Digital Public Radio Comes to Class


Public Radio International (PRI) and Duke have formed a partnership to provide public radio reports as digital audio files for use in Duke courses. For the university, the partnership is part of the Duke Digital Initiative, which promotes effective educational use of technologies, such as digital audio and video, as well as tablet PCs and collaborative software. For PRI, the partnership is an extension of its use of new technologies to deliver innovative content to new, diverse audiences.

The agreement is for a pilot program running from September through December. During that period, Duke faculty members will be able to use segments from This American Life, The World, and Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen in their courses, free of charge. At the end of the trial period, Duke administrators and PRI staff will consider whether to continue the partnership and what fee structures, licensing agreements, radio shows, and delivery mechanisms would be best if the partnership were to continue.

Some of the radio programs will be delivered over the Internet in a streaming format; others will be delivered as MP3 files that Duke students can download to digital music players, such as Apple Computer's iPod. Duke provides iPods to students taking courses that use the devices for assignments.

Among the proponents of the program is Kenneth Rogerson, a public-policy professor who used public-radio segments, including reports from The World, last semester in his newspaper-journalism course. "It was very helpful for setting the stage for class discussion," Rogerson says.

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