Podcasting is online audio content that is delivered via an RSS feed, almost like radio-on demand. Listeners can determine the time and the place when they will access this audio (and even video) content they want to hear with the podcast archive.
Podcasting is a powerful learning and training resource for any educators tool box. It’s an easy and simple way to share information, describe a concept or dialog about a relevant topic. Even better, this format of learning is mobile, accessible and a handy application that allows learners to return to for review later.
In a previous life at the University of Toronto Scarborough Academic Advising & Career Centre, I helped to initiate a pilot program that developed academic & career vodcasts. I was fortunate to have a group of great students and staff who were interested in producing podcasts to help optimize our advising & career resources for our office. Word of our podcasting got out, and soon other departments like the ESL Cafe & Writing Centre were interested in joining in on the podcasting fun.
Some of the key reasons we started to podcast included:
- Same FAQs from students were basic and advisors/counselors wanted deeper, meaningful questions
- Accessible, bite-sized information
- Mobile resources “on-the-go” for our large commuter student population
- New design: beyond the PDF handout – add a new multi-media dimension to our website
- To archive presentations and information that is shared at a single time in the year
- Tutorials to help empower our students for their academic & career planning
My first introduction to podcasting started when I attended the NACADA conference in Baltimore & met a couple of Academic Advisors who were doing it well. The Campus Tech Connection podcast #15 shares the story of these advisor podcasting pioneers who were interested in meeting the needs of students in a new digital way:
Podcasting: So easy even a student affairs professional can do it. Guest Clay Schwenn and Kurt Xyst joined us to talk podcasting and Academic Advising. Their podcast has over 14,000 subscribers (that is 1398 more than this podcast). They are both Undergraduate Academic Counselors with the Gateway Center at the University of Washington. They do not have a tech background, but were looking for creative ways to reach students.
Speaking of podcasts…