As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been using audio to help me support my online teaching and I think it has been pretty effective. Basically, I’ve attached audio to notes about readings inside the eCollege “shell”– I’d link to it, but you have to have a password and be signed up for the class to get to it and all that. I’m trying to extend this to what I guess really is an “honest to goodness” podcast, one available via iTunes and the whole bit. It’s called “Steve Krause’s English 328 Blog,” and you can find it if you go to the iTunes store, look in the podcasts, then in “Education,” then in “Higher Education,” and then it’s and alphabetic list. Or you can go to Krause’s English 328 Blog and take a listen for yourself– though, as Andrew pointed out, there’s not much there yet.
Unlike the audio I include as part of the online class materials, I’m not quite sure what the point of this podcast is going to be yet. I think I’m going to use it as an opportunity to make some “class announcements,” maybe to give some overall thoughts on the progress of students in class, etc. Maybe my students will catch on and will want podcast for themselves. We’ll see. What I wanted to do for the time-being was simply demonstrate that making a podcast and getting it included in iTunes is surprisingly easy. After I get a better handle on planning my classes, I’ll probably write up a “how to” document and post it some place.
I thought about the idea of including a podcast as part of my official blog space, and I guess I’m still thinking about it. On the one hand, it might be kind of an interesting experiment, and, as far as I can gather, no one else in the comp/rhet blogging world is doing this yet. Actually, I’m not sure there are any academic bloggers who have started to do any podcasting. In any event, what I’m getting at is it might be a worthy experiment because no one else is doing this yet.
On the other hand, I’m not sure if my podcast would be that interesting to anyone. As I suggest in the headline for this post, it seems to me that it’s one thing to “write” in a blog about (basically) nothing/what’s on my mind/etc., but it’s something else to just “talk” about nothing. Blog readers can pick and choose via an RSS feed and/or simply scan the text (my guess is that most of my readers are doing one or both of these things right now). You can’t really do that with audio; listening to a podcast is largely an “all or nothing” kind of commitment.
I dunno. I think I’d better plan my classes for the term that starts tomorrow before I start figuring out how to make people listen to me babble.