Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Podcasting and Web 2.0

As I was reading the articles for this week, I was thinking about the question, "Is podcasting a Web 2.0 technology?" Stevens (2006) makes the following distinctions between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. To him, Web 1.0 was "the era of the 'read-only' Web"; in contrast, Web 2.0 is the "'read-write' Web (p. 3). When I think of Web 2.0, words like sharing, collaboration, participation, interaction come to mind. The white paper by Deal (2007) outlines three ways podcasts are being used: 1) lectures for review; 2) supplemental material; and 3) podcast assignments. None of these activities requires interaction through the technology per se. Sure, student may interact and collaborate while creating their podcast assignments, but once that recording is posted, that's it. Instructors could also design activities that foster this type of environment, but thus far, this does not appear to be the case.

Further, Deal, as well as Brittain et al. (2006) and Lane (2006), also points out that most students do not take advantage of the mobility afforded by the podcasting technology; instead, students listened to the recordings via their computer. To me, this type of use takes us back to the days of Web 1.0. The only difference is that instead of reading the content, they are listening to it. While I do believe that podcasting technology does have the potential to become more Web 2.0-like, I don't think it's there at this time. As was the case with early cinematographers, we are replicating what is familiar as we learn more about this technology. Perhaps the uses of podcasting will become more innovative and creative as we learn more about the technology and its capabilities.

3 comments:

Curt Bonk said...

Ah, so collaboration and mobility are not as apparent as the proponents would have us expect. Why is that? What can be done Sharon? Tell me! We cannot simply wait once again for society to catch up.

The sun is coming out...I am melting. I am melting. I am melting. Hurry up. Give me an answer to save me.

Sharon said...

I wish I had an answer for you Curt. Perhaps podcasting is no different than the early days of cinematograpy - people had to recreate the wheel to learn what that technology would afford before they could move outside the box. With a little more practice, experience, and experimentation (educators cannot be afraid to try new things - lose the fear!), it is possible that collaboration and mobility will naturally follow.

Chanitra said...

I think podcasting is a Web 2.0 technology because it is sharable. Deal notes that what makes podcasting different from audio/video available via the web is the feed and subscription model of delivery. Web 1.0 technology does not delivery content to the user automatically, the user is required to go to various web sites to get the information.

While many students may not listen to podcast on the go, students still have the ability to do so. Also, podcast created for the classroom may not be conducive to listening on the go as other materials are needed to get the full meaning of the lecture podcast. However, a podcast of a radio station program, can be listened to on the go. Podcasts that are followed for entertainment/news purposes as opposed to educational purposes may be more likely to be listened to using mobile devices.

You can make a podcast more collaborative or participatory by combining them with other 2.0 technologies such as blogs and wikis. A podcast on a blog or wiki will allow others to comment. A podcast could also be created in response to a podcast. Instead of a text response students can create podcast responses. In an online course a student can post a podcast to a forum and others can respond to the podcast by creating another podcast.