Main Forum

Multimedia's Effect on Social Software: Incorporating Podcast & Vodcast into Blogging

Multimedia's Effect on Social Software: Incorporating Podcast & Vodcast into Blogging

by Stephen Chastain -
Number of replies: 6

A logical outgrowth of Blogging is the Podcast. Podcasting is quickly becoming an important part of the Blogosphere, as more and more people get connected to MP3 players. With podcast, vodcast and Skypecast people are posting their conversations, interviews, and collaborative exchanges to their blogs. Multimedia is an important part of blogging and learning.

In a blog entry dated September 28, 2004, Doc Searls, a co-author of the book The Cluetrain Manifesto discussed podcasting in some detail and noted that a Google search on “podcasts” brought up twenty-four hits. Searls went on to predict that in another year, the same search would “pull up hundreds of thousands, or perhaps even millions” of hits. That estimate probably seemed liberal to Searls, but in reality it was far too conservative. On May 25, just eight months later, a commenter on Searls’s blog entry clicked on the search link and found 4,460,000 Google hits for “podcasts.” On June 23, that same Google search link returned well over 6,000,000 hits. On August 28, it returned over 21,000,000 hits. On September 18, the number had exceeded 60,000,000. Clearly, this medium has caught the imagination of a large and growing audience. (Cambell, 2005) On August 4, 2006 the same search produced 390,000,000 hits in .05 seconds. These numbers are evidence of the fact that podcasting’s popularity continues to grow exponentially.

In simple terms, a podcast is an audio blog with one exception. This difference is that a podcast is presented in audio form instead of text. The audio files are created in mp3 format to make them small enough to be stored on a server and allow for quick download to the listener. The audio content can be anything including: a person’s feelings about an issue, a lecture from a prominent educator, an interview, or music; content is at the producer's discretion. If it’s audio it can be produced into a podcast. The recording can be created on a handheld digital recorder or from a microphone attached to a computer sound card. Once the recording is created, the audio file is uploaded to a website or blog where it can be downloaded by listeners.


In reply to Stephen Chastain

Re: Multimedia's Effect on Social Software: Incorporating Podcast & Vodcast into Blogging

by Sylvia Currie -
Welcome to the book project, Stephen! As mentioned in an email message sent earlier today, I've added a new page for you to begin your chapter (called "Chastain" -- for now we're using last names to identify chapters). I also added your chapter title to the Table of Contents.
Sylvia
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Multimedia's Effect on Social Software: Incorporating Podcast & Vodcast into Blogging

by Emma Duke-Williams -
As a question to Stephen (or anyone else for that matter!) has anyone done any research into the long term findability of podcasts?
I've always been reluctant to use them, other than using talkr to automatically generate an audio version (and I don't count that), as I know that I quite often read blogs, then return later & have to use the search tool to find something in the blog.

I worry that though it wouldn't take that long to record it (though, being fussy, I'd probably have to do it a few times to get it right/ allow for the fact the phone rang / the train went past etc), but that then I'd have to create the transcript to allow for seaching and/ or accessibility issues.

So, while I can see that for the majority of students most of the time, a podcast would be good to listen to, the difficulties searching & scanning them would seem to me to put limitations on their use educationally, particularly when it comes to revisiting ideas etc.
In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Re: Multimedia's Effect on Social Software: Incorporating Podcast & Vodcast into Blogging

by Stephen Chastain -
Hello Emma,
Thank you for your interest in podcasting, it's a technology that is growing exponentially. Is there a use for this in education? As I walk around campus nearly every student I see has these white wires coming out of their heads..so I know their listen..to what, I suspect it's music..but the technology is there for educators to use. There are very few studies been conducted on the effects of Podcasting and education but I'm confident that we will see more in the near future. I have few studies that I would be happy to share if anyone is interested.

Recording can be accomplished is many different ways; some free. Here are a few:
  • The new iPods have mics built in
  • Using Audicity -- (a free recording application) and a simple mic
  • Record directly into Garageband
  • Handheld MP3 recorders
  • etc...
I do some of my recording in Garageband and most of my editing there. I try to find a quiet place to record, but I've found that its very easy to just cut out the unwanted sounds during edits. On the other hand, some of the podcast I enjoy the most are those that sound natural, where I can hear the background noises.

"difficulties searching and scanning"...quite the opposite. When a podcast is created it is very easy to create chapter marks that allow the listener to move to different sections. Also when you create these chapters, you can input the titles of the chapter marks that your listener can see on their screen. In addition to this there is beta software in development that will actually allow you to search the voice files...now that's cool.

Another exciting application is ProfCast once loaded on your computer you simple click record and the application will sync your powerpoint presentation with your lecture..this way students can move from slide to slide and get the information they need. ProfCast only cost $30...not a bad deal at all.

If you go to the Apple site you will find several very good online videos talking about creating podcast for education. I really enjoy conversations about podcasting and would love to chat further.

Friends,
Steve
In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Re: Multimedia's Effect on Social Software: Incorporating Podcast & Vodcast into Blogging

by Corinne Brooks -
I prefer camtasia, so I can voice over a video of the pc screen, and can make my video in chapters. You could eg voice over a powerpoint presentation thus helping students who learn by reading as well as those who learn better by listening. The powerpoint can also cue you on main things you need to cover.
In reply to Corinne Brooks

Re: Multimedia's Effect on Social Software: Incorporating Podcast & Vodcast into Blogging

by Michael Rees -

I agree Corinne. I have used a simple USB Logitech mic and Camtasia to record whole 2-hour lectures (in two parts around the mid-lecture 10-minute break). At 1024 x 768 resolution Camtasia needs about 40 MB per hour. It is then a simple matter to edit the lecture into approx 20-minute sections, add some titles, balloon points and the occasional audio intro/outro. Camtasia is great for this.

I then put up the lecture segments usually as .wmv files on our Blackboard system for student consumption. It works well.

In reply to Corinne Brooks

Re: Multimedia's Effect on Social Software: Incorporating Podcast & Vodcast into Blogging

by Stephen Chastain -
I also use Camtasia, and find it to be a very useful tool; but not for podcasting. Podcasting is a completely different animal than streaming video as you are talking about.

If you are interested in student learning and multimedia you might want to check out Myeres book, Multimedia Learning. He done extensive research on this topic and his findings are very interesting when it comes to visual and auditory learners.

If you are a mac user podcasting (with chapters) is incredibly easy to create with GarageBand, you simply put the cursor on the timeline where you want a chapter and enter the name of the chapter.

If posting PowerPoint with lecture is important you should take a look at ProfCast, it will be the best $29 you have ever spent. You simply start the app and then start lecturing, the software will sync your lecture and slides together, then save it as an MP4 file, and even posted to your host. It doesn't get any easier.

Another important distention about podcasting is the time issue. Optimally a podcast should be no more than 15 mins. You know the attention span thing.
But there's some very interesting research coming out of Georgia Tech about how a professor can record in 15 mins what takes an hour or more to get across in class.

Podcasting is catching on a major universities around the world and showing great promise. You might want to take a look at Stanford, Duke, and iTunesU to see and hear with some other people are doing.

Thanks for your interest, we're headed into a bright new phase of student learning.

Steve Chastain