Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Embracing the Podcast

I can do technology. I'm still young enough to be willing to explore stuff like Twitter, Foursquare, smart phones, etc. New to me: the podcast.

For those even less tech-savvy like me, a podcast is either an audio or video digital media file that can be downloaded or listened to over the Internet. Although they've been around for awhile, I'd never really checked them out. While I was bee bopping around on iTunes the other day, I decided to explore the realm of free podcasts.

A few caught my eye:

HowStuffWorks.Com has a large collection of podcasts including Stuff You Missed in History Class (history...obv), Stuff You Should Know (miscellaneous topics), and Stuff Mom Never Told You (all about men and women). I downloaded a few of each and have been listening on my way to work. Trivia buffs - check these out immediately. The hosts cover a wide variety of topics from "What's So Special about Route 66" to "How Grow Houses Work" (both available from Stuff You Should Know). I did have to turn that one off as I walked into work. I am currently listening to "Five Stars of the Wild West."

This American Life is considered one of the most popular podcast in the country. A show hosted on Chicago Public Radio, it follows a variety of stories, mostly of everyday people, centered around a different theme each week. I was actually looking around on the web site's archives and found a previous show on "The #1 Party School." I will definitely have to listen to that one.

Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips offers short tips to assist people in becoming better writers. Perhaps a good resource for some of the students with whom I work, who seem to struggle with the grammar. Yikes!

Coffee Break Spanish, produced by the Radio Lingua Network offers conversational Spanish lessons in short, ten to thirty minute segments. As someone who hasn't taken a foreign language class in eight years, I'd love to brush up again.

There are a variety of other free podcasts. If you have some free time, give them a listen.

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