iPodium: Student Podcasting and Participatory Pedagogies

I’m back in Perth after spending most of last week at the Internet Research 7.0: Internet Convergences conference which was held by the Association of Internet Researchers. It was a great conference and I heard some thought-provoking papers (which I’ll write more about in a day or two when time permits). The “Participatory Pedagogies: Convergence and the Extended Blogosphere” panel I was part of when well despite James Farmer sadly being unable to contribute as originally planned. Adrian Miles and I ended up with a whole panel which actually worked pretty well since his paper, “Networked Knowledge Objects (videographic pedagogy for new knowledges)”, and mine shared a lot of ground, with my focus on podcasting and audio, and his on video more broadly. Partially to record the event, and partially to test the new Belkin TuneTalk microphone for my iPod, I’ve created an mp3 recording of my talk. I’ll be writing up the paper on which the talk was based, but as I’ll be making some changes based on feedback at the conference, that’ll probably take a little to appear. For those interested, for now feel free to listen to a recording of my talk along with the powerpoint slides …


The term podcasting is a combination of ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’ and describes type of syndicated digital audio that results in automatically downloadable files which are playable in portable media devices, such as (but not limited to) the iPod. Podcasting has proven extremely popular in the last year and a half, with many online citizens creating their own regular online audio shows. Australian universities have been making lectures available as streaming audio for some years now, but with learners anchored to a computer in order to listen. Podcasting has also allowed students to take lectures and other audio wherever they go, but this ‘coursecasting’ or ‘profcasting’ model still relies on the top-down structure of lectures as academic content for student’s to consume. However, in The University of Western Australia’s Communication Studies course, in an honours-level unit ‘iGeneration: Digital Communication and Participatory Culture’ the tables have been turned somewhat and students are also podcasting in the tertiary setting. For their major assignments, students were asked to create an innovative audio podcast which engaged with the notion of participatory culture and the results ranged from a ‘pod play’ in the style 1930s RKO radio theatre to an alternative commentary for a Simpsons episode focusing on consumer culture and intertextuality. These podcasts are also cultural output themselves – they will remain downloadable indefinitely, allowing students to use them in future ePortfolios and also providing a resource (or entertainment) for others. Moreover, the same system which enables the creation of streaming and podcasted lectures, the iLecture or Lectopia system, is also been used to host and deliver student podcasts; in effect, students are stepping up to their own iPodium. With student’s having an opportunity utilise the iPodium, student podcasting acts as something of a leveling process, allowing two-way street for teaching and learning.

Extrapolating from the iGeneration experience, this paper argues that student podcasting can be usefully situated as part of a broader range of emerging participatory pedagogies wherein the socially-emergent tools and modes of participatory culture allow a more meaningful traffic between tertiary settings and the broader community. For students, podcasting can be far more than a content-delivery mechanism; it can be part of their ongoing participation in knowledge communities in both tertiary settings and beyond. Student podcasting also levels the playing field in relation to ideas of content-creation and can be part of the processes of helping learners develop the tools of cultural interaction, not just consumption, which are increasingly an essential part of digital literacy. This paper also focuses on student podcasting as something which can easily take place without reliance on institutional infrastructures. As such, student podcasting blurs the boundaries of formal educational settings and points to digitally enabled learning and teaching modes which link educational and social spaces via a nexus of creation, discussion and interaction enabled by digital tools and technologies.

The presentation: mp3 recording (with many other formats available); and the powerpoint slides.

The podcast and powerpoint slides are hosted by the Internet Archive using a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

Feedback is most welcome!

[Cross-posted from Ponderance.]

AoIR 7.0 Brisbane Sept 28-30, Brisbane (Australia!)

The Call for Papers for AoIR 7.0 …

International and Interdisciplinary Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers
Brisbane, Australia 28-30 September 2006
Pre-Conference Workshops: 27 September 2006

The Internet works as an arena of convergence. Physically dispersed and marginalized people (re)find themselves online for the sake of sustaining and extending community. International and interdisciplinary teams now collaborate in new ways. Diverse cultures engage one another via CMC. These technologies relocate and refocus capital, labor and immigration, and they open up new possibilities for political, potentially democratizing, forms of discourse. Moreover, these technologies themselves converge in multiple ways, e.g. in Internet-enabled mobile phones, in Internet-based telephony, and in computers themselves as “digital appliances” that conjoin communication and multiple media forms. These technologies also facilitate fragmentations with greater disparities between the information-haves and have-nots, between winners and losers in the shifting labor and capital markets, and between individuals and communities. Additionally these technologies facilitate information filtering that reinforces, rather than dialogically challenges, narrow and extreme views.

