Please respond to the following discussion item. “Which podcasts or weekly subscriptions do you listen/subscribe to? If you don’t subscribe to a topic – why not? What are the potential uses for integrating weekly podcasts into a learning environment?”
One of the disadvantages of working at home is that you don’t have dedicated commute time. When I drove back and forth to work I used to listened to a lot of public radio. I’ve been working at home for over seven years now which even at a 20 minute commute can add up to a lot of available listening time. I’m a terrible multi-tasker and can not listen for more than a few minutes without starting to look around for something else to do. If I’m at my desk, I look at my computer and start checking email my calendar. If I’m relaxing in the living room, I find that I pick up the iPad with the urgency to check something. When I’m exercising, I’m usually with someone else or I’m outside and don’t want to be plugged in. So, I don’t listen to many podcasts. I do listen to a lot of audio books, but they are titles that are entertaining, and not on topics where I might need to retain information. That being said, if I was taking a class that had audio lectures, I would force myself to listen and would probably need to take notes using a pen and paper instead of writing online BUT I can only image that I would hit the pause button so that I could google something that was said or a reference that was talked about in the lecture. At one time, I listened to and ED-TECH talk that usually had 3-5 teachers talking about technology. What I found was that I came away from listen for 45 minutes with an additional 4 hours of research and software exploration after each talk. I just could keep up.
I do think there is merit in integrating podcasts, or at least audio recordings, in a learning environment as an alternative or in addition to other types of media. Alternatives to reading texts or other text-based materials is always a nice alternative. I also think that an audio recording could replace many video recordings as it doesn’t always matter if I can see the speaker or not. If file size can be smaller by eliminating the video feed, than audio might be a better alternative. I don’t necessarily think the audio recordings need to be podcasts which I define as a schedule series of audio files.