After the already mentioned trip to Las Vegas and San Franscisco a lot of new ideas came along. At the NAB conference we looked at a whole range of new equipment to use for multimedia presentations in a university setting.
In San Francisco we looked at several new approaches opposed to the ordinary classroom teaching. First we went to Golden Gate University in downtown San Francisco in the financial district. Here all their 5000 students are students participating and following courses online. Here they had some nice features in connection with podcasting of lectures, they had a small abstract, or you could call
it a appetizer, of the actual lectures, that you could listen to.They also had a interface of their online site that allowed the user/student to interact and give comments to the content of the courses. They had a very big focus on the customer being satisfied and the simple fact that most of the students were adults having finished their education some years ago and now just participating with additional courses to keep updated on new fields and areas.
Then we went to Berkeley to visit some of the persons behind the succesful launching of the podcasting/webcasting services at Berkeley.Benjamin Hubbard, Jon D.Conhaim & Obadiah Tarzan Greenberg showed us the use of podcasting and webcasting at Berkeley and how they have automated the process.Not long time after a actual podcasting was recorded they were available online. The podcastings were also available for downloading through iTunes through a interface called Berkeley on iTunes U directly to
The trip in the USA ended at Stanford. Here we were shown the use of podcasting and webcasting and how they had automated the process. Behind the classrooms they had installed cameras that filmed the courses at scheduled times and they also had the possiblity to take control of the cameras and zoom inside the classroom when questions was asked by the students, so that you not only got the filming of one course but also the actual interaction between students and teachers.Ray Saray,Stanford Online -Technical Services Coordinator guided us through the campus.
At both Berkeley and Stanford these services were highly popular eventhough it wasn't a free service, but something you had to pay for. Here in Trondheim, Norway filming a classroom course is still free but the problemis rather that the actual teacher don't want to be filmed, a quite opposite experience from the one we experienced while in the USA.
For all of you interested in African studies the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala have some great resources both in full text or with possiblities to order.You will find a collection of links to good africa resources on the www, a possibility to browse their ever growing collection, print out books in PDF and they also have a great link to open access jornals available,having Africa in focus.