Yup.... we've heard of PODcasting... well.... welcome to Skypecasting. I've written about Skype before but there has been a new development. Previous versions of Skype have been limited to 5 users per teleconference; however, the new version is now limited to 100 simultaneous users all being able to access the microphone! WOW! What a mega-teleconference! This is ground breaking in my opinion because it's free. Yup. Free. You could certainly use this in distance education scenarios to host free office hours with the professor or to host a lecture even. Imagine the professor sends out a PowerPoint slide deck to the class and then sets a synchronous time of 10am to meet on Skype. He walks everyone through slide-by-slide using audio and people can ask questions on the fly. Beautiful... and inexpensive!
It's not completely free of bugs as Robin Good reports in a recent product test but the potential to impact distance education especially for small schools with limited budgets is certainly there.