Podcasting involves subscribing via RSS to audio files from the internet. Podcasts can be played on anything that can play an audio file - from an mp3 or 4 player, a mobile phone, to a laptop or desktop computer. They are now used frequently by lecturers - and are proving highly popular with students. Some Glasgow Caledonian University departments now produce podcasts and make them available via GCULearn. In addition to lectures, academic podcasts also include conference speeches and discussions.

'...one of the first UK institutions to do so was the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where physics lecturer Andy Breen decided to introduce it as an experiment in September 2004. Initially, he recorded his own course lectures and uploaded them to the department's virtual learning environment (VLE). The trial proved successful, and in February, it was extended to other members of the department. Currently four of Andy's colleagues are podcasting their lectures, and the college's library has created a pool of recording devices to enable other departments to follow suit.' (1)

It is possible to use software such as iTunes or Yahoo to subscribe to podcasts, but you can also use your RSS feed reader

How to find podcasts

It is possible to find podcasts in wide range of places, from newspaper and television news websites to entertainers' websites. Examples include the Guardian, the BBC and The Ricky Gervais show.

Using search engines:
  • iTunes allows you to find and play podcasts as well as managing your files.
  • podfeed.net is a directory of podcasts on the internet, a source of thousands of podcasts.
Examples of Podcasts:

1. Thomas, K. The power of the podcast, [Online] Available from:http://archive.futurelab.org.uk/resources/publications-reports-articles/web-articles/Web-Article498 [Accessed 14th July 2008].