Podcasting Places

Today I’m blogging from Boston University where I’m attending the Podcasting Academy for work. A bit ago Tony Kahn from WGBH radio talked about his experience with podcasting, particularly with Morning Stories. As example, he mentioned a segment called “One Foot in Front of the Other” in which Caleb Smith talks about walking every street in Manhattan between 2002 and 2004 in order to get to know his place (See New York Walk for more about his project).

I’m interested both in the project as a heuristic for exploring a place and in podcasting as a way to document one’s exploration of place. Since many place bloggers include visual media in their blogs (photographs, sketches, maps), it doesn’t seem like a huge leap to begin using audio (now that the technology is more accessible). I need to look around to see if anyone is podcasting regularly about places and reflect a bit on the relationship between modes and the representation of place (visual vs audio vs text).

So far, most discussions of podcasting in education focuses on using it as a mode archiving and distributing audio recordings of classes. However, it seems people will also begin using other people’s podcasts like Morning Stories as class material (Kahn gives the example of ESL teachers using Morning Stories in their teaching). I’d like to see more discussion of how student podcasting could become another form of composition–as forms of storytelling and research. 

Since I recently bought a microphone for my iPod, I may begin experimenting with a bit of place-based podcasting just to see how it feels to focus on the sounds of place rather on views of place, as I normally do.