Monday, February 13, 2006

Podcasts at Harvard Medical School

From Harvard's Web Weekly:

Starting on Dec. 1, HMS [Harvard Medical School] course lectures became available for download onto the iPods of students, faculty, and staff. The lectures are translated into MP3 audio files, which community members can download after subscribing to the class’s podcast feed . . . The podcasts are just one way in which new technologies are being integrated into medical education. Videos of every course’s lectures are added to MyCourses daily, and word-recognition software allows users to search every archived lecture for a given word or phrase.
The times, they are a changin' . . . are you?


  1. I clicked on the "MyCourses" link and took the demo tour. I was impressed by how thorough and how convenient this website was; I wish this tool had been available to me when I was in college. Especially in large universities where hundreds of clubs and organizations could potentially meet every week, this type of site could help unite different groups of students.

  2. I agree. The question I wonder is though, will this allow students to not attend lectures? What will professors add to the classroom discussion making it certain students will come to class?

  3. Michele,

    I think my response would be that if everything a professor does in class can be communicated via podcast/vodcast, then why should the student show up? I think this is going to increase the push for professors to do more than "lecture" and "deliver content" in class. Make the students responsible for the basic content that can be delivered via podcast/vodcast before class, then use the freed-up class time to make class really worthwhile.