I’m delighted to launch a content delivery channel I’ve been researching and developing for a while: a podcast for the E-Learning Curve Blog.
First a little about podcasting…
A podcast is one in a series of digital media files (usually in either audio MP3 or video M4V format) that is released periodically and made available for download by means of web syndication.
This syndication aspect of the content delivery is what differentiates podcasts from other ways of accessing files, such as simple download or streaming. Special client software applications called RSS aggregators (also known colloquially as podcatchers) such as Apple iTunes or Nullsoft Winamp can automatically identify and retrieve new podcast files in a given series when they are made available, by accessing a centrally-maintained ‘feed’ that lists all files currently associated with that particular series.
New files can be downloaded automatically by the podcatcher and stored locally on the user’s computer or other media device for offline use, enabling the audience to download content that is released episodically without having to manually check that new material has been made available.
According to the Horizon Report (2006) podcasting is
At the leading edge of a wave that will last for the next several years and beyond, personal broadcasting takes advantage of small, easy-to-use devices that people already carry to capture and share personal experiences, information, and events. This trend, which has roots in text-based media (personal websites and blogs), is expanding to include audio and video, as the tools for capturing and sharing those media become smaller and better. From podcasting to video blogging (vlogging), personal broadcasting is an increasingly popular trend that is impacting… audiences.
It’s easy to see why podcasts have value in e-learning. Will Richardson states in Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms that the
underlying technology here is digital recording and the idea that it is now very easy to create and publish these recordings… As long as you have a way to make the recording, and as as long as your students have access to the Internet, you can make this work.
Now that I have started publishing podcasts, I’m obviously going to write a series of articles about developing and delivering content using this learning channel. What’s more, I will discuss podcast authoring using production techniques, based upon my experiences as a radio documentary maker in a ‘previous life’ – I’ll be talking about the craft of writing for audio, as well as the technical aspects of the process.
Now, [drum roll] I want to introduce you to the E-Learning Curve’s Other Podcast. This podcast service is about subjects that interest me other than e-learning. Topics I’ll be covering include aviation, history and music, among others. The first set of podcasts is called Transatlantic: the Flying Boats of Foynes:
July 2009 is the 70th anniversary of the first scheduled trans-Atlantic airplane passenger service. Told against a backdrop of the momentous events of World War Two, this eight-part podcast documentary series by Michael Hanley tells the story of a unique era in world aviation.
Airlines like Pan American Airways (PAA) and the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) with their flying boats like the Short series of planes, and the massive Boeing 314 ‘Clippers’ were welcomed to the seaport of Foynes, in the embrace of the River Shannon estuary on the Western edge of Europe. Come with me now as we fly back in time to the Golden Age of Aviation, a era of adventure, conflict – and the invention of Irish Coffee.
Parts 1 and 2 of the series are now available. You can listen and subscribe to each episode here, or you can access the podcast via iTunes. The next installment, The Glamour of Travel will be released on Tuesday July 28th, 2009.
The more observant among you will have noticed that this podcast channel is called the Other Podcast, which implies that there is a regular E-Learning Curve Podcast, discussing subjects associated with learning and development.
Yes there is. And it’s on it’s way soon. More about this closer to its launch.
The New Media Consortium (2006). 2006 Horizon Report. [Internet] Available from: http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2006_Horizon_Report.pdf Accessed 15 July 2009
Richardson, W. (2006) Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.