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The 2 P’s of Podcasting January 25, 2008

Posted by Jeff in University Podcasting.
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Principles and Pedagogy: The 2 P’s of Podcasting in the Information Technology Classroom
published in the proceedings of ISECON, Nov. 2006. (http://isedj.org/isecon/2006/3354/index.html)


From a Professor December 21, 2007

Posted by Jeff in University Podcasting.
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Though I’m not updating this blog very regularly lately, as I get emails that I think I should share or questions that others may have, I’ll post them. Here is an email I recently received from a professor:

I use podcasts in a way that I don’t think anyone else is doing: as a follow-up to each weekly class session.

In the past, I composed an email to all students in a class (one distribution list to ease the hassles), and typed out my follow-up comments. With the advent of podcasting and the acquisition of numerous technologies to produce the podcasts, I started turning the follow-up, text-based emails into podcasts.

The first term I produced them, I simply attached them to the email (even included the text of the podcasts as a demonstration of meeting the needs of all learners; in this case, hearing impaired students could get the content via the text version). Students needed to have some type of software to listen, but that never presented itself as a problem

Then, the University rolled out an update of our Sakai-based course management system that included a podcast syndicator that could not be simpler! I simply upload the file using the same procedures I’d use to upload a document for student access in the CMS. Syndication is automatic and the podcast page includes links to subscribe. I also provide my students a step-by-step guide to subscribing to the RSS feed in their own copy of iTunes. Those who wish not to subscribe via iTunes or other RSS podcatcher can access and listen via the course management system just by clicking on the posted file.

I no longer provide the text of the podcast, but continue to type the script from which I read. If I were to have a hearing-impaired student, I’d have the text available. I have experience in radio news, so reading from a script is my preferred methodology (though I concur with those who say such a method often leads to a stilted voice).

The content of the podcast is the same each week: 1) a review of the class session, 2) a preview of the next session, 3) a reminder of tasks to be accomplished between sessions, and 4) a “tech tip” that is not covered/discussed in class. I also tell them I reserve the right to add additional material (specifically, things I may have forgotten to mention in class) and try to impress upon them the need to listen to the whole podcast.

One term, I did the podcasts the first few weeks of class and then required students to work in teams of 2 or 3 and come to my office to record the follow-up podcast. I provided the script and helped with production. Students enjoyed the process, but it wasn’t “their own” as the content was all provided by me. It left little room for their creativity.

Now, podcasts are a regular part of the course curriculum. Students write and produce their own podcast based on one or more standards from the Indiana State Standards for grades K-5.

Student feedback on the follow-up podcasts varies: some say it’s very helpful (mostly non-traditional students); others are ambivalent to it’s importance. One student found her husband enjoyed the podcasts even though he wasn’t in the class! (I’d have to consider that an outlier were I doing actual research here . . . ).

Hope you find this information a useful and different perspective.

I do know of a few professors who are using the podcast to augment their class (I talk about it in other posts). I do like the idea, however, of the students being made to produce one on their own.

The Why and How of Educational Institution Podcasting Webcast November 2, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Educational Podcasts, Podcast Instruction, Rice University, University Podcasting.
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As an update to this post: GHEC Presentation, the video is now online at http://www.vbpresenter.com/kbeedon/frey.

Intellipodcast – Solution for Universities? October 11, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Software, Podcasting, University Podcasting.
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Intellipodcast (http://www.intellipodcast.com) appears to be an interesting product.  Billed as a solution for businesses, I’m supposed to be getting a demo shortly on how we might be able to use it at schools and universities.  From their website:

The mission for intellipodcast is to create a site where individuals can upload either narrative text, sound, or video for automated production into RSS feeds, blogs, podcasts or videocasts and upload to iTunes.

  • Intellipodcast automates the entire process of podcasting and media sharing
  • Everything is done from the intellipodcast website eliminating the need for experienced user technical knowledge

Apparently, a educational institution can purchase the software and implement it with a little help.  Allowing faculty, staff, and students to create and share media through blogs, instant messaging, image sharing… and of course podcasting.

