Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Podcasts: a new tool for teaching?

I hestitate to put this online so soon as I am not totally satisfied with the quality yet, but as the internet generally (and blogs more specifically) are about sharing information and ideas, I figured I would put this out there and see what others think and seek comments/help.

As many of you know podcasts are the new 'hot thing" on the internet. They are essentially online radio shows made available to anyone with computer access.

Some of you in fact maybe familiar with RadioEconomics (by Dr. James Reese) which is one of the first true economic podcasts. (be sure to check out my interview ;) )

While doing a podcast for finance definitely intrigues me, I think a better use of the technology for me may be in conjunction with the FinanceProfessor.com blog and website. For example, in the weeks to come, I may be posting an occasional interview, author discussion, or guest lecturer etc. Thus the podcast technology (essentially making MP3 files readily available) will complement the existing tools and lead to more sharing or info and more learning.

However, what I am really excited about is using the technology for teaching my current students. For instance I plan on making available weekly reviews (about 5-10 minutes each) for each course I teach. This should not only help those studets that learn better auditorily but should also help all students review the material when it is still fresh and in a one on one manner without me having to have never ending office hours and without the students having to come to office hours. I think this could be huge!

I MAY (depending on the approval of my Dean and Chairperson) make class lectures available to the students as well. I currently make the lecturers available on CDs and given bandwidth and copyright problems, that may stay the same.

Here are a few brief examples of how this will be used in my classes. Remember these are for undergraduates so I do not have every author referenced and annotated (that is what website and Blog are for).
  1. How we will use Podcasts
  2. Welcome to Finance 301--Introduction to Corporate Finance
  3. Welcome to Finance 401--Advanced Corporate Finance
  4. Introduction to Market Efficiency
I would love to hear how others are using this technology or even just ideas on how I can try to use it better.

If you do want to keep up to date with all of my "podcasts--and yes you can use RSS readers to do so), my "pod" stored here. I warn you it is sort of awkward, but if you page down, you can see the RSS and mRSS feeds as well as the links to the individual "shows". (and yes the music is legit--I paid for royalty free music that I could use in podcasts.)

Oh and of course, if any of you want to use the material for your own classes, feel free.


Anonymous said...

How difficult is it to make a podcast? I have few computer skills so I while I like the concept (especially since I teach at a large university and theer is no way I cn handle office hours for everyone), I doubt that I will use the idea.

One idea I did have however was to have reviews of each chapter. Maybe text book makers could offer this service.


PS Thank you for this service. I find myself using the blog more and more.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog.

Your post reminded me of Jan Mahrt-Smith's efforts described here.

I myself will experiment with Macromedia's Captivate product this year to deliver more technical content in an online tutorial-type format.