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Seminar 2.0: Learning With Skype and Video Podcasts

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Abstract

Graduate seminars typically involve reviewing key papers, ranging from seminal contributions by pioneers to the latest cutting-edge results published in journals such as Nature, Science, and Geophysical Research Letters. Ideally, guest lecturers are invited to add specific expertise and stimulate discussions. However, the increasing costs for travel make this an expensive proposition. Recent improvements in free videoconferencing over the Internet make it possible to invite distant experts to participate in seminars without involving expensive and time-consuming travel. Tools to record videoconferences allow anyone to combine narrations with slide presentations and prepare merged video files for distribution over the Internet (i.e., podcasts). This brief report discusses such an experiment in a graduate seminar on advanced plate tectonics in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at University of Hawai'i at Manoa's (UHM) School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). The podcasts are freely available from iTunes (UHM; SOEST; Public Course Lectures) and from http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/pwessel/podcasts.

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