I’ll let you know how the demo goes… email or comment if you have had any experience with Intellipocast.

The Why and How of Educational Institution Podcasting Webcast October 4, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcatching, Rice University, Technology, University Podcasting.
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RSVP today for the “The Why and How of Educational Institution Podcasting” webcast to be held on Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 1:30PM CST!!!

I will be using some of the new knowledge that I gained from the conferences I’ve been to and research that I’ve done recently to give a webcast for the Greater Houston Education Collaboration (http://www.ghecgroup.net/Fall2007.html)… look 1/2 way down the page.

The abstract talks about podasting as a relatively new technology that is being implemented and tested by some educational institutions within multiple departments and schools. Through examples of, and research into, what they are doing, I will be show the five main reasons to podcast. Also, podcasting is not a complicated endeavor as most of you know. I will be able to show the steps in the process of podcasting in the time alloted. Lastly, I will discuss the hardware and software needed to podcast with specific recommendations for all budget levels.

RSVP for Live Audience Participation
RSVP for Internet Live Stream

Watch Live Webcast This link will be activated on Thursday, November 1 at 1:25 PM CST. (On day of event, please sign on with your NAME and ORGANIZATION.)

Themes: Distance Learning: Use of podcasting to do so. Classroom Technology: How to record and post lectures. Internet Tools: Podcast providers and directories. Software: Garageband, Audacity, iTunes. Hardware: Portable recorders, mics, boards. Level: All. Audience: All.

Be sure to check out the rest of the webcasts on the page listed above… it looks like a pretty good line-up this fall!

Social Software and Academic Podcasting: Your Blueprint for Success July 30, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Conferences, Podcast Instruction, University Podcasting.
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Just wanted to spread this around. Presented by Frank Lowney , Keith Politte , Jim Wolfgang at the Campus Technology 2007 Conference today. I’ll post an update when I find the slides, but for now, the companion website for this presentation: http://sleepy.gcsu.edu/podcasting1101 has a list of Podcast Applications, Tutorials, and References that you may want to check into.

Abstract: White ear buds are as commonplace on today’s campuses as backpacks. But can handheld, mobile technologies like the iPod be an effective means for distributing academic content? Can video and audio podcasts via laptop establish an environment of student engagement? While “social networking” centers around the production and distribution of podcast materials, the key challenge for faculty and student support staff is to get beyond the “little boom box” stereotype and determine how the resources and tools used to produce and distribute academic podcasts can bring students together to enhance their total educational experience. During this half-day workshop, three representatives from two of the country’s leading ‘podcasting institutions’ will share their campuses’ successes engaging students through podcasting projects. Workshop participants will walk through podcasting, hardware and software options, simple production and editing procedures for video and audio content, and distribution methods. Finally, participants will build an ‘iDreamers’ list of social networking activity concepts they can adapt to bring value-added benefits to programs on their campuses.

Consensus: Podcasting Has No ‘Inherent’ Pedagogic Value July 24, 2007

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Excerpts copied from http://campustechnology.com/articles/49018/, 7/9/2007, by Paul McCloskey.

The unfortunate name of this article isn’t as bad as it sounds.  He basically is pointing to studies done that say “the pedagogical value of podcasts depends almost entirely on student motivation and the learning “context” of the application.”  More simply, podcasting just for the sake of podcasting doesn’t add anything.  The content still has to be correct and the students still have to want to consume it.  Just like someone a student not wanting to go to class, just because they hear it on their ipod doesn’t mean it makes it better content.

“Podcasting does not contain any inherent value.  It is only valuable
inasmuch as it helps the instructor and students reach their educational goals, by facilitating thoughtful, engaging learning activities that are designed to work in support of those goals.”

I’ll give them that, though I do see typical under achievers using podcasts to listen to lectures multiple times… thus increasing their potential to do better in the course.  I think you have to take the delivery method into account when you talk about “inherent value.”

