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You need to know about … Podcasting. Dr Andrew Oliver Learning Technology Development Unit & The Blended Learning Unit University of Hertfordshire. So what is it?. Podcasting : iPod (MP3 player) and Broadcasting What does it mean?

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You need to know about podcasting

You need to know about …Podcasting

Dr Andrew Oliver

Learning Technology Development Unit & The Blended Learning Unit

University of Hertfordshire

So what is it
So what is it?

Podcasting : iPod (MP3 player) and Broadcasting

What does it mean?

“a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player“, New Oxford American Dictionary


  • But you DON’T need an iPod

  • In fact – you DON’T need a mobile player

The technology is not new
The technology is NOT new

…but is MORE accessible. Easy to…

  • Create

  • Publish (i.e. upload to a website)

  • Subscribe and

  • Listen (on mobile players)

  • at home, driving, exercising, waiting for buses – the ‘Dead time’.

  • Mobile learning: when they want, how they want and where they want.

  • How does it work
    How does it work?


    • Record using digital voice recorder (MP3 format, WAV second best)

    • Upload (‘publish’) to website (StudyNet)


    • subscribes to the podcast (usually iTunes)

    • downloads the latest recording to their player

    • AND regularly checks for new content

      But don’t need iTunes/ mobile player…

      …the workstation is fine

    What are the benefits1
    What are the benefits?

    Cheap and easy to create

    • Recording: digital voice recorder (£50)

    • Editing: optional & free (Audacity)

    • Uploading: fast & simple (StudyNet)

    • Listening: free software available (iTunes)

    • Minimal Training: media savvy NOT essential

    Learning on the move
    Learning on the move

    • NOT fixed – NOT sitting in front of the computer

    • Where the player goes… so does the learning

    • Review & prepare while:

      • Travelling (car, bus train etc.)

      • Exercising & Household chores(!)

      • Sitting in favourite armchair

    • aka mobile learning, aka m-learning

    Reaches into digital lives
    Reaches into ‘digital lives’

    • Technology already part of Youth culture

    • iTunes (buy music, subscribe to radio, news)

    • Familiarity – non threatening - widen education

    • Bridges the gap between expert & learner

      Sits alongside other podcasts…

      …mixes education with the student’s daily life…

      … extends beyond the classroom.

    Recover understand
    Recover & Understand

    • Recovery of missed lectures & missed lecture content

    • Helps to prepare, review & reflect (reinforce)

      • Prepare (using dead time)

      • Review (difficult concepts) again & reinforce understanding

        Applies to any audio file BUT…

        …podcasting = ‘on the move’

    Student perspective
    Student perspective

    Do you think MP3s of lectures will be useful? Will you listen to any future lectures which are recorded?

    • “If you didn't understand an explanation in the lecture, you can listen back and maybe pick up on something you missed the first time round.”

    • “This really helps me,....i struggle to take everything in, even though im listening, and often end up teaching myself! i think all subjects should use it”

    • “VERY good idea, it is hard to listen and take in everything said in a lecture, and so to be able to hear it again is useful. “

    • “i would be great if you could do it for the rest of the lectures.”

    • Comments made by Business School students (thanks to Jenny Evans)

    More benefits
    More benefits

    • Relax & concentrate on the material (students)

    • Captures the lecturer’s enthusiasm

    • Facilitates critiquing and self-critiquing in private (staff & student)

    • Provides an accurate record of peer group activity

    • Act as ‘cultural artefacts’

    Student podcasting part 1
    Student podcasting part 1

    • Increases presentation skills

      • More confident

      • Iterative process (thru peer critiquing)

      • Review & practice = improve vocab

    • Encourages creativity

      • Explore & express ideas

      • Share perceptions

      • And show off!


    • Attendance may fall

      • Perceived, not reported (UH Bus Sch.)

