So, you REALLY want to record your live lectures and post them as a podcast? Even after all of the work you will still need to do, in terms of getting the sound quality right, editing it, and then your students probably not listening to them because they are too long and have already listened to it before? Okay, then here are some suggestions I have that should help you in this decision.
First of all, try to make the time you spend recording (because it DOES take time) pay off for you and your students. Try pre-recording your lectures that you would normally give in class, require that your students listen to them beforehand, and then use class time to create more active learning situations that would relate to these lectures (or interviews, or discussions, or whatever).
Here are other ways you can use podcasts in teaching and learning:
You can pre-record podcasts to supplement your course materials, such as on-demand, casual podcasts explaining a difficult concept that was recently brought to your attention. You can create podcasts on a weekly basis to keep online students up-to-date on assignments or any changes you’ve made to the syllabus. You can create tutorials and post those as podcasts. And don’t forget that you can also turn a video into a podcast (but it shouldn’t be too long, since download time could be an issue.) You can record class discussions, club meetings, student speeches, anything that would have a common theme for a podcast and contain several episodes. And don’t forget . . . you use any of the thousands of podcasts out there on iTunes U as resources for students . . . You don’t need to create ALL of your course podcasts!
But here’s how I think podcasting can be most powerful: Student podcasting. Yes . . . students CAN and SHOULD record their own podcasts for a variety of reasons and assignments. Students can summarize readings and post them as podcasts to their class iTunes U site. Students can record summaries of live lectures. Students can record a podcast as a foreign language assessment. Students can interview other people, demonstrating their planning, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Students can create their own podcast network at the university, deciding what they want to talk about. (Check out DePaul University on iTunes U and see their DePaul Podcasting Network, a student-to-student podcasting forum). Students could podcast from their experiences abroad. I think you get the idea . . . student podcasting is an imporant and often overlooked resource, since students really have to learn the material before they attempt to create a podcast. Plus, they learn how to make a good recording, how to improve their speaking skills . . .it’s a winner for everyone.
So, I hope you are now thinking about how you might use podcasting in a new light. It’s not that I am totally against podcasting live lectures. It’s just that there are so many other powerful ways to use podcasting.