Duke University Partners with Public Radio International to Provide Radio Reports for Class

'The World' to play on students' iPods

DukeUniversity and Public Radio International (PRI) have formed a partnership to provide public radio reports as digital audio files for use in Duke courses.

For Duke, 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 ongoing 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 which time Duke faculty will be able to use segments from "This American Life," "PRI's The World" and "PRI's 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.

"Not only do we want to help faculty find new technologies for their classes, we also want to help them find the materials for those technologies that will enhance their courses," said Lynne O'Brien, director of Duke Libraries' Center for Instructional Technology.

"PRI's shows are a great example of potentially valuable course materials that can be used with the iPod," she said.

Julia Mears, director of brand strategy and sponsor alliances at PRI, said PRI is excited about working with Duke to learn more about their needs and to reach new audiences. "We have long believed that our content is an asset that can be used to enrich the educational experience and provide students and faculty with otherwise unavailable perspectives," she said.

Duke public policy professor Kenneth Rogerson 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 said.