Alexander Wolfe asked the question and gave his opinion about the life of podcasting.
Not surprisingly, Information Week is a business resource and I would suggest that business has different expectations than education. He notes that podcasting came onto the scene 10 years ago and has not been the overwhelming success that many predicted. Heck, 10 years is just starting in educational adoption years!
In December, the Western RCAC hosted Will Richardson first as a keynote speaker and then secondly for a hands-on session on all things Web 2.0. (whatever that is) Here we have some of the most powerful educators in the province who were greatly appreciative of the insights to Blogging, Podcasting, Screencasting, RSS, etc. that Will shared. If this was an insight for these people, what about the general populace?
Furthermore, the Ministry of Education is bringing Will to a conference in February to share his message at the provincial level conference.
As with most things, I think that you need to put things into their perspective. If your outlook is that your business is going to make a gazillion dollars selling podcasting, yes, it’s probably time to move on.
But get past the business sense. In education, we talk about writing and publishing for an audience. In this case, the levels of citizen journalism open all kinds of doors for schools, teachers, and students to have their say within their own little sphere of influence. I really enjoy it when I hop onto a classroom website and listen to the student voices talking about what’s important to them. Therein lies the power of the technology.
It’s not easily done though. With locked down desktops, lack of a place to post your podcast, the need for a quality microphone, the teacher who really wants to make it happen has to jump a number of hurdles to do it. Kudos to those who have. I heard a keynote speaker last week talk about how Rip Van Winkle returns to a classroom and remembers it being exactly the same as before he went to sleep. Yeah, kind of a cute little story and educators always love cute little stories. There may well be classrooms like that, but not all of them.
Let’s celebrate those who take on the system, they make it work, they publish their student/class/school in an open world and make it happen at all odds and with a great deal of effort. These are the real heroes and I would submit that while they’re not getting listenership in the thousands, they are reaching their intended audience, they are addressing all kinds of curriculum expectations, and they have motivated classrooms who want to tell their story.
To them, podcasting is certainly far from dead.
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