The Top Six Reasons to Podcast at a University – Podcast Transcript 14 May 14, 2007

Posted by Jeff in University Podcasting.
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The Links and Transcript to “The Top Six Reasons to Podcast at a University” (8:56) released Monday May 14, 2007 (click here to listen):



Good day to you all, my name is Jeff Frey and I am the Web Services Manager for Enterprise Applications at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Keith Harcourt got to know of my work through my website “The How and Why of Podcasting,” and asked me to share some of my research with you. I am delighted, and honoured, to be able to do so.

Without a doubt, a well produced podcast, which, as you can hear, is kind of an individually produced and targeted radio program, raises the profile of a University, a Faculty, or indeed an individual academic. Obviously there has to be some control, and the Press Office, University IT Department and Marketing Unit must be involved if this media is to be used to maximum benefit. In my research, through surveys and polls of peer institutions, and personal experience at Rice University… the top 6 reasons to Podcast at a University are as follows:

The first reason to Podcast at the University is Recruitment and Enrolment. Statistics for podcasts are a tricky thing, you just can’t get the whole story from them… but Registrar’s departments can work with students applying at a university and ask them questions about the advertisements, letters, and media that led them to apply. Of the universities that I have had experience with that use podcasting as a recruiting tool, all have said that the podcasts used were heard and valued by most of the students applying. Maybe it’s that word profile again? The sense that the potential student has felt that he or she knows more about the university from the more personal audio or video. Also, in a Podcast, the listener is more involved. Some of you may well already feel that you know something more about me, that I am talking with you rather than at you; if so this Podcast has achieved its purpose.

Secondly; and you have to judge whether this is as important for you, here in the US Universities are very conscious about raising money. Alumni are actually our biggest donors, so from a marketing perspective it is obvious that a targeted podcast is a good way to reach them. Listening to an ‘alumni’ podcast, alumni feel a renewed connection they had with the university they graduated from. What are other graduates of my university up to? What programs are going on at that university that I might come to, volunteer at, get involved with, or… yes… donate to? You might wish to ask yourselves how such podcasts might heighten the profile of your university, department or individual staff member… my contention is that they are very effective.

The next reason to podcast is the students. Indeed, my research shows that students have a lot of great ideas for podcasting. So, what podcasts have students created that I can tell you about? Well, how about study group podcasts, where a group will get together and discuss the questions, solutions, or top things you should know about a chapter, book, or class. Students may subscribe to that podcast when they are attending the class, and later students carry on the tradition and learn from the podcasts from the semester or year before. How about leadership opportunities, resume building, writing/speaking/technical skills development. A lot of students are creating podcasts about social issues or educational topics to further themselves in certain areas. For example… a medical imaging news podcast by a team of students – some research, some write, some talk, some produce… and all students learn by participating… they also gain name recognition in their field. Consider feedback needed podcasts – students who are members of organizations, classes, or projects that actually need feedback. Some groups setup websites with surveys, psychology and sociology departments need people to for human testing, and some students need feedback on written documents, constructed projects, etc…

The 4th reason of our 6 reason talk here is Staff. Why are most universities in the US podcasting to staff? Staff Development is the answer. I would infer that this topic is also important in the United Kingdom, otherwise, why I am speaking to you now? So, what’s the main benefit that US Universities have seen while podcasting to staff? Increased morale. When you think about it, increased morale is a by-product of paying attention to someone or showing that you want to invest in them. Also, when you podcast to your staff and give them opportunities to learn more about the institution, their jobs, and other peoples jobs at the university… their sense of relating to others (and that they are part of the community) increases. At the beginning or end of each podcast, if you can throw in a fun fact about what is currently going on at the university (the football team won or… Professor Stone got on TV)… staff may feel a larger sense of pride or ‘ownership’ about the university. It’s something to talk about when you see your friend at the supermarket and they say “How are things going at… your university?” Use your staff podcast to increase job satisfaction; present everything from the big picture culture, including specific issues facing a certain groups of employees (like school administrators). Focusing on staff with a podcast can be one of the most beneficial things you can do on campus, and in my survey, again it’s number 4 in the top 6 reasons podcasting is occurring at universities.
Number 5 though, is just as important as the rest: How do you get information out to new faculty… a handbook? What about existing faculty… mass emails? Why not try something a bit more personal… a podcast perhaps?

