​​What is it?​ ​

A podcast can be thought of as a blog presented in audio or video format. Instead of blog text entries, podcasts use downloadable audio or video files.  In the same way that you can subscribe to a blog and receive regular text updates, users can subscribe to podcasts and download audio and videos files when content is updated.

Both blogs and podcasts use the same technology to update their content. The technology used is called RSS - which stands for really simple syndication.  RSS allows content to be pushed out to subscribers without users having to go and check for updates. This makes organizing a tremendous amount of data really easy. Just about as easy as subscribing to a magazine, subscribing to a podcast allows the user to receive the latest content automatically. ​

Where do I find podcasts?

iTunes U is a collection of over 350,000 educational podcasts from over 800 universities around the world and is accessible as a part of the free, cross-platform iTunes software.  CMU has been on iTunes U since 2006 and last year had over 70,000 tracks downloaded.  In addition to content provided by leading institutions including Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford, and UC Berkeley — students and faculty can access a wealth of content from distinguished entities such as MoMA, the New York Public Library, Public Radio International, and the Library of Congress. Click here to download iTunes, and click here to load CMU’s iTunes U page.

How can I use podcasting in my class?

Faculty at CMU are creating podcasts of guest-lectures, student presentations, and classroom content.  Other CMU faculty are using podcasts to raise questions about a topic to be viewed outside the classroom, and then using class time to discuss the possible solutions.  There are also CMU faculty having their students use free software to create podcasts of their own and posting them to iTunes U.  Check out the video below for further ideas and inspiration for your podcast. Here you could link to the same video that’s on the page.

How do I get started?

To make podcasting easier for faculty, the Office of Information Technology has developed an informational web site that walks users through the process of podcasting.  In just three simple steps you can begin podcasting today.