Episode 39 – Upgrade in the Downturn?

10 March, 20094 comments

The Digital Campus crew finally tackle the Great Recession: the significance of the financial meltdown on universities, libraries, and museums. What will change and what will stay the same? Are there technologies that can help us in our time of need? We also talk more about e-books, campus iPhone apps, and lecture podcasts.

Links mentioned in the podcast:
Google Apps For Your Domain
Duke U. Unveils Application Suite for iPhone
‘iTunes university’ better than the real thing
Tip Jar
Digital Archivists, Now in Demand

Running time: 44:41
Download the .mp3

Categorized under books, Google, iPhone, netbooks, podcasting

4 comments to “Episode 39 – Upgrade in the Downturn?”

  1. Derek Bruff : 17th March, 2009

    Speaking of iPhone apps in higher education, Abilene Christian University recently hosted an “iPhone conference” called the ConnectEd Summit. I participated in the “pedagogy and praxis” track that explored possibilities for in-classroom use of iPhones by students, and I blogged about some of the ideas generated during the conference, including possibilities for having students engage in Web 2.0 activities like crowdsourcing during class via iPhones.

  2. Fritz : 18th March, 2009

    We need access to classes online but iTunes U is a relatively crappy way to do it. Its organizational pattern is bad and leads to tons of clutter on your iTunes library (and that’s even when I use my iTunes library only for podcasts and iTunes U). Universities–especially state ones–should be placing these online for from places where people can get these without use of proprietary software. In this way I think YouTube is better than iTunes. When Obama was pressured to release things that could be available to all on not just on one proprietary service, YouTube instituted download links on the site. Some of these are available for UC-Berkeley lectures as well. This means you don’t have to download a specific program just to view these. With iTunes U, although some are podcasts which presumably have RSS feeds attached to them, it is difficult to find this content outside of iTunes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great start… but it’s not nearly open enough or well organized enough. But, I think at this point universities are more into cost shifting than best practices and they want someone to host content for them to reduce costs.

  3. julian : 18th March, 2009

    Your discussion of the apparent greater pedagogical value of podcasts got me thinking. It seems counter-intuitive to me that a podcast can give better teaching – but basically it depends on how the teaching is done. As you say, if the lecturer comes in, reads for 50 minutes then goes out, then a podcast would be just as good.

    But for me, when I am lecturing, having the students there enables me to get an idea of how much they are understanding, and I normally try to get a little interaction going. So basically, I think that if I was to sit in a studio recording my lecture, I would end up doing worse lectures.

    Perhaps the solution is that students could sign up to attend the class, or just get it online. So, imagine the 50 students who do sign up are actually the ones who will come regularly because they want to be able to ask questions and so on. The rest, who may or may not come, and may just want to sleep through the class anyway, can stay at home and watch it at it their ease. The lecturer would benefit from having the direct feedback, and all students would benefit from having the teaching experience they prefer.

  4. Patty Quinn : 30th April, 2009

    I’m a non-academic but I’m on the Planning Committee of Kelly Writer’s House at my alma mater. I just wanted to add that digital media also plays a big part in our programming at Writer’s House. It isn’t just applied to the classroom. Our programs are free and open to the public, but Writer’s House is a 19th Century cottage on campus, and the architecture has been left pretty much alone. We hold our events in the parlor of the house, which has had its drawbacks because events are filled quickly and in-person participation is limited to those who RSVP quickly. That said, we wanted to keep the parlor intact because of the intimacy it affords. We have a small group of people tucked into the parlor, and Q and A time is warm and personal. But the events are streamed live and the podcasts are out there, so the technology gives us the best of both worlds–we can retain the intimacy of the event for the authors and attendees physically present, but many other people can attend the virtual event. And the equipment isn’t intrusive in the parlor as the event takes place. I realize this discussion was mainly about classroom use of digital media, but I just wanted to add that it adds to the experience of activities on campuses that aren’t related to class work.

Sorry, comments are closed.

Subscribe to Digital Campus Twitter logo Follow us on Twitter


One could spend hours listening to these witty, modern podcasts.

American Historical Association Today


Write Digital Campus at




Courtesy of