Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Podcasting's true nature?

I was thinking about this as I was heading to a webinar(PPT) (delivered using Webex - that crashed out and kicked everyone off at the same time, not something that would have happened on Elluminate) this morning. Much of what Web 2.0 is about is empowering people to create using what they already have available to them. This includes learning objects. I really hate the term, mostly because people are trying to monetize it, but also because in reality, everything is a learning object. It came to me that podcasts (not only audio here as many people see them, but as a package of files that include audio, video and other documents) are after a fashion, a form of learning object, but one that is free of the systemization of MERLOT or any one of the other repositories. Podcasts have 'catchers that find 'casts based on tags that people apply to them. So you have an object that can be tagged and bagged by anyone who wants it and the RSS technology that help drive the system creates a push environment where all the new materials that are available are there when the user wants them. It's simple, and inexpensive, and free of the baggage that the term "learning object" carries. In the webinar, Michael Gay told the session about BoilerCast at Perdue. It's a system that make many of their lectures available much like Stanford on iTunes. Their system was basically an upgrade to their existing system and by keeping things simple, they have created what they are finding to be a useful system and one that is flexible and accommodating the needs and wishes of many people. I realize that 'casting proponents around the EdTech blogosphere may consider what I have said heresy, but c'est la vie. At the end of the day, it's not a panacea, it's just another way to access information, and it's not this method/media that will provide results, it's how people will use it that makes all the difference. Technorati Tags: ,