Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mississippi State Develops Effective Campus-wide Podcasting System on a Shoestring

I'm at the national Educause Conference in Dallas, Texas, right now and of course I am looking for innovative web-based applications that we could implement to provide campus-wide services in a number of areas including e-portfolio development, learning object repositories, content publishing and collaboration, etc.

I went to an excellent presentation this afternoon given by the IT group at Mississippi State about their lowcost, automated podcasting system using existing polycom output routed through a relatively inexpensive device (about $350 per lectern) called a Barix instreamer that converts all audio produced during a class presentation to an MP3 format. The MS group wrote a web-based front end for faculty login and input of metadata as well as an automated RSS output that automatically publishes the file to the web through links into their CMS system (they use WebCT but it would probably adapt just as well to Blackboard. The MS folks sounded like they would be willing to share their software if we were interested in developing the service here. I couldn't hardly believe that they built the entire system and rolled it out campus-wide in less than three weeks!