Thursday, February 08, 2007

Technical and Time-Saving Issues Re: Blogging Podcasts

Whilst announcing a wonderful interview on her blog, MaryH suggests that she'll try podcasting interviews "in the future" (B4B Message 1503). In response, Gladys points out a recording tool - blog sharing link-up (Podomatic: Blogger) that used to work for her, yet expresses a preference for "text in blogs" (B4B Message 1534, PS).

Elsewhere on the B4B list (forgive me, please, for relying here upon our memories rather than citations), contributors note challenges related to bandwidth limitations, making it difficult if not impossible to download media- (audio or video) rich blogs. They also may face restrictions on downloading media players or browser plug-ins to play back A/V blog elements.

Though I've begun listening to, and earmarking podcasts of interest, I prefer text in blogs, too, for reasons beyond downloading and playback difficulties. Granted, A/V podcasts are of great interest to educators who are intent upon presenting material that will help learners to develop listening and viewing skills.

However, for time-challenged educators and learners, sitting through podcasts is hardly a viable option. Attention spared while driving or cycling, I argue, is insufficient for uptake of ideas, intents, structures and vocabulary. Under such circumstances, note-making and cross-referencing are virtually impossible - unless you have a clip-board or keyboard mounted on your steering wheel or handlebars (or are concurrently recording your own commentary). Moreover, for city-dwelling pedestrians, traffic noise may well defeat listening at anything less than hearing threatening playback volumes on mp4 or mp3 players.

Rather than rant on about the drawbacks of podcasting, and before I develop a fuller argument for properly framing podcasts to develop learners' listening skills and vocabulary, I'd better point out the LearningTimes Green Room and suggest that you check it out before the folks there quit providing nearly complete transcripts in show notes on their website as a prelude to their podcasts.

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