      • (solve: add social elements to lecture)

    • We are all amateurs - not experts

      • content (student) & quality (‘speakers voice’)

      • (solve: don’t lecture, be conversational)

    • The learner cannot control pacing

      • Difficult to skim & often listen in 1 go

      • (solve: add show notes + chapter points)

    Just a couple more
    Just a couple more

    • Not designed for 2 way interaction

      • Brings tutor & student closer BUT…

      • Student cannot ask for details or revision or expand into related areas

    • (may) encourage shallow learning

      • Skim reading = half listen (esp. while ‘on the move’)

      • Listen at the last minute

    How can i use this staff
    How can I use this? (staff)

    Record lectures

    • Either during or before & include slides / show notes

      Preparation work (‘precasting’)

    • Summarise potentially difficult concepts prior to lecture

    How can i use this staff ii
    How can I use this? (staff) II

    Commentaries aka radio show

    • record regular commentaries in addition to the lecture (e.g. weekly updates, tips, views)

      Add social activity to the lecture

    • deeper discussion (and record it!)

      Field trips / guides

    • virtual tour ‘musecast’ (inc images) & commentary

    How can i use this staff iii
    How can I use this? (staff) III

    • Q & A and Tutorial sessions

      • Answer questions submitted by students

      • Record 1-to-1 session with student

    • Interview experts, guest lecturers

      • Conferences, placements

    Student podcasting part 2
    Student Podcasting part 2

    BIG in the States (K12) & Musselburgh, Scotland

    • Field trips, placements, language practice, record of group work, seminars, lectures, interviews, field notes, interviews (with each other, experts).

    • Oral essays (poster!) sound affects, music, commentary, readings - pull in above to create their own interpretation


    • Institutional promotion

      • Campus guides, student interviews, staff interviews

      • used to promote the university and it’s location to domestic and foreign students.

    • Student support (news, religion)

    • Linking institution to community

      • Profcasts, guest lecturers (seeds of interest).

      • Establish links to local schools (& abroad).

    Podcasting in 3 easy steps
    Podcasting in 3 easy steps

    • Recording

      • Digital voice recorder (contact BLU for recommendations)

    • Uploading (StudyNet)

      • add file to Resources Library (like email attach)

      • Select podcast ‘on’ & save

    • Create a “Teaching resource”

      • (not all students know about podcasting)

    And during recording
    And during recording…

    • For pre recording

      • Outline session content (news, future events, main items) in. episode number

      • Introduce yourself & others

      • Provide contact details

      • State who and where recording produced

      • Keep to approx 20 minutes

      • Use Audacity* & a mic (good for editing)

      • *enter into Google

    And during recording1
    And during recording…

    • Tell the students

    • Repeat audience questions

    • Mention module, class and date (and yourself)

    • Refer to:

      • Numbered list (not bullets)

      • Number slides


    • If the session is long:

    • Stop periodically to create acceptable files sizes (i.e. < 16 MB).

    Subscribe yourself
    Subscribe yourself

    • See how students subscribe to your module

    • Check if your podcast works

    • Subscribe to other modules

    • Download iTunes & follow the instructions on StudyNet []

    • NOTE: use iTunes

      • to convert files to MP3

      • To reduce file size to <16MB StudyNet limit

    Some examples
    Some examples

    • EdTechTalk

    • Podcast for Teachers (live from the Bronx!)

    • UC Berkeley Courses & Events Live

    • Stanford on iTunes U

    • Learning2Go (Wolverhampton City Council)

    • Musselburgh Grammar Sch (UK)

    • StudyNet!

      • Public Law (Penny Wiggins)

      • Health & Human (Jenny Lorimar, Alan Hilliard)

      • Business School (Jane Waksman)


    • Educational Technology That Talks...

    • Radio show format w/ guests, news

    • Streamed live (webcast)

    • MP3 recording podcasted after show

    • Transcript posted in forum

    Uc berkeley courses events live
    UC Berkeley Courses & Events Live

    • examples of podcasted lecture sessions

    • some live, some pre recorded.

    • Mainly free to outside world

    • Access to lectures, guides, events etc.

