Podcasting and the End of the World: Building a Culture of Conversation Through Scalable Technologies

Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

This session focuses on how two faculty members from the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma have utilized their own findings on low-cost, scalable podcasting solutions to jump-start a college-level focus on supporting student podcasting projects. 

Presenters

Adam Croom is a faculty member in the Strategic Communication area of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Croom also serves the university in a separate capacity as the Director of the Office of Digital Learning. Croom completed his Masters at Pepperdine University where he studied education and learning technologies. His research focused on networked approaches to online learning in public relations design courses.

Extended Abstract

This session focuses on how two faculty members from the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma have utilized their own findings on low-cost, scalable podcasting solutions to jump-start a college level-focus on supporting student podcasting projects.

We will explain how a changing media landscape and desire for building media literacy skills has impacted one College of Journalism and how it compelled us to begin to procure the tools necessary to support student podcasting initiatives. Is this the end of student newspapers? Of student-produced work? Of networked, mediated information? Or is it a renaissance of a new distributed medium for student voice? And, if so, how can schools support it?

Though we intially had a rough idea of the process of producing, editing, and distributing podcasting, we will explain how our technical process has been refined as we continued to ask the following questions:

  • Are the tools accessible to our students?
  • Is the process cost prohibitive?
  • Is the infrastructure scalable to a college our size?
  • Can our process be easily replicated?

These questions led us to build a local podcasting booth and equipment kit that students can check out. In addition we now have customized web infrastructure that mixes a WordPress-enabled environment with Amazon Web Services (AWS S3) to create a low barrier-to-entry for distributing student-produced content.

Beyond the media literacy introduction, attendees may really find the technology infrastructure discussion incredibly intriguing. This is a fundamentally different route than going with a "podcast solution" in terms of cost structure. AWS is priced by file storage and access rather than a monthly cost, which means universities can pay (literally!) pennies a month. This discussion won't be a pitch for any specific vendor but an opportunity for the OLC community to discuss and reflect on how we might consider technologies that are made to prototype and potentially scale.

Our hope is that attendees will have a better understanding of changes to media tools, the creation and distribution process of podcasts, and creative techniques for faculty and technology staff members to support large podcasting initiatives.

The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication was founded in 2000, after a generous gift from the family of Edward L. Gaylord, owner of the Oklahoma Publishing Company. The Gaylord College is one of the leading centers of mass communication teaching and scholarship in the United States. The College has a state-of-the-art Gaylord Hall completed in 2004 and expanded in 2009. New faculty will take an active part in the growth of the College through superior teaching, innovative curriculum development, and notable research or creative activity. They will join a highly engaged journalism faculty that includes leading scholars and innovative practitioners. The College offers the BA, MA, and Ph.D. in journalism, advertising and public relations, and media arts and a master’s (MPW) degree in professional writing.