Casting the Net
- By Katherine Grayson
Podcasting and the Apple Digital Campus debut, and the call for pioneers g'es
My son, Noah, will be graduating from college in May, just in time to miss
the takeoff of podcasting—one of the most exciting advances in campus
learning and knowledge sharing. And though the move to this anytime, anywhere
educational model (via audio file or iTunes, on iPod or computer) is still in
its nascent stages, I’m already lamenting what Noah hasn’t had,
that lucky others will. I’m thinking back now, to Parents’ Day 2003,
when I sat in on a morning history seminar and glumly watched my son and rows
of his peers snore their way through an 8 am drone that should have transported
them all to a vivid, recaptured moment in time. But the kids, no doubt, had
partied the night before, and even the instructor looked pasty at that hour.
How much better for them all if the rise of fascism in Europe had been open
to rip-roaring audio bloggers at 9 pm, when adolescent brain juices are flowing.
My wish is about to come true. First there was the
unleashing of iPods for learning on the freshman campus at Duke. Then, at the
annual National Learning Infrastructure Initiative (www.educause.edu/nlii
) meeting in late
January, the charter members of the Apple Digital Campus (the University
School of Journalism, Stanford
, The Ohio State University
, and Penn
) were represented by campus leaders so excited
about the future of this new level of digital learning, that their words tumbled
out as they envisioned the future. How do I know this, if I was not present?
I know it because I was sent an iTune file of discussion excerpts, which I played
on my laptop (the podcasts are also available on the nlii Web site).
“Our students are walking around with amazing devices, and we want to
let them figure out how to use them,” said one campus leader. “We
need to go to the next level; the digital lifestyle,” said another. The
ADC participants spoke of the Stanford spring pilots in downloadable learning.
They commended the University of Missouri School of Journalism project for “taking
content and crafting it [for podcasting] in a way that makes it significant.”
They raved about students using iPods not just for lectures, but to capture
their own performances, whether in Spanish class, on stage, or at podium. Most
of all, though they urgently invited campuses to climb on board and share the
they acknowledged the movement as
self-driving. Even as it was officially launched, “the community is already
bigger than just the charter members,”
’s John Ittelson gladly admitted. He then urged campus
administrators and faculty to see the movement as individual-to-individual,
rather than institution-to-institution.
How can you get on board? Contact John_Ittelson@csumb.edu or your local
Apple reps (www.apple.com). And make sure you keep Campus Technology apprised of
your podcasting progress. Our new eLetter, Technology-Enabled Teaching (www.campus-technology.com/subscriptions)
debuts this month, and is looking for your opinion and case study submissions
about forays into this and other exciting teaching technologies. Please contact
Web editor Rich Seeley, at firstname.lastname@example.org
What have you seen and heard? Send to: email@example.com
Katherine Grayson is is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering technology,
education, and business issues.