What is a podcast?

First of all, let me present my technological credentials. I grew up with no TV, and currently do not own or regularly use a TV, mobile phone or mp3 player. I came to podcasting not as a techno geek eager to ram their newest toy down the throats of students and teachers. I came to podcasting because I am eager to use student technology for learning, rather than fight a never-ending battle to outlaw it.

iPods and Broadcasting

“Podcast” is a combination of the word ‘ipod’ and ‘broadcast’. iPods are mp3 players made by Apple. They play music that has been converted into digital form – no more CDs or tapes. A broadcast is just that – voice and music played to an audience. A podcast is a broadcast that can be played on an mp3 player.

How do I listen to a podcast?
So where are podcasts broadcast? They are not broadcast on the radio or TV, but on the internet. You can download a podcast from the internet and listen to them on your computer or mp3 player. The ABC has a fantastic range.

What do I need to listen to a podcast?

You need an aggregator, a fancy name for a computer program that downloads podcasts. It automatically downloads new podcasts so that you don’t have to do it. I use iTunes, but there are plenty of others.

Then you need to subscribe. Using my podcast as an example, find a logo on the website that says “RSS” or “XML” or a little image like this:

feed icon

Right click on the image or icon, then select “copy link location”. Go to iTunes or whatever program you are using, find the place to subscribe to new podcasts, and paste the link location there. Now podcasts will automatically download onto your computer.


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