Our conference theme invites papers and presentations based on empirical research, theoretical analysis and everything in between that explore the multiple ways the Internet acts in both converging and fragmenting ways – physical, cultural, technological, political, social – on local, regional, and global scales. Without limiting possible proposals, topics of interest include:
– Theoretical and practical models of the Internet
– Internet convergence, divergence and fragmentation
– Networked flows of information, capital, labor, etc.
– Migrations and diasporas online
– Identity, community and global communication
– Regulation and control (national and global)
– Internet-based development and other economic issues
– Digital art and aesthetics
– Games and gaming on the Internet
– The Net generation
– E-Sectors, e.g. e-health, e-education, e-business
We call for papers, panel proposals, and presentations from any discipline, methodology, and community that address the theme of Internet Convergence. We particularly call for innovative, exciting, and unexpected takes on and interrogations of the conference theme. However, we always welcome submissions on any topics that address social, cultural, political, economic, and/or aesthetic aspects of the Internet and related Internet technologies. We are equally interested in interdisciplinary proposals as well as proposals from within specific disciplines.

We seek proposals for several different kinds of contributions. We welcome proposals for traditional academic conference papers, but we also encourage proposals for creative or aesthetic presentations that are distinct from a traditional written ‘paper’. We welcome proposals for roundtable sessions that will focus on discussion and interaction among conference delegates, and we also welcome organized panel proposals that present a coherent group of papers on a single theme. This year AoIR will also be using an alternative presentation format in which a dozen or so participants who wish to present a short overview of their work to stimulate debate will gather together in a plenary session involving short presentations (no more than 5 minutes) and extended discussion. All papers and presentations in this session will be reviewed in the normal manner. Further information will be available via the conference submission website.
PAPERS (individual or multi-author) – submit abstract of 500-750 words
SHORT PRESENTATIONS – submit abstract of 500-750 words
CREATIVE OR AESTHETIC PRESENTATIONS – submit abstract of 500-750 words
PANELS – submit a 250-500 word description of the panel theme (and abstracts of the distinct papers or presentations)
ROUNDTABLE PROPOSALS – submit a 250-500 word statement indicating the nature of the roundtable discussion and interaction. Papers, presentations and panels will be selected from the submitted proposals on the basis of multiple blind peer review, coordinated and overseen by the Program Chair. Each person is invited to submit a proposal for 1 paper or 1 presentation. People may also propose a panel of papers or presentations, of which their personal paper or presentation must be a part. You may submit an additional paper/presentation of which you are the co-author as long as you are not presenting twice. You may submit a roundtable proposal as well. Detailed information about submission and review is available at the conference submission website http://conferences.aoir.org. All proposals must be submitted electronically through this site.

All papers presented at the conference are eligible for publication in the Internet Research Annual, on the basis of competitive selection and review of full papers. Additionally, several publishing opportunities are expected to be available through journals, again based on peer-review of full papers. Details on the website.

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to submit proposals. Any student paper is eligible for consideration for the AoIR graduate student award. Students wishing to be a candidate for the Student Award must also send a final paper by 31 July 2006.

Prior to the conference, there will be a limited number of pre-conference workshops which will provide participants with in-depth, hands-on and/or creative opportunities. We invite proposals for these pre-conference workshops. Local presenters are encouraged to propose workshops that will invite visiting researchers into their labs or studios or locales. Proposals should be no more than 1000 words, and should clearly outline the purpose, methodology, structure, costs, equipment and minimal attendance required, as well as explaining its relevance to the conference as a whole. Proposals will be accepted if they demonstrate that the workshop will add significantly to the overall program in terms of thematic depth, hands on experience, or local opportunities for scholarly or artistic connections. These proposals and all inquires regarding pre-conference proposals should be submitted as soon as possible to the Conference Chair and no later than 31 March 2006.

Submission site available: 1 December 2005
Final date for proposal submission: 7 February 2006
Presenter notification: 21 March 2006
Final workshop submission deadline: 31 March 2006
Submission of paper for publication/student award: 31 July 2006
Submission of paper for conference archive: 30 September 2006

Program Chair: Dr Fay Sudweeks, Murdoch University, Australia, sudweeks@murdoch.edu.au
Conference Chair: Dr Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, a.bruns@qut.edu.au
President of AoIR: Dr Matthew Allen, Curtin University of Technology, Australia m.allen@curtin.edu.au
Association Website: http://www.aoir.org
Conference Website: http://conferences.aoir.org (from 1 December)

Is anyone interested in joining me on a panel about participatory culture tools/platforms (blogs, podcasts, wikis) and their role in higher education? Sort of an Edu 2.0 panel, but I’m sure we can come up with a better name. If you’re interested, either leave a comment or email me.