SmoothSpan Blog

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Universities Should Podcast Every Class

Posted by Bob Warfield on November 16, 2007

I started out a bit skeptical, preferring to read than watch, but I’ve gotten to where I like short videos as a way to capture experiences quickly and easily.  I appreciate the difficulties of interviewing all the more as I’ve done several and struggled to catch everything and still focus on driving the interview.  As I was reading Scoble’s post on ClearTXT the thought popped into my head:  Universities should record and podcast every lecture.  Why not?  They don’t have to release them outside if they’re concerned about protecting their IP in some way.  It should be completely unobtrusive to equip the lecture halls to capture video of every class.  A relatively simple and inexpensive system could tie into the class schedule, capture video with sound directed at the where the lecturer stands, and put all of that onto a web server for students to access.

Will it reduce attendance in class?  Perhaps.  Teachers can still use the time honored tools ranging from taking attendance to pop quizzes to critical handouts that don’t go up online. I can’t tell you how many times in my own past it would have been useful to refer back to a lecture, perhaps as I was studying for the final.

Schools that take the next step and “Open Source” their lectures would really be doing a tremendous service for all.

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