Thing 14 – Podcasts & Vodcasts

A podcast is just a series of audio files available over the internet – but what makes podcasts special is the way that they’re distributed. A podcast comes via an RSS feed, just the same way that blog posts come to your feed reader! You subscribe to podcasts in the same way too, so there’s no need to visit websites to check if a new program has been released.

Vodcasts, or video podcasts, also work in the same way, but have correspondingly larger files sizes. (Use caution if you have a slow connection or download limits.)

Both podcasts and vodcasts can be played on compatible portable media players (eg. iPods) or simply on your computer. There is absolutely no need to have a portable media player to listen to podcasts!

Serious podcast users will install specialised software, but you can use your existing feed reader account to subscribe. You may have noticed that one podcast was included in the RSS feeds that you subscribed to using the opml file in Thing 5. It was a fortnightly program from Radio National called EdPod. A small player appears in the blog post in your feed reader, and all you have to do to listen to the podcast is click on play.

Your task

Find a podcast that interests you using Google or one of the Resources listed below.

Subscribe to it in your feed reader and listen to an audio file or two.

Don’t forget to write up your experience as a blog post! If you come across a good podcast be sure to let us know about it.

Optional: Install Apple’s iTunes software on your computer. Take a look at the Podcasts section of the iTunes store (don’t worry – podcasts and vodcasts are clearly labelled as being free!). You also might want to look at iTunes U to see how some other educational institutions are making audio and video content available.



The second of this week’s Things is Google Maps.

Credit: Adapted from the PLCMC Thing posted by HeleneB, under a Creative Commons BY-NC license, and from the Swinburne University Thing posted by TRR (task by Fiona O’Donnell), under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Video from Common Craft.

Original content by Jason Peart for Chisholm Institute.
© Chisholm Institute 2008, released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.


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