Run Your Own Educational Blog/Podcast Network with Classcaster

CALI is pleased to announce the launching of, a website to support education institutions that want to run their own blog/podcast networks.

Classcaster is a freely available, open-source system of software that can be run on a Linux server for educational institutions to allow their faculty, staff and students to create blogs, post podcasts and manage their own content. is the location for the code-base. is CALI‘s instance of Classcaster that supports the legal education community and currently has over 50 active law course blogs and over 1500 podcasts from law faculty and law librarians.

We developed Classcaster to explore how to effectively use blogs and podcasts in legal education. The hosted blogging solutions available are very powerful, but they are necessarily focused on a broad audience. We were thinking that education or course-related blogs might need some different featues and focus.

In addition, we wanted to create a service that did not require a computer to post a podcast. Classcaster has a telephone aspect that allows the user to make a phone call, record a long ‘voice mail’ and have that automatically posted to the caller’s blog as a podcast.

We imagined that faculty could use this to record in-class lectures using a cell phone or could phone in a lecture remotely if they were traveling or stuck at home during snow days or whatever.

Classcaster is built on the open source LifeType blogging platform, the open source PBX, Asterisk and some additional scripting that we wrote to make it work together smoothly.

Elmer Masters is the guru behind the guts and glory of Classcaster and is CALI’s Director of Internet Development. As we come to better understand how to integrate blogs and podcasts into education, he will be adding features and functions that will also be made available in the freely available code base.

If you are interested in working with us on Classcaster, stop by and post in the fora.

Elmer and I will be presenting at Educause on the topic of podcasting relating to the Legal Education Podcasting Project (which used Classcaster) that was conducted last spring and LEPP II that is going on right now. Stop by and say hi.

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