Application of Podcasting and E-Learning Concepts in an E-Business Environment
Podcasting describes the act and delivery of digital content over the internet using RSS feeds, a specific tool categorized by a generalization in the Web 2.0 infrastructure known as web publishing. Many studies have been directed toward deploying and assessing the impact of such technology in a learning environment to provide for a more interactive learning experience for those attending post-secondary institutions. In doing so it provides students with not only the direct benefits and ease of use inherent with the use of technologically assisted learning tools, but also valuable technological competencies that currently businesses fail to leverage because there is a lack of focus in developing them in a business setting. This paper specifically addresses the concept of podcasting, the technology that drives it, its place in the Web 2.0 scheme, as well as examples of successful implementations and propositions for its use with a corporate perspective.
A great deal of effort has recently been placed on using modern technologies to improve the efficiency and accessibility of information over the internet. Although the idea of employing cutting edge developments in the field of information technology in a business setting is a concept that has been around for ages, prior to the past couple of years few have pushed to incorporate the interactive concepts that drive what has been coined Web 2.0 in a corporate setting.
Currently, studies are focused predominantly on higher education learning environments where both undergraduate and graduate students are surveyed on the effectiveness of e-learning and the technologies that support it. This focus however, has in a manner of speaking left businesses ‘out in the cold’ causing them to turn their backs on adopting and implementing new technologies and by having students learn how to use and employ the new technology without it being supported in the environments in which they will pursue a career after the completion of their studies. It is thus evident that not enough effort and resources are being employed towards developing and assessing the feasibility of using such technology in a corporate environment and that more emphasis should be placed on addressing how to successfully implement it in both settings in a parallel fashion. The critical question is thus; how can businesses take advantage of the critical skills that students attain while learning in an environment made easier with the use of technology?
Podcasting, a moniker developed by the use of the terms ‘broadcast’ and the name of the popular mobile media device coined by Apple Incorporated as the ‘iPod,’ is a revolutionary new approach to publishing content on the internet and one of the components of the Web 2.0 infrastructure. Podcasting is described as, “the preparation and distribution of audio files using RSS to the computers of subscribed users” . It is also important to note that podcasting using RSS feeds allow for the automatic delivery of newly added content directly downloaded to a subscriber’s mobile media device.
The following section will establish what RSS is as well other related technologies and a recommended framework for implementing it into a business context, with several examples regarding its implementation.
2. XML Framework with Web 2.0
As is evident from the revised definition, podcasting is primarily made possible using RSS (Really Simple Syndication), “a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts” . Users subscribe to these feeds which allow them to receive newly updated content and have it automatically published to their mobile media device or even, using specialized software, view the content on their PC. RSS accomplishes this by automatically connecting to a web...
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