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What is Podcasting?

According to Wikipedia podcasting is defined as the distribution of audio or video files, such as radio programs or music videos, over the Internet using either RSS or Atom syndication for listening on mobile devices and personal computers. A podcast is a web feed of audio or video files placed on the Internet for anyone to download or subscribe. Podcasters’ websites also may offer direct download of their files, but the subscription feed of automatically delivered new content is what distinguishes a podcast from a simple download or real-time streaming. Usually, the podcast features one type of “show” with new episodes either sporadically or at planned intervals such as daily, weekly, etc. Additionally there are podcast networks that feature multiple shows on the same feed.

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What is iTunes University?

According to iTunes U is a free, hosted service for colleges and universities that provides easy access to your educational content, including lectures and interviews 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Through iTunes U, users can download content to their computers or portable mp3 players. Faculty may record their classroom lectures and post these at iTunes U. For more information about iTunes U visit the official iTunes U site.

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How and why did Villanova become involved in iTunes University?

Members of the Center for Instructional Technologies are always on the lookout for new methods of using technology to enhance the educational experience of students and to provide a means for faculty wishing to incorporate technology into the classroom. To that end it was determined that podcasting is an up and coming technology with potential not only in the classroom, but for reaching out to alumni and other Villanova community members. In the spring of 2006 a team comprised of individuals from various areas within UNIT began to explore the possibility of applying to become part of iTunes U. The process resulted in the acceptance of Villanova into the iTunes U program.

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Do I need an iPod in order to listen to the podcasts?

No you do not need an iPod to listen to audio recordings placed in Villanova’s iTunes University. Any mp3 device as well as any MAC or PC can be used for your listening pleasure. You can even burn audio recordings to a cd rom. Generally the audio recordings will be in an mp3 formated file which is a standard audio format. Podcasts may even be burned to a cd for listening away from campus.

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Do I need special iTunes software on my computer to listen to the podcasts?

Yes, you will need to have the iTunes software on your computer in order to subscribe to podcasts. With the software you will have the ability to subscribe both to Villanova specific podcasts as well as to podcasts from other universities and other sources such a major news outlets or public radio stations.

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How do you podcast?

Podcast basics include using a portable recording device with a mic in conjunction with software to convert the recorded file into an .mp3 formatted file. MP3 is the most commonly formatted audio file type for podcasting.

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Can I podcast my class?

Yes, you may podcast your class. Begin by contacting CIT either at 610-519-5777 or to make arrangements to borrow a digital voice recorder and microphone. Additional instructions will be provided to you.

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What are the benefits of podcasting?

Podcasting allows for portability of classroom lectures. Students can review them while working out or commuting to and from campus. Knowing the lecture will be available to them after class, the students can pay closer attention in class without having to worry if they miss some notes because they will be able to listen to it again. Students with a preference for the auditory learning style will benefit from such recordings.

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Why would students come to class if they can just download the lectures?

In the March 2006 issue of Campus Technology Magazine there is a terrific article looking at case scenarios from three different colleges which asks this question of students. To see their answers read the archived article at

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Who has access to my class recorded lectures?

Recorded class lectures will be available as podcasts only to students currently enrolled in the course. There will be a link provided within the Vista software to the podcasts.

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What is an RSS Feed?

According to Wikipedia RSS is a family of web feed formats, specified in XML and used for Web syndication. RSS is used by (among other things) news Web sites, weblogs and podcasting. The abbreviation is variously used to refer to the following standards:

  • Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0)
  • Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91, RSS 1.0)
  • RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0)

Web feeds provide web content or summaries of web content together with links to the full versions of the content, and other metadata. RSS, in particular, delivers this information as an XML file called an RSS feed, webfeed, RSS stream, or RSS channel. In addition to facilitating syndication, web feeds allow a website's frequent readers to track updates on the site using an aggregator.

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Virtual Support hours: Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm Click on image above for Virtual Support!

University Helpdesk

Call Us: 610-519-7777
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F 8am-5pm

Walk-ins: Falvey Memorial Library, First Floor
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TechZone @ The Commons
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School of Law Helpdesk

Call Us: 610-519-7700
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Classroom Technologies Hotline


Event Recording

Multimedia Technologies can record events on campus for use in class, in Blackboard, on YouTube or delivered via Mediasite.  If you would like your event or class recorded please complete our "Request for Media Recording" form.

Record Lectures From Your Desktop

MyMediasite allows you to quickly and easily record and distribute a video or lecture from your laptop or even your iPhone! Read more about it here or contact Michael Gallo (9-8975) in Multimedia Technologies for more information.