Web Wednesday: IRT podcasting pilot

Web Wednesday: IRT Podcasting Pilot

Building on Sam Levy's welcome-back article in the Bulletin Today, IRT is piloting new instructional technologies for the 2006-2007 academic school year. This offers the opportunity for faculty to experiment with various technologies to discover if these technologies prove beneficial for teaching, learning and communicating. Last Wednesday we discussed the Breeze pilot. Another pilot offered by IRT is "podcasting."

In the past decade, the experience of "audio or video on a computer" has moved from novel to common. To address how this change in technology and culture is influencing the changing opportunities for teaching and learning, Information Resources and Technologies has sponsored a project to investigate podcasting of instructional content.

A recent article in EduCAUSE Quarterly succinctly explains that "podcasting involves making audio and video files available for download on a routine basis via subscription." IRT’s podcasting project intends to explore more than just this narrow (albeit important and technically accurate) definition of podcasting. We are partnering with faculty to discuss a variety of "Internet-delivered audio/video" content – podcasting being one method (the latest and most popular one).

For several years, some faculty at St. Thomas have created "streaming videos" to explain difficult concepts outside of class time. Others have addressed auditory learning needs by e-mailing audio attachments as commentary on student projects. Now, thanks to the ubiquitous nature of portable media devices like the iPod, typical students are well equipped to experience new methods of learning regardless of subject area.

In addition, students are becoming immersed in their personal learning process as they create new kinds of media to "tell their story" in addition to (or in lieu of) traditional term papers. In years past, typewriters and overheads gave way to word processors and PowerPoint; audio interviews and video editing lie on the horizon as the next steps in student-created content.

Initial conversations about podcasting instructional content have begun with interested departments, and we intend for this project to run through the 2006-2007 academic year.

For more information visit the IRT Web site. To discuss if podcasting is right for you or your class, contact your academic technology consultant, or the IRT Tech Desk, (651) 962-6230.