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Portable science: podcasting as an outreach tool for a large academic science and engineering library Barsky, Eugene; Greenwood, Aleteia; Lindstrom, Kevin 2009-07-02

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1 Portable science: podcasting as an outreach tool for a large academic science and engineering library Eugene Barsky, Kevin Lindstrom and Aleteia Greenwood Science and Engineering Library, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada June 20092 Outline: ̈ What is podcasting ̈ Why we decided to podcast ̈ How we do it ̈ Podcasting 101 ̈ How much it costs ̈ Where we host podcasts ̈ What are the next steps photo by Josh Bancroft3 What is podcasting ̈ Common characteristics for the Web 2.0 tools: collaborative in nature, interactive, and dynamic. ̈ Definition - "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program -- is typically made available on the web for downloading to a personal audio player " (McKean 2005).  ̈ Podcasting is really a dynamic term, now synonymous with any audio or video file that listeners download and play on a digital player (Barsky & Lindstrom 2008)4 Statistics ̈ Pew survey – 20% in 2005 (Pew Internet 2006). ̈ eMarketer – 18.5M in 2007 and potential for 65M by 2012 (eMarketer 2008). ̈ In academia – 70% of undergrads (Oliver & Goerke 2007). photo by  Sneaker Peet5 Why podcasting ourselves? ̈ University of British Columbia is Canada’s second largest university ̈ Home to very strong Faculty of Science and Faculty of Applied Science ̈ The departments we serve present hundreds of talks during an academic year for the students, faculty, and the broader community. ̈ Can we record and preserve some of them? We decided to try!6 How we do it? ̈ We decided to start with the department of Physics and Astronomy - ̈ Offered to assist with creating, hosting and maintaining podcasts ̈ Podcasts themselves generated interest from faculty7 Podcasting 101 ̈ First, find appropriate content. Content is crucial -- substance trumps style. Quality will keep people coming back for more. ̈ Gather required hardware and software. Podcasting is very simple and cheap. » Audacity (free) - » USB microphone - Samson CO1U USB Condenser Mic - $50-90 CAD » cIRcle - the University of British Columbia’s Institutional Repository (and iTunes U.)8 Podcasting 101 ̈ Convert the final audio files to MP3 format and upload them online, then the audio files need to be streamed using an RSS feed. » One simple way is via a blog - » Another way is link from a web site for manual download (not a real podcast) ̈ Promote your podcasts » Students and faculty can be the best word-of-mouth promoters » Quality will be what keeps subscribers coming back for more.9 Podcasting 101 ̈ Evaluate and learn from your experience » Don’t promise too much » Don’t stretch yourself too thin ̈ Use statistics to measure the impact of podcasts ̈ Use statistics to show the value of podcasts10 A typical podcast ̈ Real life presentation ̈ Non-linear narrative ̈ Captures questions from the audience ̈ May have historical relevance11 Hosting podcasts ̈ Most podcasts take a lot of space. Our podcasts are approximately 1MB for 1 minute of recording in MP3 format ̈ Storage becomes cheaper now, and so are your options: » Your institutional repository. Do you have one? If yes, it can take both audio and video files and even stream them online (with a plug-in) » Library or departmental website » iTunesU – do you have a subscription? » Storage for a fee: ̈ ̈ OmniDrive12 Future directions ̈ We would like to expand: » To other departments: Computer Science and Chemistry are our first candidates, particularly the Distinguished Lectures series ̈ American Physical Society Northwest Section Annual Meeting ̈ New skill set for librarians ̈ Podcasting takes time and energy and scheduling ̈ Video recording and archiving photo by delgaudm13 Summary ̈ Podcasting might increase student satisfaction and instructional flexibility ̈ Our podcasting experiences are mutually beneficial for the library and our academic community both at UBC and internationally ̈ We expect podcasting phenomenon to grow and we want to be a part of it!14 References ̈ Barsky E., & Lindstrom K. Podcasting the Sciences: A Practical Overview Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship [Online], Fall 2008. ̈ eMarketer. 2008. Heard the latest about podcasting? [Online]. Available: [Accessed 13 May 2009] ̈ McKean, E. 2005. The New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd ed.). New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press. ̈ Oliver, B., & Goerke, V. 2007. Australian undergraduates' use and ownership of emerging technologies: Implications and opportunities for creating engaging learning experiences for the net generation. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 23(2): 171-186. ̈ Pew Internet. 2006. Podcast downloading. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 13 May 2009] ̈ Worcester, L., & Barker, E. 2006. Podcasting: Exploring the possibilities for academic libraries. College & Undergraduate Libraries 13(3): 87-91. 15 Questions? ** photo credit - nikalway16 Contact info Eugene Barsky, M.L.I.S. Science & Engineering Librarian, UBC Library Phone: (604) 822-9606 Email: Meebo/MSN Messenger: Web: Blog:


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