Podcasting to faculty is number 5 on my list and a great communication tool. Faculty can subscribe to the podcast so that when something changes (a policy, a building closure, etc.) they will be notified immediately. Note my use of the word subscribe; a podcast is something that people actively seek and doesn’t have the negative associations of an uninvited email or paper in their mail box. Archive the podcasts and you create a history so that people can check back into them and learn from them as time goes by.

Finally, though maybe most importantly.. podcast your courses. Though this item isn’t on your agenda today, it is a use of one of the media you are discussing, and in my experience, has great results. Recording classes digitally and posting them is quite easy: I am sure your Audio Visual Technicians and IT Unit will be able to help if you desire to do this. In my research, podcasting your courses shows only positive results. Intending students can get a flavour of your classes and existing students can participate in podcast discussions thus raising their self esteem. The effectiveness of podcasted lectures is enhanced because students can rehear them; it’s simple but true. Keith tells me you use the Blackboard at your University. It’s a good tool to post your lecture notes after classes close, and I would contend that Podcasting is at least an effective extension of that… keeping in mind that the transcripts of the podcasts should be posted as well for accessibility purposes. You may also be surprised to learn that Podcasting, in my research, has no negative effect on attendance at lectures.

Well, these are the reasons that podcasting has become a vital part of the use of media in American universities. Courses broadcast internally and externally, Enrolment for potential students, Alumni, Current Students, Staff, and Faculty. Notice, that each one of these categories is actually a people group… and I think that at this moment in time… that’s what it really comes down to… the university’s heightened connection or “profile” if you will… with people, both internally and externally.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast and thank Keith Harcourt and Peter Stone for the opportunity of addressing you. If you, like me, are enthusiastic about the use of this medium, feel free to find out more and listen to some others podcasts at “The Why and How of Podcasting” dot com. While you’re there, click on the link to my podcasting blog and read more about University podcasting. I’m Jeff Frey… thanks for listening.

Hiring Someone to Train a Dragon April 23, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Questions, Podcast Transcription, Podcasting, University Podcasting.
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This question came through email from a Coordinator of Library Services for Persons with Disabilities from a well known University:

Dear Mr. Frey.  I found your blog about podcasting and I would appreciate if you can provide me with some information. We are concerned about all the new multi-media technology and how to make it accessible to people with disabilities. Is there any software/hardware available to convert speech to text? The only program that we are aware of that does anything with speech to text is a program called Dragon. But this program has serious problems of word recognition.  We are looking for something that will easily convert podcasts and the audio from videos to text. It is obvious to me that you have a lot of experience with all this new technology. Any information that you can provide to me, would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help.

I’ve talked about this on the blog before… basically just writing out what I’ve learned when working with projects on transcription.  The following was my response:

Audio and video accessibility is a big deal right now with these technologies and the issues haven’t all been addressed sufficiently, but I’ll tell you what I know so far.

First, I have some things up on my blog about what constitutes “accessible” for these media types, software to get the job done, and how to use Dragon to build your own transcription engine.  Read https://jdfrey.wordpress.com/tag/podcast-accessibility/ from the bottom up to get an idea of where I’m coming from.  Bottom line right now… what I’ve found is that there’s no personal way to easily or automagically create a transcript or subtitles… but we’re getting closer.

I guess I should do an update on my blog due to some new things we’ve been trying.  We’ve found that Dragon really has to be trained for a specific user, and if you have a podcast with multiple speakers or rotating speakers, it’s hard to use.

