creation, hosting, and distribution of the content. It remains to be seen whether the market responds with better solutions for this purpose.
What does the future hold?
The podcasting movement has provided an excellent delivery medium for instructors, students, and staff. Students have been able to unleash their creativity in many ways. From narrations and video recordings, to radio shows and home-made recordings, to spontaneous archival of audio and video. Learning has found the perfect ally in podcasting to create an on demand anytime/anywhere delivery of instructional content.
A small but growing number of easy-to-use tools have emerged on the market. This is encouraging. However, issues such as ownership and privacy of the content continue to limit the scope of use of the technology in academia. Many institutions such as the University of Chicago are establishing studios where podcast-caliber content can be produced both by faculty and students. Once the content has been created however, there is still a fragmented process to make the content available. The process, while not difficult, is cumbersome enough to prevent some from adopting the technology into their curriculums. This is unfortunate. However, this is not seen as a particularly strong deterrent to those who are convinced of its worth, and have a model for its use.
The use of podcast technology in areas outside of the teaching and learning space looks to expand. This will place added pressure on vendors and implementers to provide easy to use, stable, rights-protected, and secure podcast platforms. This is an evolving market. For better or worse, podcasting does need commercial support behind it. RSS has the potential to be used for the delivery of business data to staff and faculty. While this application of podcast technology in the business realm of academia is not a certainty, it is something to be considered. While podcast technology alone may not change much, how it is used and where it is used is set to change. Higher education institutions, can capitalize on the benefits of podcasting by creating reusable audible objects that can be given a variety of uses, from radio shows to lessons and from lectures to interview of guest speakers.
Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance Education Trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education. 27(2). 139–153.
Morales, C. (2006). La Importancia del Diseñador Instruccional en el diseño de cursos en línea. Revista Didáctica, Innovación y Multimedia. 1 (3). Barcelona, España. Available at: http://dewey.uab.es/pmarques/dim/revistaDIM3/Articulos/CMorales.pdf