Arizona State University sophomore Zachary Henderson says his iPod makes him a better student. The device allows him to download lectures and play them back anywhere, anytime. And that was helpful recently when he needed to get in some last-minute studying before a big anatomy exam.
"Anatomy has a lot of stuff to cover, so this helps me catch anything I missed," he said.
More college professors are making lectures and study materials available for downloading and for playback on iPods and other digital media players.
Mujtaba Khambatti, a professor of computer science at ASU, has been recording his lectures and making them available to his students to download for about three years.
"It gives them a chance to listen to the lecture again just in case they have missed a class, or didn't get all the information," he said.
Partha Dasgupta, another computer science professor at ASU, said audio devices and podcasting are a "convenient tool" for the students. However, they are still expected to attend class and stay caught up on their work.
Both Khambatti and Dasgupta make their lectures available. Anyone can download their lectures from any computer through the ASU Web site.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College is working on a few innovations involving podcasting technology, said Tom Foster, instructional technologist at the college.
The college is looking at making information available on iTunes that covers what students have learned as well as extra material such as study guides and videos. Some accounting, science, and business classes already use podcasting to make available information to students.
The use of podcasting has become "popular nationally," Foster said. "Schools have been using technology for quite a while but podcasting in schools became popular about a year and a half ago."
Don Carter, director of e-learning at Northern Arizona University, said, "I definitely think that podcasting and online technology will become a popular trend in the future. It is a good learning tool that provides the best learning for students."