Is video-casting useful for education?

Are you convinced about podcasting? I’m not personally, but then I never was much of a radio listener either. How about video-casting (pleeeeease don’t call it ‘vodcasting’)?

There are a couple of RSS aggregators for video now, and they are both free if you want to play.

I played with fireANT when it first came out (as ANT, as in “Ant’s Not Television”, geddit?), and I got turned off very quickly. The problem was that to know what’s in a feed I have to watch at least a sample. I find myself interested in perhaps one in ten; probably fewer. It’s not worth the effort.

With broadcast TV, I have two things to help me:

  1. There are extensive resources to help me find and sort TV programmes; critics, friends’ recommendations, listings, etc.
  2. If I find a program I like, it will be at least half an hour long, and may also be part of a series. The return on the investment is much bigger than with 5-minute video casts.

Neither of these are intrinsic to the broadcast medium. In principle, video-casting could actually do better than broadcast. The internet strongly facilitates searching, sorting and cataloguing. And knowing the author’s reputation would go a long way towards solving the ‘series investment’ problem.

In the educational context, I can see a real need for someone to catalogue and rate both podcasts and video-casts for use in teaching. Such as site with a well structured peer-review element might gain a strong following. I’d even be prepared to fund it (as we did with Wikitextbook) if anyone wants a bash, but for myself personally, I’ll stick to text for the moment.

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