    • Berkeley on iTunes U

    Stanford on itunes u
    Stanford on iTunes U

    Never mind the lectures here’s…

    • News, visiting lecturers & speeches

    • ‘Best of Philosophy Talk’, Microdocumentaries

    • Stanford Initiatives (environment, health, International issues)

    • sports (interviews and highlights, game coverage)

    • music (concerts)

      500 tracks (for the public) averaging 15,000 downloads per week (130,000 during the first 2 weeks)

    Musselburgh grammar school
    Musselburgh Grammar School

    • Produced by students for students!

    • Readings, interviews, news, events

    • Packaged with music, sound effects

    • Recorded ‘in the field’

    • Gathered into 1 single podcast

    Studynet examples
    StudyNet examples

    • Public Law (3LAW0065)

    • Penny Wiggins, Karen Clark

    • For revision and preparation

    • Recorded ‘live’ or pre-recorded

    • Range 7 mins to over 1 hour

    • instructions to user are included by default (but aren’t really needed…)

    Studynet examples1
    StudyNet examples

    • Advancing Practice (3AHP0036)

    • Heather Thornton, Stephanie Wyer, Jane Simmonds

    • Interview with clinicians

    • Not compulsory but 80% students listened (70% in first few days)  

    Studynet examples2
    StudyNet examples

    • Managing People In Health Care (MAHP0068)

    • Heather Thornton

    • Recorded students discussing coursework & receiving feedback from peers

    • Informal & allows students to engage rather than take notes

    Studynet examples3
    StudyNet examples

    • Pathology for Imaging (2RAD0020)

    • Jenny Lorimer

    • Pre recorded preparation material

    • And also

    • Physiotherapy 13 modules

    • All ‘opening lectures’ are podcasted

    Studynet examples4
    StudyNet examples

    • Auditing (3BUS0008)

    • Jon Easter

    • Lectures using powerpoints

    • follow up tutorial a week later

    • then records summary of key points (20 mins)

    • play back whilst looking again at the powerpoint slides

    Studynet examples5
    StudyNet examples

    • Jane Waksman (Business School)

      • Students requesting more podcasts

      • Attendance increased(!)

    • Alan Hilliard (Radiography)

      In StudyNet use the search box (type ‘podcast’)

    Players n podcatchers
    Players ‘n’ Podcatchers

    • Players:

      • Creative Technology, iPod, iRiver, Sony, Archos, Dell

    • Podcatcher software:

      • iTunes , Odeo ,Juice

    And just think
    And just think…

    Big in schools (in the States) …

    …now staring here

    Next generation of the students will have podcasting skills

    In terms of listening & authoring

    And will be expecting to use them in HE

    And finally
    And finally…

    Google results for ‘podcast’:

    • May 2005: 4,460,000

    • Nov 2006: 132,000,000

    How to series
    ‘How to’ series

    • How to Blog in 5 minutes (Word)

    • How to Wiki in 5 minutes (Word)

    • How to create a Podcast in 5 minutes (Word)

    • How to convert audio files to MP3 in 5 minutes (Word)

    • How to use RSS in 5 minutes (Word)

    You need to know series
    ‘You need to know…’ series

    • You need to know about Podcasting (Slides)

    • You need to know about Podcasting: a teaching and learning guide (Word)

    • You need to know about Online Discussions: a teaching and learning guide (Word)

    • You need to know about Blogs (Slides)

    • You need to know about Wikis (Slides)

    • You need to know about RSS (Slides)

    • You need to know about Web 2.0 (Slides)

    • You need to know about Computer Assessment (Slides)

    • You need to know about Effective Question Design (Slides)

    • You need to know about Electronic Voting Systems (Slides)

    Also available
    Also available:

    • Podcasting: audio talk on the benefits of podcasting (hi quality)

    • Computer Assessment: using statistic analysis to design effective questions

      For copies please contact: Dr Andrew Oliver. LTDU, College Lane LRC ([email protected], ext. 4754).