Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Podcast to increase meaningful contact time, One year on Blogger!

Well, it's been just over a year now that I've been on Blogger after dropping the generally wet noodle Spymac system. Including this post, I've got 385 in total, which suggests that if it's easy enough, it becomes transparent. But now on to the meat of the post (well maybe only a chicken wing worth). I was talking with one of the people I know from inside Apple Education and the topic of podcasting came up and through the various bit and pieces that we talked about, we both agreed that podcasts can be any bits of information that are retrievable online and more/most importantly are updated in a serial/timely manner and that those updates are pushed out to the users via RSS. Audio of course the dominant element of many podcasts, but it could be just text and ppt slides if you really want. But after all that, we talked that in today's learning environment, podcasts may be a way to engage learners when they want with (his/her Master's Voice) voice over content. This way, an instructor or lecturer can devote the contact time that they have with students to dynamic content, something that will engage students. After all, the challenge is to get 45 year old instructors to appreciate the way that 18 year old students think, and to get them to appreciate what the instructor has to offer. Interaction should really help with this. This is the stereotype, but I think you get the idea. If you think about it, what really is the point of getting students to gather and then just be spewed at for an hour in a large class. If you think about it, labs and seminars were likely created to increase contact time as well, if you podcast, then the lecture can become a more interactive session to go into more depth with students. The downside here is also that students need to buy into this and often they don't. They are often looking for the content just to be dumped into their head as it was in high school, so podcasting gets that part out of the way and then there is the challenge to get them talking and caring about content. In a large class this is a massive task, and likely one that will not be as easily addressed with technology. One of the problems that we also agreed on that there is with podcasting is that there is a considerable amount of work needed to get a podcast that is useful in any significant manner online. This is what gets most people to jump off the bandwagon. But if you have instructors that are also bored of spewing the same static content to the bald spots/parts/hats of their class while notes are being taken, podcasting can certainly help. Technorati Tags: