Podcasting with Google Android phones in rural Africa…

We are working with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in London on an exciting project to investigate how podcasting technology can be used to improve the veterinary and farming practices in rural Africa. The project leader is Nick Short at RVC, and although the project is only in its initial phase, I thought I should share this exciting news.

RVC has been working quite closely with Google and their Android platform to develop a device that can be used both as a surveillance tool and an ‘information source’ in rural Africa. The idea is to record podcasts on the farm and in the village straight onto large memory cards on the phone and to play back from the phone and distribute through other means such as iTunes U and various internet services. Podcasting technology has the advantage over other means of information gathering and delivery in countries and contexts where the literacy rate is low and where many languages are spoken. As an audio (and as video in the case of video podcasts) medium, podcasting can indeed benefit from a rich diversity of local languages.

As I write this, a group of Vet students and staff from RVC are on location in Zanzibar planning their podcast recordings with livestock farmers.

Watch this space for an update on the project.

Nick and I thought we could do with an animal name for the project! Any ideas please? …email me at pe27@le.ac.uk

Palitha Edirisingha
27 August 2009

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