What is podcasting
Podcasting is the distribution of audio or video files over the Internet to personal computers and iPods or other personal media players. The term podcast may refer to either the content or the method of delivery. Often compared to TiVo, podcasting is essentially about time-shifting — recording and publishing content for people to experience when and where they want.
Some key features
- Can include audio, video and images
- Works on a subscription model. New episodes are automatically made available to subscribers
- Can be created with simple and inexpensive recording tools
- Uses same RSS protocol used by blogs and other Web 2.0 applications
How to find, subscribe to and manage podcasts
For now, the easiest way may be iTunes. You can also search using a directory site, such as the Podcast Directory or Podcasting News. Or try your luck with Google.
All podcast readers use a specialized RSS web feed (Really Simple Syndication) to deliver new content when it is ready. This feed distinguishes podcasts from a download or streaming media. Podcasts have an associated web page, which should include a ‘subscribe’ link or an orange RSS icon on which you can click to subscribe or discover the address of the RSS feed, which is a type of URL. Once you know this address, you can subscribe in iTunes by pasting it into the ‘Advanced/Subscribe to podcast’ menu. Or, if you read blogs with Bloglines or Google Reader, your browser may be configured to take you to a subscribe page in the reader when you paste in the podcast URL.
Educational uses of podcasts
As educators and administrators experiment with podcasting, many new uses are emerging. Some of the more popular uses are:
- Student review of classroom lectures
- Recording guest speakers or performers
- Enabling new types of student assignments, presentations and projects
- Creating guides for gallery or walking tours
- Bringing athletic events or highlights to parents and alumni
How create and publish a podcast
Instructional Media Services (x4877) will record events and create a podcast for a small fee. Faculty can consult their academic computing manager about obtaining software and hardware and training for themselves or a CA/TA. At this time, the easiest way to publish a podcast is to use Blackboard. Here are the steps:
Record and produce the podcast
- Record content with a digital recorder
- Edit audio with Audacity
- Edit video with iMovie or Windows Movie Maker
- To create an enhanced podcast (includes pictures or video) Mac users will want to use Garageband
- To create a podcast from a PowerPoint lecture, use Profcast to record and synchronize the your remarks and slides
Publish it in Blackboard
- In any content area, see the drop-down menu on the upper right. Select ‘Podcast Episode.’ Click ‘Go.’
- Enter a title and description; browse to find your podcast media file. You can also link to the media file on another server.
- You can add attachments, which will only display within Blackboard.
- Set availability options. Submit.
- Go to the Control Panel and select Manage Podcast
- Enter iTunes metada
- Elect to make the podcast visible only within your Blackboard or on the web
It is important to be sure you have all the necessary rights and permissions for the material included in your podcast. The Creative Commons Podcasting Legal Guide reviews some of the legal issues related to podcasting.