Listening to Podcasts: a whole new mode of learning?

Subconsciously I have known for several months that my listening to selected technology and general interest podcasts on my iPod was teaching me something. I probably average about 60-90 minutes listening a day, mainly while driving and riding my bike. In whole or in part I must get through about 25 podcasts a week.

Today I was listening to one of my favourite podcasters, Jon Udell, who happened to be a guest on a Technometria podcast from Phil Windley (Assoc Prof in Computer Science at BYU) and co-host Scott Lemon. In amongst the 1 hour 15 minutes running time (not for the faint hearted) are some erudite thoughts from Jon, one of which really struck a chord with me. Jon also listens to podcasts on his MP3 player while riding and jogging. He made the observation that podcast listening was a completely new mode of learning. The listener is completely absorbed in the sound and is interrupt free, different from all other normal modes of taking in information. One gets lost in the podcast in question. This is my own experience to the tee. Once again a great observation from Jon that he puts into words.

I must spend some time checking the education literature to see if podcast listening has been trialled against other forms of learning.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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