Digital technology goes to class. ‘Move over, PowerPoint – there’s a new technology on the education scene. Podcasting is the next must-use classroom tool, experts say. It’s cutting-edge, it’s far-reaching – and it allows busy students to study on the go.
“One benefit to podcasting is the ability for students to bring it with them,” says Stephanie Goetz, the learning technology support specialist at Ryerson’s Digital Media Projects Office. Apple has even gone so far as to create a business around educational podcasts. A number of Canadian and U.S. universities have enrolled in iTunes U, a system that allows institutions to keep their digital educational content in one easy-to-access place. Stanford and Carleton’s universities are among those using its services, but Ryerson is hesitant to adopt the system because it might require students to buy iPods, Goetz says.’
Podcasting Makes the Grade: While podcasting has been around for less than a decade, its popularity has grown tremendously in the last few years. After Apple began adopting the technology in 2003, podcasts from a seemingly endless variety of sources became available at the click of a mouse button. Podcasting is also gaining ground in the education market as a means to capture and distribute class lectures at institutes of higher learning. In the Fall of 2005, the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) campus undertook a pilot run of recording devices and distribution methods to see if podcasting was suitable for their learning environment. In the calendar year 2004, the Hart Hall Media Distribution Lab at UC Davis checked out 17,307 recordings of campus lectures, all of which were on cassette tape. There was an obvious demand for the recordings but, given the advancement of digital technology, was there a better way to record and distribute them?