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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 (, ext. 4754).