field in audio downloads and podcasts. In total, BBC Radio audio files were downloaded 2.8 million times in March 2006, up more than a million since February. However, companies usually associated with a single medium, such as UK newspapers The Guardian and News International’s The Times, have also branched out into podcasting. See Potted history of podcasting at The Guardian on page 7. “We rely on our foreign correspondents and expertise within The Guardian a great deal for content,” says Neil McIntosh, assistant editor of The Guardian’s website, Guardian Unlimited. “A lot of it is discussion- based rather than heavily scripted. We don’t want to sound like [BBC] Radio 4. The idea is to have our own voice and develop something that is unique.” The Guardian’s podcast programmers use historical data from Guardian Unlimited to guide their choice of subject matter, but The Guardian’s use of podcasting is still in pilot phase, so there is value in experimenting too. “We cover a broad range of subjects and treatments so we can see what works and what doesn’t,” says McIntosh. While experimenting, Guardian podcasters are also picking up valuable experience and know-how, he adds. Recognising the multi-channel nature of modern media consumption and specifically the rise of mobile consumption, media companies are likely to increase their output of podcasts as they develop multimedia capability.
  6. 6. 6/Podcasting Phenomenon POdCASTIng SERVICE AT TRAInIng RAVEnSbOURnE COLLEgE There is also growing interest among industry generally in the podcasting phenomenon. According to Personnel Today, hospitals in Glasgow are Ravensbourne is a vocationally using podcasts to provide new staff with an audio induction on issues led college focussing on the such as workplace safety, infection control and coping with violence, creative industries. In 2006 the followed by a computer-based knowledge test. College launched a blog service for students and staff, enabling The podcast training is used for theatre staff at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, them to create a blog simply as in the labour ward and neonatal unit at the Princess Royal Maternity part of its Open Source Moodle Hospital and is being introduced at the Western Infirmary’s Accident and VLE. Emergency department. Some students and teaching staff Other health authorities in the UK and Europe have reportedly expressed have already included podcasts an interest in the concept. in their blogs and as of the following academic year, a fully PUbLIC RELATIOnS supported podcasting service will The increasing ubiquity of portable media players and mobile phones be available to all. capable of handling rich media podcasts, especially among the young, means organisations would do well to consider podcasting as part of “Podcasting relates very well their communications mix as a viable and convenient media channel to many of the courses we appealing to student-age and tech-savvy audiences. have here, like creative sound design and broadcasting,” says “You can reach people you couldn’t talk to before, says Marchet. “Your Adam burt, technical Tutor at sphere of influence just opened up. Now you can make rich media Ravensbourne College. “Students available and reach people in whatever way they choose to learn.” can use their blogs with podcasts to promote their work.” For example, since 2000, CERN, the particle physics research centre in Geneva, has webcast live programmes to promote its work. CERN is currently building a new particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), due to be operational in 2007. In preparation, CERN’s management is considering new material, explaining the benefits of the LHC and particle physics in general, to be produced as a fortnightly series of five to 15min video podcasts. “CERN has a mandate from the European member state council for communication and education, even though it is not a university,” says Silvano de Gennaro, head of multimedia productions at CERN. “The main reason is to motivate young people with aspirations to become scientists to consider physics. To do that we use the channels and media that they prefer, so video podcasting is an obvious choice for us because we already have programming on streaming media.” “We want to publish podcasts on iTunes so they will be immediately visible to great many people who are searching for science-related subjects,” says de Gennaro. Part II How will podcasting develop in education? Podcasting is already entrenched in education as can be seen from the examples above. But how is this likely to develop? Does podcasting threaten or compliment the traditional role of the teacher? Will usage dwindle once the novelty is over? Many educators believe that podcasting will assist in developing otherwise neglected skills and help education institutions find ways to adapt to the changing needs of learners.
