iCasting as new digital literacy


<Now Broadcasting Live, Jose:>

I was part of the broadcast strategy review at the OU, where we looked at what broadcast meant to us in the internet age. The OU has partly defined itself by its relationship to broadcast, and so it seemed like a good time to reexamine that. You won’t be surprised to hear that my basic line was ‘forget traditional broadcast and put it all online’ (that was a step too far for most, but we made some progress).

Anyway, there is a Director of Multi-Platform Broadcasting post being advertised. We struggled over the title – the broadcast part is appropriate if one views it as working with the BBC, but less so if the role is to help educators become self-broadcasters. So, I think it’s a bit of a compromise because what the title reflects is that this is a shifting landscape.

This relationship to broadcast is something I’ve been pondering recently. On Friday I happened to spend nearly all day in broad/narrowcasting activities. I didn’t intentionally bunch all this activity into one day, and it’s not typical, but it is telling. Here’s what I did:

  • Record a talking head piece for the launch of the OU’s YouTube channel
  • Record and synch the audio and upload a slidecast of a talk I gave last week
  • Upload an educational video I had created to YouTube and add annotations
  • Write two blogs posts
  • Finish of a Camtasia video for a project

This was, of course, all done by myself, on my laptop, with no support and using (mainly) free software. This is far removed from any notion of ‘broadcasting’ we have, it’s focused on individual activity – iCasting.

I was never much of a fan of the term ‘digital literacies’ – to me it seemed like an excuse to say people needed training and development in using new tools, rather than just encouraging them to use them, e.g. we needed to create courses on becoming digitally literate before we would let our students use them, and then we could tick a box saying this was covered, like basic numeracy. I still think encouraging people to play is the best approach, but my recent dabbling with making videos has made me appreciate that this may be approaching a digital literacy.

This is about more than technical or design skills, more significant is the mental shift to thinking of iCasting as the route for distributing ideas. We have so long been subject to the tyranny of paper, that to conceive of an output in any other form takes a real effort. In fact, we often mistake the production of a paper artefact for the actual output of a project. So my message to the incoming Director is this – help us become iCasters.

One Comment

  • Maurice

    geting stuck in is a god idea but devoping some basic audi and video production skils ins iportant too
    for the longest time robert scobels audio sucked

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *