Here I am late on a Friday afternoon that has been filled with meetings … all of them left a good taste in my mouth however … and trust me, that is strange. Things kicked off this morning at 8 with a great conversation that I will save for another day … left that and went to the Web 2006 Conference Planning Committee meeting to discuss a proposal that a colleague and I are discussing — we’re actually thinking of a position paper we are working on as a talk — Web 2.0 and the Higher Education Enterprise. From there it was off to a meeting with two members of our Emerging Technologies group to discuss the position paper and just geek out a while on social software, where we are headed, and that sort of thing. Last meeting of the morning was a lunch meeting with members of my staff at the Penn State World Campus that jumped all over the place, but left me feeling really good about what they are thinking about — the whole morning was fun and enlightening.
The afternoon kicked off with a race back to the building where all my stuff was this morning to meet with the Office of Disabilities Services to discuss podcasting. As we look to address this growing need at an enterprise level I am talking to everyone to make sure we play nicely with all the kids (we are talking enterprise at the end of the day). A few people here in my group have been very vocal about the issue of accessibility and how it relates to podcasting. At first it makes you wonder how people can be bent out of shape that when are offering another way to get at content … but then step back and the picture looks a little different. If I am a student with a distinct disability and I can’t take advantage of the service, does it place me in a negative position in class? If my classmates can review lectures before an exam and I can’t take advantage of them then we have just created a nasty situation?
The people here at the University take these questions very seriously. They are very accommodating to all members of our audiences and that is great. We walked away agreeing to aggressively pursue options, answers, and ultimately a solution.
I guess this is a recount of a long day, but also a shot over the bow of the “podcasting in education” ship to get us talking about this as a community. What is happening at other schools to overcome this? How do we provide additional channels for content in rich media format, while addressing the needs of our audiences? I am very curious to hear responses … ideas, or just conversation on the topic. Any takers … and please stop making me look pathetic (no jokes) when I beg for reaction and get nothing. This is a serious issue. Any help?