So if any of you were interested in my Supreme Court podcast, the site is up with five episodes right now at supremehistory.blogspot.com.
I have had a lot to think about since working on the site. The biggest and most important is the amount of work that went into it. The amount of work that went into just having 5-10 minutes worth of content to discuss was easily what it would have been for a ~5 page paper on any of the given subjects. Then recording each individual episode itself took extra time. The second episode in particular I decided to try and add some comedy to the episode by adding text to the video with sarcastic comments. It was an interesting experiment and one that I would have done more if I had had more time, but the entire digital process was just more time consuming that I would have originally thought. Part of it was my poor ability to budget my time, but part of it is that falling behind puts an extra strain on you. Maybe in the future I will tinker around with the web again and try some other form of digital delivery, but for right now it is rather work intensive and not conducive to getting other school work done.
As far as the medium goes, I’m not entirely certain that there is not a greater potential for learning through podcasts. I know that they already exist to a small degree, but there is not real market for them, but I think that with some work this could be a new method for broadening someone’s education. Part of the problem is who is speaking. To put it briefly, I am an undergraduate student. I am only slightly more qualified to talk about Supreme Court history than any other person. In order for this for of education to be more accepted, there should be actual educators and specialists making recordings. It is all fine and good for me to play around with this for a school project, but I think for something like this to actually take off, you would need someone a bit more professional than just some 21 year-old with a headset, particularly in a field like history. I can see it mattering less for topics that are studied, such as graphic novels as literature or any other popular culture topic, but there are some things you want professionals talking about.
As for what I have personally learned, I think a project like this would work better with at least a second person. Learning two programs and building a website was hard enough, but I also had to do research on every topic. And I still feel like I didn’t do enough. I barely advertised (I apparently forgot to even provide a link on the blog before now), I didn’t spend a lot of time designing my website and I feel like I cut corners on the video and audio quality to make sure I got the history part that I needed in each episode. I know other people had to do work and in no way am I complaining and saying that my project was harder than anyone else’s, but I do feel like I could have benefitted from a partner on this. If I was going to do this full time or something similar to this, I would absolutely get myself a partner who knew the digital stuff so I could focus on the history stuff.
On a side note, I don’t really feel like I got a chance to live up to my original goals. I was originally trying to make Supreme Court history brief but entertaining. I don’t think I ever really got into a groove until the very end. Part of that could have been my early topics. I know part of it was my political science background adding in information that was extraneous to the exercise and taking away from the history. Part of it was just playing around with something new and seeing what works.
I would say that the resource I was missing through all of this was time. If I was going to approach this again more professionally, I would need more time. Maybe with a couple more episodes I could finally get comfortable with the process and be more comedic and less worried about sound quality and other minor details.