Podcasting for mobile learners - exploiting opportunities


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Keynote presented at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) e-Learning Festival 18 November 2010.

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Podcasting for mobile learners - exploiting opportunities

  1. 1. Podcasting for mobile learners: exploiting opportunities<br />A/Prof. Dick Ng’ambi<br />Centre for Educational Technology<br />University of Cape Town<br />Keynote presented at the DUT e-Learning Festival held at the Durban University of Technology <br />17-19 November 2010<br />
  2. 2. SMS Questions on Today’s lecture<br />Our course is called: edn6099<br />Today’s lecture is number 7<br />It’s a big class<br />Our short code is: 31642<br />Text as I lecture (during), and text as you listen to the podcast (post-lecture)<br /> Edn6099-7 + [type your question]<br />e.g. Edn6099-7 + How is the weather in Durban?<br />
  3. 3. Background<br />
  4. 4. Global Literature on m-learning<br />Mobile phones connectivity vs. non-connected devices<br />Desktop experience is extended through mobile learning (both connected / non-connected) <br />Opportunity: Leverage classroom activity/ interaction<br />Devices with no connectivity have not proved popular or sufficiently useful (FutureLab Handbook, 2006)<br />Opportunity: Use MP3 players and iPods along side mobile phones<br />Most mobile devices are not integrated into institutional networks <br />Opportunity: Link students with educators & peers, mobile devices with learning<br />Significant blurring of distinction between mobile phones and data-centric handheld devices e.g. PDAs (Becta, 2004)<br />Opportunity: design learning activities that are device, space, time and distance independent<br />
  5. 5. SA ICT Indicators<br />Note: These statistics focus on devices / tools and not on what they are used for<br />ITU website <br />
  6. 6. Content<br />Connectivity<br />Interactivity<br />Pedagogy<br />
  7. 7. Content<br />Connectivity<br />Interactivity<br />Pedagogy<br />
  8. 8. <ul><li>Server: site archiving and storing podcasts</li></ul>8<br />Podcast Servers<br />
  9. 9. Record a podcast directly from a mobile phone<br />Provide Internet access to MP3 of your voice messages<br />9<br />Using Mobile Phones to Podcast<br />
  10. 10. MINGLING / INFORMAL AREA<br />ON BUS TO / FRO CAMPUS<br />Learning resources / collective knowledge<br />COMPUTER LAB <br />STUDY ROOM / LIBRARY / RESIDENCE<br />
  11. 11. RSS feed to mobile devices<br />
  12. 12. 12<br />Challenge<br />
  13. 13. Text as expression of thought<br />13<br />
  14. 14. Technology Mediated Expression<br />14<br />
  15. 15. 15<br />Transformation of mind<br />
  16. 16. Three reasons for using podcasts are:<br />making learning more flexible<br />increasing the accessibility of learning materials<br />enhancing students’ learning experiences (McGarr, 2009) <br />16<br />Podcasting and Learner Mobility<br />
  17. 17. Case Study (Undergraduate)<br />Pedagogy<br />Information Systems Dept<br />2008-MP3<br /><ul><li>428 1st year students (28 tutors)
  18. 18. Lectures; theory/prac in lecture theatre</li></ul>2009-MP4<br /><ul><li>608 1st year students (44 tutors)
  19. 19. Lectures; theory/prac in computer lab</li></ul>Podcasts in pedagogy loosely coupled<br />Didactic teaching approach<br />Learner choice and flexibility high <br />
  20. 20. Case Study (Postgraduate)<br />Pedagogy<br />Graduate School of Humanities; School of Education<br />2008<br /><ul><li>16 postgraduate students
  21. 21. 8 week module (4-7PM Tues & Thurs)</li></ul>2009 <br /><ul><li>18 postgraduate students
  22. 22. 1 week block release module (Mon-Sat)</li></ul>Podcasts in pedagogy tightly coupled<br />Reflective learning teaching approach<br />Learner choice and flexibility medium <br />
  23. 23. Teaching Strategies for Podcast<br />Comparing Teaching Approaches <br />19<br />
  24. 24. Undergraduate course in the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Cape Town<br />Lecturers recorded their lectures, and uploaded the audio files on the course site on the LMS<br />The total number of students was 411<br />Most of the students commuted to campus and had no access to Internet when away from the campus.<br />20<br />Context (Undergraduate Experience)<br />
  25. 25. Mobility was between home (without Internet connection); buses, campus, computer laboratories and classroom<br />Time for socialisation and engagement with peers was also limited<br />Mobile learners traversed high broadband Internet empowered environments (campus) to zero or expensive connectivity (home)<br />21<br />
  26. 26. Action Research approach<br />An ethnographic method<br />Two types of recording were done: a scheduled live lecture and a practical briefing<br />Practical briefing involved details of what students were to do in the lab that week<br />22<br />Methodology<br />
  27. 27. A total of six lecturers gave lectures over the course of the semester<br />Five lecturers agreed to have their lectures recorded<br />None of them had any prior experience with using podcasting to support student learning<br />23<br />
  28. 28. Students choosing not to use the course site to access the podcasts<br />Access via RSS feed: 44<br />Access via course site: 242<br />Access via RSS feeds and via LMS accounted for 10.7% and 58.9% respectively. <br />Some students were already exposed to the technology via music downloads. <br />24<br />Observations<br />
  29. 29. 286 students accessed podcasts, more than half the total number of students registered for the course. <br />69.6% of students registered for the course accessed the podcasts at least once<br />Some files were downloaded more than once by the same user<br />which indicates that students do not listen to each and every lecture. They might listen to some lectures more than once. <br />25<br />
