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Ray Schroeder

Higher Educational Podcast Repository

The Higher Educational Podcast Repository project is co-directed by Professor Margaret Maag of the University of San Francisco and Ray Schroeder. It is funded by the University of Illinois Online to explore the potential of making academic podcasting. In the spirit of the Open Knowledge Initiative [OKI at MIT], this repository will facilitate the sharing of learning materials across discipline and institutional boundaries. Now just in alpha version, the repository will be vetted at a number of national and regional conferences and presentations through the winter before moving into release version and opening for submissions early in the spring semester. It will hold thousands of reviewed podcasts submitted by authors in disciplines across academe – all of which will be be available subject to express creative commons licensing. These podcasts [including text transcriptions] will be held in a searchable online database, enabling faculty members to quickly and efficiently access lectures, discussions, speeches, debates, etc. for use in their classes.

Easily accessible virtual guest lectures will become a reality! Imagine, for example, a faculty member seeking a lecture to fill in one specific aspect of a course s/he is newly teaching in which s/he does not yet feel quite expert. Searching the database may bring up a lecture that could be shared with the class – contact info opens the opportunity to bring the expert into online discussions, either synchronously [through Elluminate] or asynchronously [through Blackboard]. Or, imagine a faculty member seeking to bring a diversity of views into his/her class – finding differing viewpoints on emerging or controversial topics in the discipline – juxtaposing those viewpoints via sharing two or more podcast speeches on the topic. Crossing disciplinary lines, imagine a biology professor including an ethics lecture in his/her class to set a context for the discussion of bio-ethics. The possibilities are many. We are in touch with the Sloan Consortium about their hosting and maintaining the repository on a permanent basis beginning in the summer of 2006.

We will share the beta version of this repository with the campus community in the coming few weeks. At that time, we will be seeking suggestions and comments. In the meantime, we welcome hearing from those who have podcasts they may be willing to share with others through the early alpha testing of the repository. email: schroeder.ray@uis.edu or maag@usfca.edu.

- Ray Schroeder

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