Friday, January 14, 2005

Podcasting and pull technologies

I have seen some buzz in recent weeks and months about Podcasting... so I figured I better read one or two blog posts about it to get myself up to date. This is how I see it. Podcasting is the production and syndication of audio clips that are listened to either on an MP3 player, like Apple's iPod (hence the name Pod-casting I think!)or even on your simple desktop computer). Much the same way that blog posts can be syndicated. (If you'd like a more comprehensive treatment of this definition see this link in the Wikipedia.) It's neat because you get to "hear" the presenter; however, I don't think it's better than blog postings. Blog postings can have hyperlinks in them or pictures in them and they can have the comment feature enabled where visitors can contribute to a discussion around the posting. What I love about this is the reader-to-content interaction (i.e. text, hyperlinks and pictures) and the reader-to-reader or reader-to-author interaction (i.e. adding comments to blog posts). I really love the interactivity here. It's a multi-layered pull technology where visitors construct their learning. They decide to read text, click links for other related info and write comments to share their ideas.

Now switch your brain back to the podcasting idea. The reader ... or rather listener... listens to the audio. If that's all it is, then it is a simple, and unidimensional, pull technology. Now don't get me wrong here ... there is lots of value in hearing someone speak. You can learn from someone's thoughtful insight even if it's unidimensional audio. (Unfortunately, can can't easily search audio for specific terms in the same way as you can search for specific text.)

All that being said... a better way to use podcasting would be to integrate it into a framework of a blog. This way people could still have the multi-layered pull technology where audio is simply another layer in addition to the text, hyperlinks and picture information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you haven't seen the EDUCAUSE blogs yet, you might consider giving them a once over. Our blogs and podcasts are in one integrated platform, but right now, we're not posting transcripts of the audio. Maybe we will in the future!

Here's the url

Cheers ...