Podcasting in Higher Education

By Sandy Chapman

More and more college professors are making lectures available to their students in downloadable podcast format. Much like a radio broadcast, a podcast is an audio-recording: unlike it, however, a broadcast can be downloaded from the Internet via an RSS feed or from Apple's iTunes U.

The beauty of a downloadable lecture is in being able to store it on a personal computer, mp3 player, or iPod and, like TIVO, listened to later. Rapidly becoming a useful reference tool, podcasts conveniently augment a student's personal lecture notes. The obvious advantage is in being able to access a "missed" lecture or revisit one already attended.

Available in a 10-minute "Guide to College Podcasts" on The Chronicle of Higher Education Web site, a podcast interview with Dr. Daniel Colman, Director and Associate Dean of Stanford University's Continuing Studies program, discusses podcasting at the college level and addresses such questions and issues as:

  • What is podcasting?
  • Why professors and colleges are recording more lectures in podcast format
  • Open-Source podcasts such as those Berkley and Stanford make freely available: Are they "giving away the store?" What's the risk?
  • Are podcasts emptying the classroom? Do they make attendance irrelevant?
  • The pros and cons of podcasting
  • Is podcasting a fad?

To hear Dr. Colman's podcast interview click the view podcast icon in the right-hand column.

Related Links:

To learn more about podcasts and how to download them, view the podcast primer at openculture.com.

Dr. Colman's list of free university lecture-podcasts may also be found at openculture.com.

Print, audio and video versions of Steve Jobs 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford can be found at americanrhetoric.com.