Mobile Learning

When is a podcast not a podcast?

At yesterday’s OU VLE Policy Group meeting we discussed a paper by Rhodri Thomas on Podcasting. He suggests that podcasts should only be used where there is an expectation that a regular sequence of audio or video files is to be provided. A single file should be delivered as a download from a hyperlink – otherwise people will expect further updates. Obvious really – but worth being clear about institutionally.

It would be a tad frustrating to take the trouble to subscribe to a podcast and find there’s only ever one file winging its way across the network to you. There’s still a huge lack of understanding about what podcasts actually are – that they’re linked to RSS feeds, and can be downloaded in the background by podcatching software etc.

At least pretty much everyone has heard of podcasts now. There’s a novelty about the word which gives new life to the concept of an audio clip. Audio has been used educationally for a long time of course but podcasts now make it more accessible – particularly to the mobile learner.