In a first for Canadian universities, The University of
British Columbia has introduced a podcasting service that
gives alumni, students, faculty and others global audio access
to UBC-related content such as the popular Talk of the Town
UBC began making public lectures available in podcast format
last month via the iTunes podcasting service, joining a small
number of international universities at the frontier of this
Podcasts are downloadable audio or video files that can be
transferred from computers to portable media players like
Apple’s iPod and others capable of playing the popular mp3
format. Podcasts are available by subscription on popular
on-line services such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store, which
has a commanding presence as the central marketplace for podcast
downloads. UBC is the first Canadian university to make content
of interest to a general audience available via iTunes.
Once subscribed, users conveniently receive new content automatically.
As well as academic institutions, broadcasters are using podcasting
as a way to make program content available so that the user
can decide when to listen. The availability of devices to
play podcasts through car stereo systems, for example, also
helps audiences decide where to listen.
"UBC podcasts give the global community unprecedented
access to the world-class lectures, discussions and speeches
happening at UBC every day," said Rob Wilson, Manager,
Web Communications for UBC Public Affairs. "Podcasts
make it possible for alumni and others to engage in the intellectual
discourse happening at UBC from wherever they are in the world."
UBC is currently offering free podcasts of public events
such as the Talk of the Town lectures and UBC International
Global Citizen Speaker Series, and will explore podcasting
more lecture series as well as graduation ceremonies and other
major UBC events in the coming months.
Several UBC academic units have also begun to explore podcasting’s
teaching and learning potential. "As a learning tool,
podcasts have almost limitless possibilities," says Wilson.
"A number of units here at UBC, including the Faculty
of Arts, the School of Journalism, and the Faculty of Land
and Food Systems, have started to use podcasts to engage learners
in entirely new ways. It’s an exciting use of technology that’s
growing at a very rapid pace."
To subscribe to UBC Podcasts, or for more information, visit