I just attended a 3 hour workshop on “educasting.” Podcasts are a surprisingly simple and convenient way to deliver content to students. For example, if you wanted to clarify something that was discussed in class, or provide deeper information on a topic.
The way it works: You create the podcast, record a mini-lecture using software like Audacity (for PCs) or Garage Band (for Macs), then broadcast the episode to your students by creating a podcast episode using the mini-lecture. Recommended length is 2-10 minutes, recommended format is m4a, and you can also add video by using software such as ProfCast. In the beginning of the semester you create the podcast, then each time you want to deliver some course content you simply record an episode. Students will receive it automatically by “subscribing” to the podcast.
Audacity is recording software that is surprisingly easy to use. You can add music to fade in and out, remove noise, adjust volume, etc. So…you can produce some fairly professional sounding podcasts with equipment you probably already have. If your computer doesn’t have a built in microphone, you may need to purchase one. You may also want to purchase a portable recording device in the event you are lucky enough to interview someone prominent in your field, and want to share that interview with the students. What better way than by creating a podcast episode?
Although it is too late this semester for me to utilize the subscription feature, I may decide to create a single episode for my last online lecture. I’ll keep you posted.