Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tech Tip Tuesday: Learn with Podcasts!

A while back, we talked about how to draw information to us by using RSS feeds and feed readers.  RSS feeds are subscribable feeds of information on websites.  These allow anyone who's interested to be notified of updates.  Basically it allows a person to have information flow to them instead of constantly searching for it.

Screen shot 2010-05-19 at 7.02.54 AMPodcasts are a special case of RSS feeds.  In fact all they are are RSS feeds that notify the user when new content is available.  Content for podcasts comes in two flavors: Audio and Video.  Orginally, they only came in audio and were most often played on Apple's iPod devices.  The term itself podcast is a composite of iPod and broadcast.  These audio files were created with the intent that they be broadcast for use on an iPod.  With increased internet speeds, it became possible to transfer Video as well as Audio and the vidcast was born, although the term vodcast is also sometimes used.

Any way you serve them up these episodic files are very useful for educators.  Podcasts, of both flavors can be found on a wide range of topics.  Everything from very amateur fan produced podcasts about your favorite TV shows, athletic teams, or hobbies, to highly professional and advertise sponsored extras for Paid TV content.

So, how do you find these?  How do you subscribe?  The most direct method is using iTunes the original software for iPods.  You can find out more by using Apple's iTunes tutorials.

Apple's iTunes is available both on a Mac and a PC, but if you are looking for other options a search on you favorite search engine for "Podcast aggregator" will give you all kinds of results for free software that helps you search and download and often sync podcasts to devices other than an iPod.

Suggested links:



Juice, the podcast reciever

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