Jeffery Podoshen, Assistant Professor ofBusiness, Organizations & Society teaches courses like Marketing and Consumer Psychology at Franklin & Marshall. For Professor Podoshen, technology is integral to many aspects of his work. Not only does his research involve exploring consumer behavior by studying virtual worlds and online communities, he has also found technology to be a valuable tool in his teaching and research.
As a member of the mLearning Project at Franklin & Marshall, conducted during the 2009-2010 school year, Professor Podoshen received an iPod touch to use in his teaching and research. He reflected favorably on the value of the iPod touch to his work. Much of his current research, he said, involves conducting long form interviews. Using voice recording apps, he found he was able to easily record the interviews and quickly transfer them to his laptop. Compared to the tape recorder he used in the “olden days” as a graduate student, the Pod touch has helped him both to preserve more content (by eliminating the break for flipping over the tape) and also to save more time (the audio files are easily shared with others with no need for time-consuming transcription). With the iPod touch, he said “I can record everything and then send it to variety of people, places, do all kinds of stuff with it...and it only takes a couple of seconds to get it all out there.”
Professor Podoshen has encouraged his students to use similar technology in interviews they conduct for his class. Unlike students of a couple years ago, who had to transcribe the interviews they conducted, his students are very happy that they are able to just email him the interviews. As a result of this time savings, he said, they able “to work much more on analysis and theory development as opposed to just trying to transcribe what people say.”
Looking ahead, Professor Podoshen sees a further integration of video and student-created endeavors, classroom activities, assignments and independent study projects. “A major hurdle to student video production has been cost - I see that changing as the current campus technology allows students to create and edit video very cheaply.”
Finally, Professor Podoshen has appreciated the teaching enhancements offered by Franklin & Marshall’s technology-enabled classrooms. Although he has always used a lot of video in his teaching, technology-enabled classrooms have brought his use of video to a new level. Now, he says, not only is he able to talk with his students about a given topic like brand communities and netnography, he is able to actually show them, in real time, what is happening with, for example, the spread of rumors in the online world or consumer behavior in virtual communities. Together, they are able to build theories about what they are seeing, as they are all seeing it. Professor Podoshen is excited about the additional technology now available in the Global Finance Lab in the Harris Center and the real-time access it provides to high-quality and intricate financial and economic information--even in class.
As for his students’ feelings about technology in the classroom, Professor Podoshen responds “they only want to see more of it.”