Friday, October 31, 2008

Fayette County School System Now Podcasting Board Meetings and Channel 24 Programming

Audio podcasts of Fayette County Board of Education meetings and Channel 24 videos are now available through the Fayette County school system’s website and the iTunes Store.

Residents who cannot attend meetings of the board of education can now keep up with the latest discussions and item votes by listening to the taped meeting on their computers, usually as soon as the next day.

An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed has been set up for the podcasts, allowing subscribers to the feed to receive immediate notification as soon as a new podcast is posted. The public can sign up for the free feed by going to the school system’s website,, and clicking on the feed link in the center of the page under “Channel 24 Headlines.” Be sure to click on the feed that says “new,” located just under the “board meeting podcast/channel 24 videocast” link. The other RSS feed is for press releases only and will not work for the podcasts.

“We are excited to be able to offer another level of communication to our stakeholders,” says Public Information Specialist Melinda Berry-Dreisbach. “Many times people are not able to attend our public meetings but they are interested in knowing what really happened. Now they can listen to the meetings and hear for themselves how the meeting evolved.”

The public can also sign up for the RSS feed by going to the iTunes Store. Persons who already have the iTunes Store downloaded on their computer can type “FCBOE” in the search box and select “FCBOE Board Meeting Podcasts.”

Because iTunes must review each podcast, it could take as long as one to two weeks before the subscriber is notified. The feed from the school system’s website will provide immediate notification of a new podcast.

Visitors to the podcast page will also notice that they can view videos that are currently airing or have aired on the school system’s educational channel, Comcast Channel 24. There is a separate RSS feed for the videos that can be accessed by clicking on the same feed link as the board meeting podcasts.

“This service has been requested for a long time by our stakeholders. Many Fayette County residents do not have Comcast Cable and a number of our employees live outside of the county. These stakeholders rarely, if ever, get to see the programming that is aired on the channel. Now they will be able to see all videotaped programming. Our next task will be getting the still announcements added to the site so that viewers can see the channel in its entirety,” says Berry-Dreisbach.

Just like the board meeting podcasts, the public can also go to the iTunes Store to sign up for the video feed by typing “FCBOE” in the search box and selecting the feed that says “FCBOE Channel 24 Videocasts.” However, remember that notification of new items may be delayed when using the feed from iTunes versus immediate notification with the feed from the school system’s site.

Anyone who has trouble accessing the podcast and videocast link or needs help with signing up for any of the RSS feeds, can contact Berry-Dreisbach in the Fayette County school system’s public information office, 770-460-3535.

Editor's Note: There is no charge to use either the RSS or the iTunes Store podcast.

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