See this article from Open Culture, “Podcasts to Hit Inflection Point in ’07.” Will podcasting become the next big thing? Here’s what these folks say: “The answer boiled down to this: Podcasting stands poised to proliferate in ’07, much like the web did back in ’95 and ’96.”
Personally, I dunno about that. I’m trying to do more with podcasting in both of my classes this term (note to self: I need to record one for my online section of English 328). I’m using them in two different ways. I’m posting audio notes/lecture materials into the online “course shell” materials (this is the emuonline interface), and I’m posting more informal/weekly updates about stuff going on in the class on the class web sites/blogs. Those are “real podcasts” in that you can actually subscribe to them with something like iTunes.
I am going to try to get some students to do some of this stuff too, but that’s a slightly different issue because of the online nature of the class.
I really don’t know how many of my students are listening and paying attention to these things, to be honest. In the research I did for my article “Broadcast Composition,” the evidence I came up with in my very small and limited survey was that about half of the students listened to them, and about half didn’t. I guess I could go with either the glass being half-full or half-empty on that one.
But one thing I am starting to work with/planning to do is skipping ahead to do some more videocasting this term. Maybe that really is going to be the next big thing….