Want to podcast? Listen to other podcasts first.

For the last couple of days I’ve been writing about ways you and your students can create effective, useful podcasts. I’m sure as we progress with the use of iTunes U and become more and more proficient at creating podcasts, we will come up with great ideas on how podcasts can support and enhance learning I think podcasts can be useful in just about any content area, but particularly in content areas that involves reading, writing, viewing, and listening.

If you think you want to do podcasting in your class, or you want your students to create podcasts, then my first recommendation is to start as a consumer of podcasts. In other words, go to iTunes U, look and/or search for podcasts, download or subscribe to some, and then listen to them. Not only will you get ideas for your own podcasting, but you will quickly discover how podcasts differ greatly in quality and content. You might say to yourself, “Well, this is a podcast I would NOT want to produce,” or “This is a great idea for a podcast.”

In doing this,  you will learn how to actually access a podcast, subscribe to one, find it within your iTunes navigation, and listen to it on your computer. If you have an iPod, you will also learn how to download your podcasts to it. If all of this doesn’t make sense to you, here’s how you get started:

To listen to or upload podcasts, you’ll need to have iTunes installed on your computer. This is a free download.
Go to www.apple.com/itunes/download and download iTunes for either Macintosh or Windows. Double click on the downloaded file’s icon and follow the instructions provided. Restart your computer and launch iTunes.

Then, go to iTunes U through accessing the iTunes store in the left navigation bar. Explore the various university sites and see what podcasts interest you and experiment with subscribing. (Hint: Click the “Subscribe” button.) You should see your podcasts downloading and soon to be available via the podcast link in your iTunes library. You can also search for podcasts through the iTunes store, so explore this very rich resources. I have downloaded several podcasts from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, for instance, which piqued my interest.

To learn more about the Apple iTunes U program, visit their mobile learning website. And let me know if you have any questions and how you are enjoying listening to your podcasts!


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