SOLUTION: Hire a student to train Dragon Naturally Speaking from Nuance, then have them listen to the talk or podcast with headphones and repeat what they hear into Dragon.  We’re paying them about $10 an hour, so it’s the cheapest transcript service that I know of.  They can tweak things along the way if needed and it usually only takes 1 to 1and 1/2 times the audio time to make the transcript (5 minute podcast -> 7.5 minutes to create the transcript, 30 minutes talk -> 45 minutes to create).  Posting that to a blog or something is easy.

What about video?  I’ve been recommending to people with budget constraints to post your video to Google video and link to it or put it up in a window on your site.  It cuts down on your storage and overhead… and the branding is minimal compared to YouTube.  Also, and THIS IS BIG, Google video will integrate transcripts with the video you upload.  So, you upload the video and the transcript with some time stamps, settings, and tweaks… and it’s done.  Very easy.

If you host your own video, you’ll want to have it captioned.  I have another company to add to the list of transcription/captioning services: AutomaticSync at http://www.automaticsync.com.  I have some friends using them and they are very impressed.  No hassle and always quality output.

I hope this helps… and let me know if you have any other questions.

Asked to Present at Campus Technology 2007 March 23, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Jeff Frey, Podcast Conferences, Podcast Instruction, University Podcasting.
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I was just asked to present a poster session on “The Why and How of Podcasting” at Campus Technology 2007 in Washington, D.C.

I have gathered a bit more info from colleagues and will be able to share them in a one hour Q&A session along with bringing along some podcasting equipment for show and tell.  Most of the equipment I take will be portable podcast recorders, but I may bring a board and a mic or two along with a couple laptops to demonstrate on.

Campus Technology 2007 will be held from July 30th to August 2nd 2007 and really gives information technology professionals at educational institutions the opportunity to meet with and learn from peers.

Poster presentations will be held July 31 and August 1 from 2:00-3:00 each day in the foyer entrance to the Exhibit Hall.  I’m not sure which day I’ll be presenting… but they’ll have about 20 other poster sessions going on at the same time.

For more information on the conference, go to the conference web site:

Anystream’s Apreso Automated Lecture Capture Solutions March 13, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Software, Podcasting, Screencasting, University Podcasting.
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Got a tip from a podcast listener that Apreso was an awesome tool that I should check out. I did… and he was right.

It definitely fills the niche of a university that does not want to do it themselves (patching together multiple solutions and manual processes to capture lectures and distribute them). Though it might seem a bit expensive on the front end… you have to consider what all the software, hardware, and labor costs are of implementing a solution like this on your own.

Though I don’t have any personal experiences with the solutions, I did get a demo from someone and read 10 +/- reviews online. Check it out for yourself at http://www.anystream.com/industries-edu.asp.


Educause SW Regional Conference – Great University Podcasting Example February 22, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Educational Podcasts, Podcasting, University Podcasting.
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I am attending the Educause Southwest Regional Conference and wanted to point you to some resources that the other speaker on podcasting had.

The session was “Campus Casting Call: Engaging Students and Faculty with Podcasting” by Stuart J. Glogoff, Sr. Consultant, Learning Technologies, The University of Arizona.

The Learning Technologies Center (LTC) at The University of Arizona is leading a campus initiative that weaves podcasting into classroom and distance instruction. He explained and showed how melding of new technology with the traditional classroom, online and hybrid instruction, and hands-on student experience brings more flexibility to instructors and a deeper learning experience to students.

See his presentation on the Educause Website.

More importantly, check out the University of Arizona Podcasting website… it could be used for examples, a resource for university podcasters, for instruction on things like iTunes, etc.

For my presentation on podcasting, go to the Presentations tab above and go to The Why and How of Podcasting at Your University.

