I’ve been reading a few blogs with people either frustrated or disparaging over the idea of Apple being in control of the podcast content. Several podcasters/bloggers I enjoy following like Bud Hunt are concerned about content being taken out of the hands of "the people." He along with several others have been unable to get their content listed. I suppose it begs the question as to whether this is a further instance of the gate keepers taking back control of another new content medium. Growing up in the 70’s and feeling a keen affinity for punk rock as a bored teenager in the suburbs, I remember when the record companies mediated the intensity of the music and it became new wave, and then stores such as Macy’s started selling gaudily painted ripped t-shirts and jeans held together with safety pins and I felt like the battle had been lost, another radical avant-guard set of ideas made digestible for the larger society. Granted I’m a teacher so I’m supposed to be one of the models for a set of values which is in line with the greater part of our culture, but I’ve never limited my breadth and scope when it comes to learning and ideas, and in this instance or any time in the future the conversation has begin and will be sustained. With RSS 2.0 with enclosures I know how to find the content I’m interested in and I’m not concerned. As long as I can subscribe to whatever content I want without using the Apple podcast directory I’ll be happy. So maybe Darcy Norman and web sites such as David Warlick’s Educational Podcast Network and people like them still need to oversee how educators get our content (after David Weinberg’s keynote address at the NECC can we depend on the major media/corporate entities out there). I don’t know if I’m being overly simple in describing about how to subscribe in iTunes but teaching a room full of ELD kids has made me always assume that they aren’t following my words but just the visuals I write on the white board, so anyway, here goes.
My working methodology to subscribe to podcasts in iTunes 4.9 is to:
First, open the advanced menu and choose "Subscribe to Podcast…
Second I paste the copied feed into the window
The feed will show up under podcasts and clicking on the arrow will show the most recent podcast, but allows the user to download previous ones.
What I think is the coolest feature is the ability to add chapters which display graphics and links. I haven’t even finished my first podcast so I’m still working on the basics, but for many of you who have the knowledge and are up for the challenge (I still don’t do much in the Terminal window) here are two links I followed one’s a how to wiki and the other one is more background information and both have a link to download the actual Apple tool if your interested.
What are the implications for education in all this? To me always looking forwards and back drawing analogies between the tools I’m familiar with to understand the new, thinking along the lines of the Art Guy’s (sorry I couldn’t find his name)1.5 solution would have me start at a filmstrip with sound. Continuing forward I can see where someone could take their powerpoint slides and add commentary similar to what the NECC webcasts looked like when the camera stayed on the projected image rather than look at the presenter. Perhaps with a real time feed a presenter could with wifi in the room stream the images and links directly through to the audience, but for student learning I wonder how a webquest would look like if done in this manner. The student could pause at key points, and follow the links at their own pace. Oh the possibilities!