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AN AGGIE LINE: USU cheerleaders perform during the Aggies' final exhibition game. It's time to cheer for basketball. / Photo by Brianna Mortensen

Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 10, 2006

Q&A with Ed Bradley:

Q: What single issue should be covered more at CBS News?
A: Foreign news.

Q: Have you ever been assigned a story you objected to? How did you deal with it?
A: When I first started in New York at WCBS radio, the assignment editor automatically assigned any story that had a minority in it to me. I objected to being typecast and told him if I didn't get a variety of stories -- as other reporters did -- then I would take it up with the news director.

Q: If you were not in news, what would you be doing?
A: If I had the talent, I'd play bass guitar and sing in a kicking band.

--Ed Bradley, reporter, "60 Minutes," died yesterday of leukemia at age 65 (2006)

With iPods in the classroom, students can be in two places at once

By Amber Grange

October 24, 2006 | Technology is exciting and intimidating. As soon as you've mastered the newest technological step, the technology world has pumped out new ideas and tools. Apple's "iNation" is changing the way we learn and communicate.

Today it seems that children are born with more technological intelligence than before. Four-year-olds are able to turn on a MAC, open the internet and watch their favorite "Home Star Runner" video. Kids these days will never know how to load film into a camera or have to wait to see a picture until it is developed.

Some might look at convenience of new technology, as inconvenient because things are easy, and not as much work as they used to be. However, others are taking these new ideas and running wild with them. Apple's iPod has become a cultural icon changing the way we listen to music, watch TV shows, and learn. Steven Levy, a writer for MSNBC.com said, "To 3 million-plus owners, iPods not only give constant access to their entire collection of songs and CD's, but a membership into an implicit society that's transforming the way information will be consumed in the future. "

Victor Katch, a professor at the University of Michigan said, "When you walk on campus, the ratio [of iPod Owners] seems as high as 2 out of 3 people." With a ratio that high on campus, professors are showing a new trend of their own in virtual education.

Cali Scanlon, a recent graduate of Utah State University said, "I love my iPod, I love being able to have access to all sorts of music, podcasts, and TV shows. If I had my homework on my iPod, studying would have been easier."

Enter Podcasting. At Apple they call it "Content to go". In the Article, "Podcasting in Education", it says "there is a wide-range of education content being developed and delivered by podcasting. [Podcasts] can be regularly distributed over the internet or within your school's network and access with an iPod, laptop, or desktop computer." The article also said instructors can easily create podcasts of daily assignments and lectures and publish them for their students. Students can also create their own podcasts to send to instructors and other students.

In the article "Podcast lectures for uni students" Bill Ashraf, Ph.D., from Bradford University, said a move from traditional lectures to podcasts will allow students to listen to the lectures on their own time. Ashraf has eliminated in-person lectures for his intro classes completely. He records virtual lectures for students to download as podcasts. The students can send him questions through email or text and he answers everyone's question on his blog.

Zach Spencer, at Utah State University, listens to MP3 files of his lecture material on his iPod while doing regular activities like working or cleaning. He said, "Being able to listen to your class material while driving, or doing something like giving plasma, or going to the gym, allows you to be in two places at once." Spencer was able to study for an important exam while waiting in rush hour traffic. Time he would have lost if he didn't have that information on his iPod.

In an online blog discussion board, Tech Dirt a user named Barry said this about podcasts, "Instead of tired old lectures on bad days you will have the best lecture [ the Professor's] ever given on the subject, more so because its recorded and is part of his legacy. You can start ,stop, pause, and rewind, and do so in your PJ's at one in the afternoon or two in the morning. Or group together as a class or with your college buddies in the same curriculum."

Giving the student opportunities to listen to their class material while doing everyday activities can help students multi-task and help cut down their vigorous student life schedule. They can study while long-boarding, sunbathing, on breaks at work or relaxing on the Quad. Students with children can listen to a supplementary instruction session, without the stress of finding a babysitter.

An easy-to-follow explanation of how to create a podcast, when professors or students have something to say, is at "Engadget" or at Apple.

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