Using Podcasting to Deliver the C O R

  • Slides: 1
Download presentation
Using Podcasting to Deliver the C. O. R. N. Newsletter H. D. Watters, G.

Using Podcasting to Deliver the C. O. R. N. Newsletter H. D. Watters, G. A. La. Barge, N. L. Watermeier and K. J. Kulka The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH Abstract: In the spring, as producers move from the farm office to the field it becomes even more important to access timely crop production information. For more than ten years now the Crop Observation and Recommendation Network (C. O. R. N. ) newsletter has been providing written crop recommendations. As more producers (and their families) have taken advantage of mobile personal music players, it is now possible to take music, a book and even crop observation suggestions to the field. Starting last fall with a grant and the purchase of eight Apple i. Pods, the Communication and Technology office of OSU Extension began posting the C. O. R. N. newsletter to a university webpage (http: //classcast. cfaes. ohio-state. edu/weblog/osuext/) as well as on Apple's i. Tunes site. Access to the audio version of the newsletter may also be accessed from the OSU Extension Agronomic Crops Team webpage: http: //agcrops. osu. edu. Team training has been conducted on two occasions as an introduction to the use of the i. Pods and the audio newsletter. Contributors to the C. O. R. N. newsletter have been trained and encouraged to read their own articles for the audio version. State specialists have also seen the advantages of adding photos to their text for viewing on the enhanced video i. Pods. Having an i. Pod, with video capabilities, in the field during scouting may shorten the time for connection between spoken word and visual problem identification. Formed in 1995, the Extension Agronomic Crops Team provides accurate and timely information, educational opportunities and conducts research projects addressing the needs of Ohio’s agronomic crop industry. The Crop Observation and Recommendation Network newsletter (C. O. R. N. ) is a weekly report that provides recommendations for current agronomic issues faced by state crops producers. The newsletter is published by the Agronomic Crops Team of the Ohio State University. • The Team consists of 28 Extension Agents and 23 Extension Specialists • All crop production disciplines are represented • Horticulture & Crop Science • Distributed electronically via email and on the web • Crops • Reaches managers and resource people of over 2. 6 million acres of Ohio cropland • Weed Science • Owners & operators - Consultants • Seed agronomists & dealers - Fertilizer and crop input retailers • Forages • Plant Pathology • Published 40 times annually - Averages over 250 articles per year • Entomology • Annual impact of $11 million • Ag Engineering • Applications From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia • Precision Ag “A podcast is a digital media file, or a related collection of such files, which is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers. The term, like "radio", can refer either to the content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. • Soil Management The term "podcast" is a portmanteau of the words "i. Pod" and "broadcast", [1] the Apple i. Pod being the brand of portable media player for which the first podcasting scripts were developed (see history of podcasting). These scripts allow podcasts to be automatically transferred to a mobile device after they are downloaded. [2]Though podcasters' web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom. ” • Natural Resources • Soil Fertility • Water Quality • Ag Economics • Farm Management Finding the C. O. R. N. podcast Website: http: //corn. osu. edu/ Tools for recording a podcast Tools Software: Audacity is a free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. • You can use Audacity to record live audio, can convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs, edit MP 3, and WAV sound file and cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together. • http: //audacity. sourceforge. net/ Apple i. Life includes the sound recording and editing software, Garage. Band. • This can also be used on Mac. Intosh computers to record a podcast. Apple has made the process easier to edit, add associated pictures, even video to your podcast. The i. Life product is fairly inexpensive at $79, which includes Garage. Band several other creativity products. • http: //www. apple. com/ilife/garageband/ Camtasia Studio is another program that can combine video and audio together for a podcast. It can also do much more than just create a podcast, but works only on Windows operating system, and requires a fairly high level system. Several universities are using Camtasia to record classroom lectures for web based classes. It is fairly expensive at $299, compared to the other two options. • http: //www. techsmith. com/camtasia. asp Hardware: You also need a good quality microphone. Most computers came with a microphone, but these generally aren’t quite up to the needs for good quality sound. Plantronics, maker of aircraft headsets also makes several compatible USB and Bluetooth headsets for recording to you computer - http: //www. plantronics. com The last item you may need is a “mixer”. This allows you to record from two or more different sources at the same time. Our Comm. Tech co-author recommends checking the Musicians Friend for sources of microphone, headphone and other equipment: http: //www. musiciansfriend. com/ Storage of the files can quickly become an issue. RAW files take about one megabyte per minute of sound. If you are conscientious, edit and create mpg files quickly from your sessions then this can be overcome, but with the availability of external storage devices capable of holding a terabyte of files for $300 maybe storage isn’t an issue. Internal hard drives of 200 to 300 gigabytes are also available for very reasonable prices - less than $100. Creating a podcast It seems that creating the podcast isn’t quite as simple as creating and posting the CORN newsletter. For one thing when we write for the C. O. R. N. newsletter we write in such a way that makes it easy to read. This includes bulleting items and creating tables. With a podcast you must write for the EAR. And that’s not quite the same as for a newsletter. To date one of the Communications & Technology staffers reads the newsletter pretty much as it is written. This creates a couple of problems - often the Comm. Tech reader doesn’t have the background or education to know how to pronounce the names of insects, diseases, weeds or the products we recommend to control these problems. We have considered asking the rotating editor of the newsletter to read the content for the podcast but they are already putting in a full day to get the written version of the newsletter out to our readers and posted to the web. The next most likely person to read and interpret the articles of the newsletter is the authors themselves - and quite honestly this would be the best of scenarios if and when the authors have the time. The Communication & Technology personnel and regional Extension technicians held training sessions for several state specialists and county level agents. Several specialists along with the agents saw the value of locally recording their own work. • They provided us software • That is, links to download Audacity - and options on other alternatives • Recommended modifications to the default settings of the program • Loaned us microphones (and headsets) so we could record our own material • Gave suggestions and practice on how to assemble, edit and post our material Several county agents now record for their own radio programs and email it to their local radio stations rather than drive over and record. A couple of the state specialists have recorded podcasts of specific programs and had them posted to i. Tunes. Future Plans Our goal for C. O. R. N. is to begin the inclusion of regional reports from county websites and regional web logs (blogs) to provide more local information. Many county websites currently log their radio scripts, these also may be downloaded for listening by the mobile player user. The Ag. Crops Team county level members also conduct local “on-farm” replicated trials. Reports from these trials are peer reviewed and logged on the http: //agcrops. osu. edu website. Our plan is to also make them available on a regional page so that a producer can get all the information for his or her region simply by clicking on a map of their county or region on the Agronomic Crops Team website. An example of one blog with regional crop and weather reporting is from the West Central Ohio Agronomic Crops Agents: http: //westohcropweather. blogspot. com/