‘Can’t you do a Podcast?’

I’m thinking about podcasts for user education. Why? Well, on several occasions, different people have suggested them.  Enter a new article by Tara Brabazon:-

‘Press learning: the potential of podcasting through pause, record, play and stop’ (Knowledge Management and E-Learning 8 (3), (2006), 430-443.

Press Learning: the potential of podcasting through pause, record, play and stop

I found the article on Academia.edu, which I frequent quite regularly.  I follow Tara’s research outputs.

Tara is a great advocate of podcasts – audioclips that oblige people to listen closely, without visual distraction. She cites John Cage’s 4:33 and how the listener has to listen to the sounds around them.  But one thing is clear.  It wasn’t clear to me before, and it probably wasn’t clear to people I’ve been speaking to.  Podcasts are audio. What I think is needed for user education, is videoclips (Tara calls it vodcasting) – a brief audiovisual clip.  I am pretty sure people need to see how to use the catalogue, use the e-resources, and so on.  It’s a bit like learning how to sew – you need to see it done. Much library user education is training in methodology, not so much challenging readers to think about a subject a certain way, but instructions on how to use new databases or resources.

What is a Podcast?, by Yaro Starak

Already, before I’ve even finished the article, I have questions!  These are the three potential models, if I know which software to use:-

  1.  Screencapture and audio would probably do for most situations.
  2. As for video-ing in the library, what would be the easiest technology ?
  3. If I were to find a situation where podcasting really WOULD be best, what would be the best technology?
  4. Do I need to know about RSS feeds, if I’m looking to put material on a portal which is primarily for students and staff?

I’m sure our learning technologist will be able to help me answer some of these!

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