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Successful Podcasting in Education at the University Level October 5, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Academy, Podcast and Portable Media Expo, Podcasting, Rice University, University Podcasting.

This is a quick note about the session with the same name at Podcast and Portable Media Expo 4 that took place on Friday, September 29, 2006 in Ontario, California… as well as my own thoughts on the subject:

See my series of posts on the Top 5 Reasons to Podcast at a University if you’re interested in the subject of university podcasting.

Podcasting at universities is a lot more than course casting. Universities are using podcasts to communicate to staff, recruit students, publicise the university, as well as many other things. “Successful” [anything] needs to be quantified/qualified. Is making it to the playoffs considered successful, or do you have to win the Superbowl to be a successful football team? I think it depends on perspective.

The perspective of some universities is that, we’re using the technology, so we are successful… and I think they’re right. If I learned anything from the expo, it was that podcasting is still a new thing. There are a lot of people doing it, but we’re all still trying to figure out the direction of where it will go while coming up with new and interesting ways to use it.

At Rice, we have had success with students launching internal podcasts to their residential college, the posting of a few classes on-line for download, and are working toward a unified front on how to reign in the technology and use it in targeted areas around the university.

Questions to ask:

  • Why?
  • How?
  • What will the university get out of it?
  • What will the listeners get out of it?

Brent K. Izutsu, from Stanford, talked about iTunes at Stanford. They have three different sections: an Academic site – tied to the course management system, a Community site – which includes, academic advising, training, etc., and a Public site – over 700 tracks consisting of lectures and presentations. The details? All audio is mp4, enhanced podcasts are 300×300 pixel, and video casts are h.264. They use snowball mics into a portable marantz recorder, an apple laptop connected through firewire, soundtrack pro to edit, then upload to itunes. Important: they now have an on-line speaker release form.

Obadiah Tarzan Greenberg, U.C. Berkeley has been using streaming video for a long time and then realized that they could let people take that video with them = podcasting. Open content is a key component of the institution’s mission and it’s a dream of some of the faculty that they teach to the world. They have podcast enabled classrooms, and one of the history podcasts made it to 23 in the iTunes podcast section last year.

The other speakers discussed other topics specific to their university and/or podcasting at large… but most of those issues were covered in other sessions of the conference.

I think both of the institutions listed about (Stanford and U.C. Berkeley) can be seen as being quite successful in the podcasting arena. Thanks again for taking the time to speak to us, during and after the session.



1. Jeff - October 24, 2006
2. Nan Shastry - October 9, 2007

Hi Jeff!

I found your blog by happenstance. We also attended the podcast and new media expo this yesr – as exhibitors. We have a new platform for universities that allows the school to create a social network and allow for push button new media creation – both audio and video podcasts in a university setting. I’d love to show it to you. We’ve had interest from University of Louisville, Harvard Law School and UK as well as the Southern California Group of University systems.

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