  7. 7. Podcasting Phenomenon/ Oratory POTTEd HISTORY Of “Every employer values the way that you speak in an interview, but the POdCASTIng AT THE National Curriculum doesn’t value oratory at all,” says Heppell. “Many of us will have a school report that says “if only his written work was gUARdIAn as good as his spoken contributions” as if that was the child’s fault and for some years The guardian was not the school’s for failing to value the spoken contribution and only posting four-minute monologues valuing the written contribution. What you see with podcasting is a from foreign correspondents as broader definition of literacy that values oratory, students’ ability to offer downloadable Real Audio files to narrative, anecdote and annotation in spoken word.” its website, guardian Unlimited. “but no one addressed the issue For every student of whatever ability, podcasts can be a vital part of their of why the audio was happening personal electronic portfolio to show prospective employers and for and how we were going to creative students to promote their work. develop it,” says neil McIntosh, assistant editor of guardian “Graduates will put their blog on their business cards as a good way of Unlimited. promoting their work without an agent,” says Burt. The recent advent of RSS- Collaboration enabled blogs by guardian A podcasting infrastructure will enable schools and colleges to easily correspondents was a natural integrate learning materials from external sources. Students can fit with podcasting, enabling subscribe to the blogs and podcasts of the top experts in the topic they journalists to podcast with little are studying, deepening their knowledge and helping each other to learn technological development. but by sharing material. In turn, the experts can recruit a wider audience for the real breakthrough came their knowledge. when comedian and writer Ricky gervais began weekly podcast The pedagogy of collaborative knowledge discovery may seem at odds shows, featuring writing partner with the concept of a national curriculum as imposed in many European Stephen Merchant and sidekick schools, where a body of learning is mandated at governmental level and Karl Pilkington, on The guardian didactically communicated through professional instructors. But, Heppell Unlimited in december 2005. argues, how sensible is a national curriculum in a global society? In its first month the show “We live in a global society: my shoes are made in China, my shirt in India averaged 26,60 downloads and my computer was assembled in Ireland,” says Heppell. “We’re moving a week, making it not just the towards [distributed] global learning. You’ll focus on a shared topic, find most popular podcast of its other interested people, come together and listen to their contributions, time by a far, but also a poster make you own, assemble all this and maybe thread a narrative through child for podcasting per se and it. But synchronous distributed learning isn’t feasible [because of time significantly raising the profile of differences] so recording becomes important.” podcasting as a viable medium. International business schools, such as CHN in the Netherlands which Today The guardian has a studio, franchises its courses to overseas colleges, have already begun to put this in-house audio production into practice. experts and a partnership with a production company. They “We have guest lecturers that provide highly valuable content,” says produce about five hours of CHN president Robert Veenstra. “We can distribute it easily via iTunes or programming a week, across another RSS feed worldwide to [our campuses in] Thailand, South Africa, various subjects. China and Qatar.” The guardian plunged into online Celebration publishing earlier and in greater Communicating students’ work to a wider audience is seen to be a great depth than many of its European motivator to students to excel. As a new channel of communication with competitors, so it has established which it is inexpensive to produce content and from which it is easy to data on what subjects interest consume, podcasting will likely play a role in future ways for schools and visitors – data which is used to colleges to reach out to their wider constituents, as seen at Musselburgh guide the podcast programming. Grammar School and others. “Smart universities are realising that celebration is important, says Heppell. “I’m talking to a group of children in south London about the design of their school and they say “the problem with the design of our school is that people around here don’t know how good we are”. They need channels to show how good they are.”
  8. 8. /Podcasting Phenomenon Marketing An important part of this wider audience is prospective students and some establishments, such as CHN, are already using podcast e-brochures to attract students. Financial pressures are increasing competition among universities colleges and business schools offering vocational courses, especially in the lucrative overseas students market. Podcasting offers an inexpensive channel for show-casing the college with, for example, alumni testimonials and sample course material. “It’s a very competitive market with overseas students and we have to be more flexible,” says Bradford’s Ashraf, who sees his university developing to regard learners more as customers than students. Alumni Podcasting is also a viable way for universities and colleges to keep in touch with the community of alumni. There is enormous value that alumni can bring to current students, showing how they’ve applied what they learned in college in the real world. For example, graduates of business schools can show how they’ve applied the various business models to real life challenges in their organisations. Remote learning One area where podcasting can have the most dramatic impact – and potentially one of the most controversial – is distance learning. Often regarded by academics as an inferior form of learning, distance learning is on the increase. In 2004 a report by analysts at Gartner predicted that by 2009 half of all courses will be a hybrid of face-to-face and distance learning and that 80 percent of all learning content will be available on mobile platforms. This move to distance learning is driven by some fundamental shifts in HE and society itself. As semi- and unskilled jobs migrate to low-wage zones in developing nations, European workers must move up the economic foodchain by gaining new skills. European governments would like to see between half and two-thirds of all school leavers going on to HE and espouse a culture of life-long learning and continuous professional development (CPD) for all adults. “If you took two-thirds of the school-leavers and sent them all to college for three years, imagine the cost to the economy,” says Heppell. “The ability to dip into learning resources if you’re in a full time job puts you in charge of your own education.” As higher proportions of the population attend HE, it cannot be guaranteed that the majority of students will have the skills to cope with traditional learning environments. The ability to review and interact with podcast learning materials will be vital. “French universities have had a specific style of discourse and if you have traditional learning skills then you will be comfortable with this style of discourse, but if you don’t then you may struggle,” says Bonucci. “[Podcasting] technologies help to bridge this learning gap, presenting content in a way which students without traditional learning skills can relate to.”
