Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Year of the Pod

I started the year off not with a bang but with a cough. I've been fighting off bronchitis and generally feeling like a drag on everything lately. I do want to want to make my new school year resolutions and plans, however.

Lots of changes around here. We have a new president, new department chair, lots of shifts in dean positions. We've lost administrators to both retirement and death.

Overall, though, there is a very positive air around here, and even through my Nyquil hangovers I can feel it. There is just a kind of attitude that everyone is ready and willing to try new things. It's a good attitude to work with and around.

My new thing will be podcasting. I've been adding audio clips to my online class. Those are just little five minute mini-lectures to help jump start their study efforts. I'm going to expand that, though, into recording actual class discussions to make available online for my day students and my online students.

This all falls in line with the oral history I've now obligated myself to follow through with by getting my CCCC proposal accepted. All along I've held back on my plans to do oral history interviews because I wanted to podcast them, and I was never quite satisfied with the quality of recordings or with my own game plan for how to work out the technical logistics of it.

Because our new president is very interested in podcasting classroom lectures, though, this has all worked together to help me find a solution for the classroom and for the oral history project.

My current podcasting plan is to use my new laptop computer and a high sensitivity microphone for recording along with the program Audacity.

I also plan to steal some ideas from Derek and from Steven who seem to have been working on some of these same issues.

I'll let you know how it goes.


metablogger said...

By the way--my parents are finally officially on a church group's list for house gutting, so they're in the clear re any deadlines FEMA or C Ray has for them. Thanks for all your help along the way!

Sharon Gerald said...

Excellent! I wish I could do more to help. Keep us posted on how things go with the recovery efforts.

Dennis G. Jerz said...

I'm planning to introduce podcasting in a journalism class next semester... how did your experience go?

Sharon Gerald said...

My podcasting is a work-in-progress. I'd say it's definitely worthwhile, though. If nothing else it adds a more personal touch to the technology. One thing I did that worked well was to bring another instructor into the mix. We recorded ourselves reading passages of literature and discussing them like we thought we had our own radio show. It worked out much better than a straight lecture. It was more spontaneous and more interesting to listen to.