Archive for the ‘Podcasting’ Category

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I just returned from attending the Creating Futures Technology Conference (CFTTC) in Biloxi, Mississippi.  The CFTTC is Mississippi’s only statewide technology conference and trade show for post-secondary education.  The first CFTTC was held in 1997 and was sponsored by the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) and the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges (SBCJC).  This was my fifth time to present at the CFTTC.  I have always enjoyed the opportunity of sharing my ideas and thoughts on the use of technology to help Mississippi students learn with colleagues at other colleges and universities in Mississippi.  For the past two days, I made three presentations at the CFTTC and thought they went well.  Here are my slideshows.  Hopefully, they are helpful for those who were unable to attend the CFTTC this year.

Presentation 1

Teaching and Learning with the Digital Natives


Presentation 2

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Podcasting Pilot Project




Presentation 3

Open Source in Higher Education



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I came across a YouTube video, iPod in Education, which gives a good overview of iPod and its use in education. The iPod in Education video is divided into two parts. I think both parts are helpful particularly for those who are new to iPods and podcasting. Part 1 covers the basic iPod operations, setting the master volume, Audiobooks, iQuiz maker, exporting quizzes to the iPod. In the Part 2, podcasts, iTunes U, adding your own video, world time, and stopwatch are discussed and demonstrated in the video.

Part 1 – iPod in Education

Part 2 – iPod in Education


After watching these videos, I hope you want to learn more about how iPod can be used in teaching and learning. I encourage you to read “iPod in Education: The Potential for Teaching and Learning,” a white paper published by Apple Computer, Inc.

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USM Podcasting Pilot

In spring 2007, Dr. Sharon Rouse and I collaborated with the Learning Enhancement Center at USM to launch a podcasting initiative for improving student learning opportunities through the use of podcasting technology. Faculty members were invited to submit proposals detailing their ideas and plans to use podcasting in teaching and learning at USM. The project involves USM’s faculty to: 1) deliver alternative course content to students that would enhance their engagement with content and audio/video, 2) offer a richer learning environment, and 3) increase students’ podcasting use on campus. However, the ultimate goal of the project is to test podcasting technology with pilot faculty before campus wide implementation.

To help implement the project, each participating faculty member was awarded an iPod, a Belkin Recorder, as well as a MacBook to use in the pilot project. To assist faculty participates in developing podcast, they were required to attend several training sessions and roundtable discussions during the summer 2007 to prepare them to integrate podcasting in their classrooms.

The pilot project involved training on several podcasting software tools, provided understanding of how podcasting reinforces student learning, encouraged innovative thinking in roundtable discussions, offered brown bag seminars and promoted sharing podcasts project experiences. These training sessions included such topics as subscribing to podcasting, using Wimba podcasting, working with Audacity, Apple iTunes, and many others. A listserv and a podcasting blog were established to further encourage discussion among the participants.

Currently, the pilot participants are developing podcasts for their courses. Several of them have already integrated podcasts into their teaching this semester. It is expected all pilot faculty will integrate podcasting in their classrooms in Spring 2008. A student survey will be conducted next week to collect students’ feedback regarding their experience of using podcasting as a learning tool at USM.

To learn more about the Podcasting Pilot Project at Southern Miss, please visit the Web site at: http://www.usm.edu/lec/podcasting/index.html

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Podcasting With Your Phone


I found an interesting hosted service, Gabcast, that lets you use your phone or VoIP to instantly create podcasts and then post them to your blog or website. This is probably one of the easiest ways to create a podcast. And the best of all, it is a free. Gabcast is easy to use podcasting service that operates via telephone. There is no need for any audio editing software or microphone. Recording with Gabcast is extremely easy; all you do is call a toll-free US number with your phone, put in your password and talk. Once you have completed your recording, you can add tags and publish from your phone. Subscribers to your podcast are automatically notified of new posts. Basically, you can publish podcasts to your blog in three ways: automatically through an embedded player, or posted links, or you can manually paste in the HTML code if you would rather not use the automated service. Besides posting to your blog, Gabcast service can also help you post your podcasts on Facebook and MySpace as well as audio product descriptions on eBay.

