The Beauty of Podcasts in Education

Last spring and summer semesters, I took online courses in which the professors (both from the St. Pete campus) created podcasts of their lectures, which were posted to Blackboard for students to view throughout the semester.

At the time, I ended up uploading them to iTunes and then to my iPod. Several times, I plugged it in to my car stereo and listened to lectures as I drove here and there. While the boys attended scout meetings, I was able to watch a lecture or three and it was great to have that resource, whether I had the laptop with me or not. Even better, by downloading these podcasts, I didn't have to deal with streaming hiccups that can happen with bandwidth.

This summer, my friend Jenn decided to take both of these classes. When I realized this, I first offered her my notes. (we became friends over the many study sessions needed to imprint the Psych stats coursework.) The other night, we talked on the phone and she mentioned having Internet issues that meant she'd have to drive down to campus to view the lectures.

I offered her my iPod.

At first, she said no, because sitting in the library really forces her to study, which I understand completely. Later, she thought better of the offer and I brought my iPod to her, explained how to access everything and left her to catch up on the week's lectures.

Today, she called me to let me know she was done, when I had no problems letting Jenn use it for a while (the iPhone has most of my favorite music, anyway). We chatted for a bit and I'd mentioned burning the remaining lectures down to a disc for her. She told me it wasn't needed, but thanked me profusely for sharing.

Five minutes later, my phone rings. "You said you could burn the lectures to disc. Does that mean I can download them to my computer, since I also have iTunes?" She was giddy at the idea that she didn't have to trek to campus or worry about her bandwidth being throttled as she's downloading. She had never realized that this was an option. Meanwhile, that's the first thing I check, so she thanked me for sharing my techie ways.

With the advances in technology, college students have so many more avenues of gaining information. Here we are, using podcasts to view lecture content and not one, but two students gain from it. I think it's pretty cool


JW said…
such a nerdy post and yet so clever in educating oneself for the betterment.
Geez, I wish I wasn't so behind the 8ball with all of this technology.

Where does a person begin to engage with it through school? All I have an an ipod. My cell phone is a trac phone used primarily for texting and an ocasional phone call.
Suzanne said…
You can download any podcasts the professors have in Blackboard. When you choose that option, you'll be asked if you'd like to save to iTunes.

Once in iTunes, just plug your iPod into the computer, then you drag and drop the lectures from the computer into "JW's iPod" and it should take care of the rest.

If you want, we can meet up to get you up and running. :)

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