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Chatting a podcast in Second Life

Recently in CyberOne we asked each student to podcast an “empathetic argument” for their projects. Rebecca came up with the ingenous idea that we should listen to the podcasts in Second Life as a group so we could identify in what ways each podcast succeeded at this rhetorical form.

Below is a link to a short excerpt of a class meeting in which we listened to and discussed one podcast. We used Second Life’s to stream the mp3s to students; however, because media playback is set per-user, not for all users simultaneously, I had to synchronize the listening by having everyone hit “play” simultaneously. (Ergo the &:1…2…3…play! chat text you see in the beginning of this recording.) This is a technique I’ve used in WebEx meetings at Legal Aid University as well, where low bandwidth in many of our offices obligates us to distribute video via CD-ROM and have students play them as simultaneously as possible in their respective offices around the country.

I asked all the participants to type words or phrases that jumped out at them. The point was to listen critically to each podcast for the elements of empathetic argument. Not everyone participated in this portion of the class, but we got a fairly good mix (and the usual spate of off-hand comments).

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