  30. 30. Some students report not being aware of the availability of podcasts at the time of administering the questionnaire.<br />Some students felt that the podcasts need video in order for them to be effective and so did not use the audio files, others used the slides and textbook only and some students forgot about them while others never thought of using them. <br />26<br />
  31. 31. Some of the ways in which the podcasts were found to be useful in learning include:<br />enabling students to gain a better understanding as they reviewed what was said by lecturers<br />an effective way of grasping concepts at one’s own pace<br />helpful when classes weren’t specific<br />27<br />
  32. 32. Students may not be downloading and keeping the files for later reference, but rather download as and when they need to use them.<br />Number of times users accessed podcasts:<br />less than 5 (35%)<br />Between 5-10 (47%)<br />Greater than 10 (17%)<br />28<br />
  33. 33. Principle reason for using podcasts is to give students additional resources that they can use for study and reference purposes.<br />Using the latest technology for learning purposes is meant to give students a choice in what resources they use to meet their needs.<br />Lecturers report that the time spent on consultation and lecture preparation is not affected by the availability of podcasts.<br />29<br />
  34. 34. Improved attendance. Previously, this component suffered declining attendance resulting in poor student performance in the exam. <br />Podcasts revamped the course, increased student attendance:<br />The podcasting worked very well as I was able to construct notes from the lectures after the lectures were finished. (extracts from 2009 course evaluation)<br />30<br />
  35. 35. Discussion<br />Challenges of Producing Podcasts<br />Inability of the microphone to pick up the students’ voices when they were speaking.<br />Filtering out outside noise also posed a significant challenge.<br />31<br />
  36. 36. Recording equipment<br />Recorder was easy to use as well as small enough for the lecturers to carry around in their pocket.<br />Technical problems experienced were accidental switching off the recorder as the lecturer moved around and interference with the sound system in the venue, which resulted in poor sound quality.<br />32<br />
  37. 37. Recording and Editing Audio Files<br />reduce the size of the files to enable students to download on small-cost playback devices. <br />The advantage of low-sized files was that the few students with iPods were not privileged at the expense of those who did not. <br />33<br />
  38. 38. 34<br />
  39. 39. Knowledge construction<br />Content<br />Connectivity<br />Cognition<br />Learning Design<br />Interactivity<br />Pedagogy<br />Sociology of knowledge<br />
  40. 40. Knowledge construction<br />Open Source<br />Mobile Devices<br />Content<br />Connectivity<br />Cognition<br />Learning Design<br />Interactivity<br />Pedagogy<br />Free Software<br />Social Media<br />Sociology of knowledge<br />
  41. 41. Recommendations 1 of 4<br />Designing tasks for learning while on the move requires both educators and instructional designers to focus on the medium view of mobile devices<br />Aligning pedagogical goals with affordances at medium view level draws on existing device uses, reduces the learning curve and engages learners<br />
  42. 42. Recommendations 2 of 4<br />Ensuring that none of the learners are excluded, use a tools view to determine type of devices that learners have<br />Don’t develop learning tasks that requires an iPhone when learners don’t have the device or a wap application when only a handful of learners have wap-enabled phones<br />
  43. 43. Recommendations 3 of 4<br />Design learning activities that combine the rigidity of lecture schedules, fixed desktops, learner mobility and ubiquitous technologies<br />
  44. 44. Recommendations 4 of 4<br />Leverage institutional LMS with popular social media so as to: <br />Maximize use of tools<br />Provides multiple ways of accessing content and social networking<br />Value of using ubiquitous tools<br />No additional costs in acquiring & training students to use new tools<br />Ensures more equitable access to content <br />
  45. 45. Discussion<br />Answer SMS Questions<br />
  46. 46. Useful Resources<br />Search Engines And Directories For Podcasts.<br />http://www.podcast411.com/page2.html (reflects numerous directories) <br />http://www.vodstock.com/vodstock/vodcast-directories.php (listing video podcasts and “vlog” directories as of Nov. 10, 2005) <br />http://podcasts.yahoo.com/<br />http://www.podcast.net/<br />http://www.podscope.com/<br />http://search.singingfish.com/sfw/home.jsp<br />http://www.podcastalley.com/index.php<br />http://www.digitalpodcast.com/<br />Podcatcher Programs.<br />A list is available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Podcatchers<br />Finding Podsafe Content.<br />http://creativecommons.org/<br />http://www.audiofeeds.org/<br />http://music.podshow.com/ (the podsafe music network) <br />http://www.podsafeaudio.com/<br />http://www.ipodarmy.com/2005/06/how-to-find-podsafe-music/ (how-to article) <br />http://www.magnatune.com<br />http://promonet.iodalliance.com (a service from IODA (Independent Online Distribution Alliance) that offers podcasters, and others access to thousands of pre-cleared tracks from independent record labels) <br />http://www.pumpaudio.com/index.html (proper licensing of independent music for use in advertising, television, film and the web) <br />http://www.garageband.com/htdb/feed/partners.html (music supplier with large catalog of CC music) <br />http://www.gcast.com (free and simple service that provides entire GarageBand catalog that is podcast safe) <br />Sourced from: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Podcasting_Legal_Guide<br />
  47. 47. Thank you<br />Contact details:<br />Dick Ng’ambi<br />Centre for Educational Technology<br />Dick.Ngambi@uct.ac.za<br />Skype Id: dngambi<br />43<br />