Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thing 20

Immediately upon opening the Education Podcast Network (EPN)(http://www.epnweb.org/), I was put off by the appearance. The font is unappealing, and the amount of text is off-putting.

I listened to a few podcasts made by elementray students first. Some were enhanced podcasts; some were just audio. I was surprised by how many I found from Great Britain and Australia. Than I checked out some English/Language Arts podcasts. Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd was amusing. He plays recordings of jokes children have called in to his show. Book Voyages' description sounded good for my profession, but the podcasts didn't work. I tried many of the literature or book-related podcasts. So many didn't work. Others worked, but weren't interesting to me. My beloved Grammar Girl was here though! In the miscellaneous category, the One Minute How-To podcast was fun. There are a vast variety of categories: how to get rid of my clutter, how to wax cross-country skis, how to select a stock, and more!

EPN is small enough that it doesn't take too long to glance through all of the titles of the podcasts. Unfortunately, with many of the podcasts that I chose, I received various error messages and could not open the podcasts.

In Podcast Alley (http://www.podcastalley.com/), it's nice to be able to narrow the selection down by genre, but it needs more organization. For example, once in Education, there is just a random list of all 1,985 podcasts. This is not helpful for locating material. It is useful that clicking on a podcast title allows a short description of the podcast to pop up. To try to get a smaller group of podcasts, I searched "library" and got 163 results, many of which were specific to an individual library. The search function did not allow me to search for library in the education genre; it only searched the entire site. I listened to part of a few podcasts. Here's the problem: just like with blogs, there are a lot of people out there who think they have something interesting to say, but it's of no interest to me. With blogs, I can skim their posts and quickly ascertain the usefulness, or not. With podcasts, I have to listen to them blather on to see if they'll ever have anything of interest to say. Searching "children's literature" yielded 200 results, some of which seemed more promising, but how much time do I have to listen to all 200 of these? I listened to some of a few, but nothing inspired me.

Podcast Alley also contained podcasts that would not work. Some podcasts that are listed haven't had a new podcast for 3 or more years, so wouldn't be useful for subscriptions. Also, it would be nice if search results here could be limited to a chosen language.

I already had iTunes installed on my computer. The video showing how to search for podcasts on iTunes was not working. So, I poked around iTunes on my own and looked at available podcasts. Of course, I subscribed to Grammar Girl. I used iTunes to subscribe, rather than Bloglines. I visit iTunes regularly and can easily download the podcasts to my iPod.

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