Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Interactive podcasts - asynchronous audio activities?

Could we design "interactive" podcasts? This was an idea we explored in Wellington, New Zealand as part of the FLNW Open Conference. Check out this recording below.

interactive podcasts - blip.tv (beta) (thanks to Leigh for this recording).

I envisaged something like this because being a somewhat kinaesthetic learner, I like to 'do' as I listen and read things. So for me, being able to interrupt a conversation (or podcast) and make notes to prompt or clarify my own thinking, would be really useful and very timely. In most cases, I would do this manually anyway.

However, what if, when listening to a podcast, you were able to record your notes or questions or responses so that others could also listen to them along with the original podcast? You would effectively be adding your voice to the conversation! Really it could be called a conver-cast (emphasising the conversational element) and would occur in a 'layering of time'. The conversation occurs asynchronously and potentially combines

  • discussion/chat
  • podcasts
  • commentary
  • multiple voices
  • remixing (perhaps copy and paste?)
  • perhaps a wiki-like feature like rollback to previous versions (see comment by botheredByBees on BlipTV).

How might this be applied to learning situations?

I could imagine the 'lecture' for example, being podcasted, then students having the ability to zero in on a point being made, add a question, seek clarification, offer an opinion, and add to the 'lecture' in some way. This takes a linear 'one-way' resource and makes it inherently shareable, relevant to a learner's position of learning at a certain time. The podcast is recorded at one point in time, the learner's response may not take place until some time after (even after the course of study is finished). And it also allows for people to 'change their minds', as we often do in conversation where we can come around to another's point of view, for example.

Similarly, a facilitator could also present an 'unfinished' cast, where they begin a 'story' for example and invite learners to develop the cast over a period of time (like contributing to a wiki in a sense).

Exploring the possibilities...

What other situations might a conver-cast be effectively applied? What are the implications of such an approach? What other learning scenarios could be supported here?

I'd like to hear more from you - are their ramifications? Limitations? Other possibilities you see?

These are jsut some beginning thoughts...

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