Our TA Shuya brought up a very insightful question in the class. Will the popularity of shared online videos cause podcasts to obsolesce? To answer this question, I think we’d better analyze the pros and cons of each of these two media.
Online Shared Video
Require less effort on recording and editing
Take less time for upload and download
Take up smaller saving space
Can be prescribed
Can be listened while driving
Transcript are usually offered
Transcript can be edited in a word spreadsheet
Catch attention quickly
Good at explaining complex and abstruse concepts
Some have subtitles
Wildly shared in blogs, Facebook, Twitter and many other Web 2.0 platforms
Some podcasts lack of editing
Listeners easily get bored
Hard to explain complex and abstruse concepts
Require more effort on recording and editing
Take more time to
upload and download (some are not allowed to download)
Take up larger saving space
Cannot be watched while driving
Subtitle cannot be edited
The above compare and contrast informs us both media have advantages and disadvantages. The advantages explain the existing of each of media, while the disadvantages ask for the existing of the other. (Note: here the number of pros and cons cannot lead to a conclusion as which one is better, which is worse, because this is not a quantitative analysis, and I might lose some important points.) What conclusion we can make here is podcast will keep benefiting learning if we can appropriately apply it based on our understanding of its pros and cons.
The other topic of this week is webcast. I read the article, College 2.0: More Professors Could Share Lectures Online.But Should They?, which presents how professors from two camps are wrestling on the issue of videotaping and webcasting classes.
It may be helpful for considering this issue if we list those opposite propositions in another table.
Share Lectures Online
Not Share Lectures Online
Coursecasting equipments are ready or getting ready.
Equalize access to high quality education
Student would get an earlier and better sense of what they want to major.
Help students preview and review classes.
Students involve more in the class because professors offer quizzes, take attendance and showing up part of the grade to avoid skipping class.
Professors watch other’s course videos in order to improve teaching.
Professors play past recordings and focus more on organizing discussion and group projects.
Some professors are “camera shy”.
Professors would face mockery.
Classroom is a “sacred space” that may need to stay private to preserve academic freedom.
Give away too much educational content
Need time and effort to manage the recording process
Students may skip class or choose home schooling at the college level.
Copyright and intellectual property issues
Student privacy needs to be protected.
Whether we should webcast courses to the public seems to be a more controversial issue. It involves various personal, cultural, technology and policy factors. However, as an advocator of OER, I propose that if all or most needed factors are available, we should do our best to open access to the corse.