Podcasting and Blogging in Education

Today I met with some instructors from two local Colleges. Our host was Eric Rajah from Advanced Systems here in Red Deer. Eric is also the Director for the non-profit charity group A Better World. Eric provided lunch . . . Thanks Eric.

Not exactly a Lunch 2.0 as defined by Terry Chay , in his blog posting on L(a)unch 2.0. But close enough for us. 

We sat and talked while we ate…I didn’t have time to prepare a PowerPoint presentation – not a bad thing as it turned out (check out this video from YouTube…and Don McMillan) since we were free to talk and carry on a conversation around the table.

The purpose of the lunch was to to talk about podcasting and blogging in education and how it could work for Eric’s non-profit group.

When we talked about using social networking, such as blogs and podcasting as a social tool, I was really excited to hear them mention things like facebook and myspace and YouTube and listening to the occasional podcast and using blogs to connect with family and friends. These folks are plugged into the web 2.0 and social networking environment.

Then we talked about using blogs and podcasting in the teaching and learning environment, and the conversation became more serious. They were genuinely interested in the uses of podcasting to support their teaching efforts and some great ideas were shared by the group around the table.

The big question – at least from my perspective was ‘what is the next step that needs to be taken to get our colleges using podcasting and blogging?‘ For both teaching and marketing. Should it be a top down decision or a bottom up initiative. The conclusion was both.

Some of the challenges mentioned (and I’ve heard these before): Who is going to do it? Where are faculty going to find the time in their busy schedules? Where is the funding to support the technology coming from? What about intellectual property?(I feel a podcast coming on – “Brass Cast Episode 3 – Podcasting and Blogging in Education”)

The fact of the matter is, there are a number of schools (K-12 and Post Secondary) podcasting, blogging, using wiki’s and instant messaging and discussion forums. Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Duke. Here in Alberta, the University of Alberta in Edmonton has many podcasts – both for marketing and teaching. And these are just random samples and searches from google. As I write this I’m listening to the President of Duke, Richard H. Brodhead talk to staff and faculty in a live event “Primetime with the President” via iTunes and Duke’s iTunesU site. What a great public relations moment!

If they are doing this, why can’t other colleges and schools do it? What are they doing to make this happen, and why can’t other colleges do the same? It’s achievable . . .

I certainly have my thoughts on the matter, but I’d like to hear yours. Use the comments section below and let me know what you think. Pass this onto others and encourage them to share their ideas on this topic as well.

Take care . . .


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