Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Podcasting Professors

There is an article in today's Spartan Daily (not by me) about iTunes U and the effort to teach professors how to podcast. The tone of the article seems to be that this might be a bad thing because students will not go to class if they can just listen from home.

I disagree, I think having classes available as a podcast is a great idea. First off, if the entire class can be contained in a podcast it is not worth going to anyway. That would proabably mean that the class is just a lecture, and students already do not go to them because they are boring and often useless. The only classes, in my opinion, that are worth going to are the ones where you can interact and do things. I recognize the need for an occasional lecuture, but there should still be more than just the professor talking on and on.

Journalism 163 is the only class I have taken that recorded for a podcast. I still always went to class, because otherwise I would have missed too much, but it was nice to have the recordings to review with.

Classes need to be more of a discussion and be more interactive, and universities need to stop being afraid of new technology and learn how to use it to help further education.


A.Venegas said...

I agree with you. Create interesting content, just like in JOURNALISM, and people WILL come.

It's not enough to simply have a degree and lecture - you must show that it is worth while for students to come.

Oddly enough, this is the same situation that employees outside the University find everyday with employers and the general public. Competition is inherantly created by technology. Students can now CHOOSE whether or not a class is worth THEIR time.

This sort of competition is seen as a positive force outside the University, as it helps improve the quality of content.

It is strange that a University, or journalism students, for that matter, who have traditionally been more liberal than mainstream society, would find this unnerving.

Daniel Sato said...

I think that people also have to remember that just because professors learn to podcast does not mean that they are limited to only recording what goes on in class.

A professor could record the lecture while at home, posting it for the students to download and listen to as homework.

Class time could then be used actually discuss the lecture and get students involved in the learning process.