Many of us lead busy lives and have difficulty finding time to learn new things. Some of our time is spent commuting or cleaning or doing other things that require our physical selves, but leave our brains wandering. If you would like to use that time to learn, you could listen to podcasts.
A podcast is an episode, modeled after a radio-style program, that can be a class, a regular program, a one-off discussion or any other format. Many radio stations even offer programs for podcast download. You can individually download them for later listening on your iPhone, iPod, Android or other device. You can also subscribe to them and your music/podcast software will keep them up to date. I prefer to use a third-party service to keep them current.
- What to listen to? You can search for podcasts based on your interests. My favorites are regular programs from This Week in Tech (TWiT). TWiT offers different topic-based programs from which I can learn about new trends in social media, cloud computing or other tech topics. I also have added several NPR programs, like “Radiolab”, “Car Talk” and “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” to my list. I am also constantly amazed by TED talks which often stimulate my brain and my heart.
- How to manage your list? If you are one of the many iTunes users for iPods, iPhones or iPads, you can download or subscribe to these on the iTunes store. If you are on an Android, you can use DoggCatcher, BeyondPod, Stitcher or many other apps.
- How to listen? I listen on my iPhone and use an app called Stitcher to manage my list of favorite podcasts. This means that my “down time” can be my learning time and I am entertained along the way. But, you can also use mp3 players or many other phones.
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