  9. 9. Podcasting Phenomenon/ Besides the cost, in some European countries full-time residential HE is AbOUT THIS PAPER reaching saturation point. This will necessarily mean, if not an erosion, then certainly a dilution of the traditional HE model of three-year full- This paper is an ongoing study time residential degree courses. of the use of podcasting in the professional realm produced As universities raise fees and governments reduce grants, only the by Idg global Solutions in wealthy elite will be able to afford full-time HE. The majority will attend cooperation with Apple’s short vocational courses while in full- or part-time employment, with European education team. each course taking them to the next level of their career. In education, media and “I’ve talked to healthcare professionals who want their workers to obtain industry at large, people are a degree by studying one day a week,” says Ashraf. “How good would it be just beginning to discover for those students to have the podcasts of lectures before they come so the power of podcasting as a they can drill down in detail on the day they are in the college and make professional learning tool and are the most of the time they have? Traditional lectures aren’t suitable for at various stages of development. them. They need a bespoke session. They can’t just knock on my door Consequently it is intended and ask me to explain something in the same way that my residential that this paper will be updated students can.” regularly to reflect the progress made. It is also intended that “We have students for one day or two evenings a week and deliver future editions of this paper will learning materials via the internet,” says Veentstra. “It means they can be accompanied with rich media spend the time they are in the university as quality time between student attachments, such as audio and and tutor.” video of interviews with the contributors. Distance learning technologies such as podcasting will also encourage greater participation from those who are often currently excluded from This paper is meant as a catalyst traditional HE, such as the disabled, those with family commitments or for discussion. Please feel free those whose occupation or social circumstances that mean they rarely to send your comments and live in one location for more than a few months. experience of podcasting to the authors via Teaching skills But will the inexorable rise in distance learning mean the demise of The authors would like to thank traditional teaching skills? all those who freely contributed their time and thoughts to this That is unlikely, even in highly dispersed education establishments, such paper. as CHN, students still require guidance in selecting and interpreting learning materials. Prof Stephen Heppell “There will always be a tutor and a lecturer,” says Veenstra. “But I think that we will develop a lot of content available as podcasts. Podcasting Jimmy Leach, neil McIntosh will bring together the remote campuses because all the material will be available throughout the university and we can use it efficiently.” Alexandre bonucci Distance learning will never replace contact time with staff,” says Burt. “It gives students the ability to dip in and out of the content they choose and provides an enriched environment for them to learn in.” John Johnston Value of knowledge radio_sandaig/index.php There is the fear that teaching materials from reputable universities will be stolen and used by unauthorised teachers to provide a copy of the Adam burt same course at a lower fee. dan Read “We’ve had requests to move material from open public access to the [private] VLE because they are concerned about competitors,” says Andy dr bill Ashraf Ramsden, Learning Technology Adviser at the University of Bristol. Silvano de gennaro However, in the US leading colleges have made their course content publicly available in podcasts, seeing this as a way of promoting the Robert Veenstra college and of democratising knowledge. Andy Ramsden
  10. 10. 0/Podcasting Phenomenon COnCLUSIOn UC Berkeley For example, in April 2006 the University of California, Berkeley launched Currently in Europe, podcasting Berkeley on iTunes U, a free service that makes video and audio recordings in education is largely the domain of a growing number of course lectures available both on and off campus of enthusiastic students and through the iTunes Store. teaching staff who have combined their imaginations and technical Berkeley on iTunes U is open to the public as well as to all UC Berkeley skills. The wider developments students, bringing the campus’s multimedia assets under one UC we have discussed in part two of Berkeley-branded media gateway. this paper will be realised only if podcasting moves out of the “As a public university, UC Berkeley has a tradition of openness,” said realm of the individual enthusiast Obadiah Greenberg, product manager for UC Berkeley’s site. “It really and becomes an institution-wide speaks to our motto - fiat lux - let there be light.” practice as it is beginning to do in US universities. As prof Heppell says: “Podcasting is a democratising technology and that is what gives it its power.” This will require a podcasting infrastructure, such as Podcast Server from Apple, to enable lecturers with near-zero technical skills produce high-quality podcasts of their lectures using a simple start/stop control on a laptop. It will also enable students to create and submit assignments as podcasts without the technology diverting their attention from the topic. There will also have to be changes in the way students are assessed on their contributions: tutors will have to decide whether a 0min enhanced podcast carries the same academic weight as a ,000- word essay. At the final assessment, podcasting in education is another medium which facilitates the individual to contribute to the common body of knowledge. Its ease of creation and consumption, its symmetrical nature and its current momentum means it is unlikely to be a passing fad. The development of civilisation began with the recording of knowledge, first as oratory and later in various written forms. The ability to capture knowledge and pass it from generation to generation in an accessible form is the key to advancement. In association with Apple © 2006