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PODCASTING THEORY & PRACTICE Dr. Alisa Cooper South Mountain Community College

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This is the first in a series a four learning labs on podcasting in education at South Mountain Community College presented by MCLI, the Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction. Presentation is accompanied by a wiki: http://drcoop.pbwiki.com


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South Mountain Community College

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A podcast is a collection of digital media files which is distributed over the Internet, often using syndication feeds, for playback on portable

media players and personal computers (Wikipedia).

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Digital Media Files & Playersaudio, video, other digital content

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What is Podcast?

The term “podcast” is a portmanteau of the acronym “Pod”—standing for “Portable on Demand”—and “broadcast”.

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What makes a podcast different from other digital audio formats is its ability to be downloaded automatically using software capable of reading feeds like RSS or Atom.

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RSS Aggregator

Podcast audio uses syndication feed enclosures which pass the address of a media file to the RSS aggregator

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Media aggregators are sometimes referred to as “Podcatchers” due to the popularity of the term “podcast.”

Media aggregators refer to applications: client software or Web based, which maintain subscriptions to feeds that contain audio or video media enclosures.

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What is RSS?

RSS 2.0 stands for Really Simple Syndication.

RSS is a type of web feed, a data format used for serving users’ frequently updated content.

Video: RSS in Plain English

Video from commoncraft:Explanations in Plain English

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RSS Simplified

Websites syndicate the web feed which allows users to subscribe to it.

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Podcasting Usage in Education

course content dissemination,

classroom recording,

field recording,

study support (via repeated listening to audio content), and

file storage and transfer

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How does this improve teaching & learning?

Time shifting

Expanding Classroom

Review Capability

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Time Shifting

“The iPod technology also offers the potential to shift the proportion of class time devoted to learning that benefits from face-to-face interactions between faculty and students, and shift preparatory work to outside times and locations” (Leland quoted in Blaisdell, 2006).

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24/7 Education

Create a learning environment that extends well outside the boundaries of the classroom.

Create community among students.

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Review Capability

Course lectures can be dense and difficult to grab ahold of in just one sitting.

Podcasts allow for review, review and more review.

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Is It All Hype?

For some, maybe. It gets attention from students

Duke spent $500,000 and generated substantial

publicityIt’s a developing

technology and faculty need to buy in and be


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Podcasting Faculty

A recent study found individuals who were venturesome, socially mobile, rated high on intelligence and innovativeness, and were not concerned with uncertainty or risk were most likely to adopt.

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Major Issues

content storage and access,

procurement of licenses for copyrighted material,

lack of instructor tools for content creation, and

limited documentation and training resources

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iTunes Uthe campus that never sleeps

iTunes U has arrived, giving colleges an ingenious way to get audio and video content out to their students.

Presentations, performances, lectures, demonstrations, debates, tours, archival footage

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Copyright & Legal Issues

Rights and permissions need to be secured for material included

Copyright law is relevant to podcasts because it applies to creative and expressive works and copyright attaches automatically

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Future of Podcasting

There are sound theoretical arguments for at least investigating the

extent to which podcasting can be an

effective pedagogical tool (Lim, 2005).

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