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Issues for Podcast Development

There are a number of reasons why student affairs has been slow to embrace podcasting. They include institutional and technical support problems, a centralized, school-wide focus, proper equipment and training and quality control issues.

Institutional and Technical Support -- The two primary reasons for the dearth in student affairs podcasts are institutional and technical support (Blaisdell, 2006). Although faculty members seeking to introduce podcasting into their classrooms have these same issues colleges and universities have, for the most part, institutions have steered their limited resources more to the academic realm. Institutional backing includes permission to access the school's servers and store files within its system. Support within the Division of Student Affairs is also significant to convey the importance of podcasting to departmental staffs. This recognition also puts less pressure on the self-declared technocrat, who may spend countless hours of his or her own time, in developing podcasts outside a defined and structured framework. Technical support covers personnel well-versed in all aspects of creating a podcast-from recording or videotaping information, to digitally editing recordings, to properly uploading a finished product to the institution's server.

iDreaming -- Convene a campus-wide podcasting task force to begin an institutional dialogue concerning the possible utilization and application of this technology. At Georgia College and State University an 'iDreaming' committee was formed encompassing staff from all areas of the campus (residence life, admissions, library and academic affairs) (Blaisdell, 2006). The committee was introduced to the concept of podcasting, including associated software, and asked to come up with a list of possible applications for the institution. The results were a series of initiatives, which the school could support and evaluate (Blaisdell, 2006).

Proper Equipment and Training -- Much of the literature and popular articles about podcasting briefly touch on the ease and simplicity of creating such an Internet broadcast. However, the production of a podcast does require equipment with digital recording capabilities, software to properly edit audio and/or video, and an application to publish the ongoing episodic programs. In addition, while the learning curve for mastering the aforementioned podcast components can be relatively quick there still needs to be adequate and centralized training to assist individuals within departments seeking to generate podcasts.

Quality Control -- Podcasts, whether audio or video, rely upon the spoken word. Poor sound quality can be a subtle nuisance or a full-fledged bother to individuals downloading and listening to a program. Podcast producers also need to be aware of background interference as well as "the quality of speakers' voices, speech patterns, intonations, and other sound effects [that] may not be the same as those of a professional broadcast" ("7 Things," 2006, p. 2).


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7 things you should know about podcasting. (2005). EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. Retrieved July 10, 2006 from http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7003.pdf.

Blaisdell, M. (2006). Academic MP3s >> is it iTime yet? Campus Technology. Retrieved July 10, 2006 from http://www.campustechnology.com/article.asp?id=18001&p=1.]