Educause SW Regional Conference – Slides / Handouts for My Session February 21, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcasting, University Podcasting.
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I’m speaking tomorrow at the Educause Southwest Regional Conference in Austin, TX. My session is called, what else, The Why and How of Podcasting. Since it’s a higher education information technology conference, I’m talking specifically from the view of a podcaster at a university.

I’m posting my slides and handouts on my “presentations” page and wanted to make those subscribed to this blog / feed aware that they’re there.

See https://jdfrey.wordpress.com/presentations.

Podcasting at a University – Podcast Transcript 10 February 19, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Audio Equipment, Podcast Transcript, Podcasting, University Podcasting.
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The Links and Transcript to “10 – Podcasting at a University” (4:58) released February 19, 2007 (click here to listen):

The Links:
Educause Session Here
• Presentations: https://jdfrey.wordpress.com/presentations

The Transcript:

J.D. Frey here, and you’re listening to the why and how of podcasting. I’m speaking this week at the southwest regional educause conference in Austin texas and for those of you listening that are going to the conference; I plan on talking about three main things.

One – What university podcasting departments are being asked to do, with examples.
Two – The step-by-step process of podcasting.
and Three – The technical requirements of podcast studios with setups for different budgets.
I will of course be podcasting the session in it’s entirety next week. So I won’t go into details now, but I did want to give you a quick bottom line podcast about the main points around the first topic… What university podcasting departments are being asked to do. Through research, surveys, discussions with peers, and personal experiences, I put together a little list of the top reasons to podcast at a university.

First, universities should be podcasting courses. There is research that this in fact does not hurt the students or class attendance, but actually helps the learning experience. Past that, there are five main reasons to podcast at a university. Counting down,

Number five is faculty, then staff, three is students, then alumni, and the number one reason to podcast… admissions. If you think about it, it’s all person based. The things I mentioned aren’t really so much reasons to podcast as people to podcast to. First, potential students, because what is a university without students. Then, past students and donors, because again, what is a school without resources. You then podcast to current students attending to enhance their existence. Staff, who make the university run, and then don’t forget faculty, for without them, there would be no courses or classes.

I skip over this people point in my talk, choosing to give examples of the different podcasts from other universities… and I’ll be sure to put a link to each of those examples in my transcript next week. But the point is, podcasting at a university is all about the people.

Since I want to podcast my session, and they don’t record the audio at this conference, I have to record it. I have a lot of different options available, strait to hardrive, bring my roland multitrack, I have an Edirol R-09, and just got a Zoom H4 Handy Recorder… but… I decided to take an M-Audio Microtrack. It will record WAV or MP3, about two hours of mp3 at the settings I wanted, and it sounded the best when I hooked up a wireless lapel microphone that I had. I’m going to leave it on the presenters table with the wireless receiver and wear the lapel to record with. You’ll get to hear it next week if all goes well.

That “how” of podcasting is something to remember. If you don’t want to be tied to a microphone and you want to record a presentation or speech. Buy a wireless mic and set that next to a computer with an audio out of the wireless to the audio in of your computer. Open up a piece of recording software, and check the levels. Before you start talking, hit record. It’s a very easy way to ‘share’ your audio presentations.

Remember, next week, a big 45 minute podcast from me all about podcasting at a University. If you have any stories surrounding university podcasting, email me at jdfrey at rice dot edu. I’d love to hear them. The slides and handouts from my session will be posted on the presentations page of my blog: jdfrey.wordpress.com… so go there for more info. Of course you can get to all this information from one of the longest urls in the world… thewhyandhowofpodcasting dot com. I’m J.D. Frey, thanks for listening.

University of Nebraska given $2,000 to purchase podcasting equipment. February 7, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcasting, University Podcasting.
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Podcasting Equipment will be Purchased for Faculty
By: Chris Rosacker on 1/31/07

Students have been using iPods to secretly listen to music during class for years, but iPods could soon be a part of many curriculums at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Academic Fees Advisory Committee, which has oversight of student technology and library fees, has given the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska $2,000 to purchase podcasting equipment.

See full story here.