This is too cool! I can use Gabcast for publishing my podcasts on my blog and website, particularly when I am away from my computer and internet. I can also use this to conduct interviews, make recordings in the field trips, and connect with colleagues and students in conference calls.

I think Gabcast is a great podcasting tool and audioblogging platform that offers virtual communities, individuals, and schools an easy way to create and distribute audio content.

I tried out Gabcast for the past few days and like it very much. Though the sound quality is not great, it is acceptable since you are using your phone to do recording.  I think Gabcast has the best phone to podcast service I have experienced. You can store up to 200 MB with automatic RSS feeds and blog integration for free. If you are willing to pay $6 per month, you can keep your podcasts private and get 400 MB and features like hidden channels and episodes.

Well, here is my first episode on Ed Tech Talk using the Gabcast service.

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The interest in podcasting has exploded over the past two years.  On December 8, 2005, the New Oxford American Dictionary crowned “podcast” as its 2005 Word of the Year and defines the term as “a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player.”  Podcasting is a unique distribution of audio or video files, such as radio programs or music videos, over the internet using RSS or Atom syndication.  Users can listen or view these files using a media player program on the computer or easily move them to a mobile device.  While earlier podcasters typically distributed syndicated audio files and radio shows, podcasters now routinely deliver many types of digital multimedia content, including video, audio, images and text.

Since the birth of podcasting technology in 2004, podcasts have become a very popular medium for news, information, and entertainment.  According to the Pew Internet Project Data Memo released by the Pew Internet and American Life Project in November 2006, approximately 12% of internet users indicate they have downloaded a podcast so they can listen to it or view it at a later time. This latest finding compares to the 7% of internet users who reported podcast downloading in the similar survey given 4 months earlier from February to April 2006.  Podcasting has taken the online world by storm, with teachers adopting the RSS-based digital content broadcasting distribution technologies with huge enthusiasm.  Beloved by students worldwide, the ubiquitous small MP3 player is now becoming a presence in the classroom as teachers discover its many educational uses.

Today, many colleges and universities have begun podcasting pilots for instructional delivery.  Universities such as Duke University, Stanford University, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of California-Berkeley are making podcasts of course lectures available for their students.  With the new generation video iPods or other portable multimedia players, it is possible to provide both video and audio contents to the students.  Students can download the lectures to their iPods or even listen to them using traditional media players on personal computers and laptops.  In January 2006, Apple Computer Inc. introduced “iTunes U,” a free, hosted service that makes course lectures and other educational materials accessible via Apple’s iTunes software.  Through iTunes U, students can subscribe to iTunes U and remotely download lectures to their Macs or PCs, which later, can either be synchronized to an iPod for listening/viewing on the go or burned to a CD.  Instructors can easily post and change content on their own. Also, students can upload their own content to share with professors or with the class.

The uses of podcasting in education are found in the areas of course content dissemination, classroom recording, field recording, study support, and file transfer and storage.  In addition, podcasting can be used in the following areas:

  • Self-paced distance learning
  • Recording lectures for syndication
  • Literary reviews
  • Digital audio books
  • Video demonstrations and presentations from students and teachers
  • Class news and updates
  • Home/school communication
  • Interviews with guest experts or oral history
  • Distribution of supplemental information such as speeches or music
  • Student-produced podcasts
  • Re-mediation for slower learners
  • Tours/fieldwork
  • Staff development
  • Internships/residencies
  • Feedback/evaluation of student work
  • Language lessons

I have created podcasts/vocasts for every course I taught for the past year.  Overall, my students like the podcasts in the classroom.  They use the class podcasts to review my lectures and demonstrations and catch up what they missed when they were absent.  I think podcasting has a great potential in teaching and learning.  Podcasting allows education to become more portable than ever before.  Also, podcasting is a very flexible delivery method for distributing high quality learning materials.  The benefits of podcasting in education include: convenience, mobile learning, location-independent access, easy-to-use tool for recording field notes and interviews, requires no special hardware, greater student interest in class discussion, and support for individual learning preferences.

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