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"Real communication is impossible without listening." - Ralph C. Smedley

HEADPHONES Podcasts - becoming more informed through listening

Directions: Use your online research skills to answer these questions. Links are provided to specific podcasts to facilitate completing the activity. If groups of students are doing this activity together, headphones are indicated. To listen to podcasts you may need to add software to your computer. Juice is a free, cross platform (Mac, Linux, Windows) open source product. Download Juice, the cross-platform podcast receiver

1. In 2005, the New Oxford American Dictionary declared “podcast” the word of the year.

What is a podcast?


Have you ever listened to a podcast?

What was the general subject of it?


2. Listen to a NOVA NOW podcast.

Which one did you listen to?


What was the most engaging part of the podcast?


3. Select one podcast from Brain's On - Smash Boom Best. These are engaging debates on curious ideas.

What is the subject covered?


Make one critical observation regarding the podcast.


How would you suggest they improve it?


4. The Pew Internet & American Life Project reported in 2006 that 87% of online users have at one time used the Internet to carry out research on a scientific topic or concept and 40 million adults use the Internet as their primary source of news and information about science. (Podcasts as source of information 2023)

Have you used Internet resources to learn about something related to science or technology?


What where you researching?


What kind of Internet resource(s) did you use?
Examples: Website, podcast, database, video, email an expert, blog, IM, Newsgroup, Posted newsletter archive, ebook.

According to the Pew Institute, 80% of those who have gotten science news and information online have
engaged in “fact-checking” activities.

Describe a fact you have verified using the Internet.

Were you able to confirm the fact was right or was it incorrect?


Use the resources at Science Friday to experience a podcast about science.
Was the experience what you expected?


Did you find the subject interesting?


TAI - Think about it
You are delighted to find a podcast related to your science research project.
What are the challenges to using the information from a podcast in a research paper?


How do you cite a podcast in your Works Cited (Bibliography)?
Write one for the Science Friday podcast you listened to earlier.



Research it online
5. Contrast a vodcast with a podcast.



6. What is Social Media? List five examples.


What percentage of them have you used?


For what percentage of your examples, have you created content?

Survey your class. Is your social media use the exceptional or the median?


7. Think forward:

"For the education sector, this technology makes course content—lectures, notes, supplemental materials — available for student use 24/7. For the general public, users can listen to newscasts, training sessions, religious discussions, or programs about child development issues. You name it, and there's probably a podcast available on the topic to listen to. If not, you can be the creator of a new podcast topic." Laurie J. Patterson assistant professor, Department of Computer Science, UNCW

Which of these ideas for uses or podcasts is the most interesting to you?


Which of them would be the least interesting?


8. Who would you say is the "father or mother" of the iPod?


Think about it

9. Some people struggle to read and understand Shakespeare. This podcast site can be very helpful to them.

List three subjects that would lend themselves to better learning or understanding by using a podcast.


10. Investgate:

What rules or policies, at your school, apply to developing a podcasting?


What free speech issues must be respected when podcasting?


Explore further

Consider entering NPR's Student Podcast Challenge (Too late for this year? Embark on building your entry for next year)

Consider the Power of Possibilities through Marc Andreessen's eye

Food for thought - Did You Know 2.0? - Are you 21st Century Literate?

Listen to Who should control the Virtual Library? on NPR online. Related Project

"The Internet is creating cracks in authority and in knowledge." David Weinberger

podcast icon Fun Podcasts

orange bullet Podcasting - Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection | orange bullet Wikiversity learning project for podcasting.

orange bullet NPR - When Virtual Reality Isn't Really Virtual - creating your persona online

orange bullet Integrating podcasting into your classroom (on youtube)

Podcast Empowering stuff:

orange bullet Online Collaborations & Social Networking | orange bullet Examine Online Collaboration and Social Networking

orange bullet Podcasting from the Smithsonian Education Department

orange bullet LibriVox Project | orange bullet Digital Future LOC

orange bullet Small Pieces, Loosely Joined ebook activity about the web

orange bullet Bloggez- vous? Should you build a blog?

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2006 Cynthia J. O'Hora posted 12/2006 Updated 6/2023, All trademarks, copyright and logos belong to their respective owners.

Released to public domain for educational use.

tree icon Save a tree - use a digital answer format - Highlight the text. Copy it. Paste it in a word processing document. Save the document in your folder. Answer on the word processing document in a contrasting color (not yellow) or font (avoid Symbol, blackmore, brodfont dear or other ornate artistic fonts). Save frequently as you work. Enter your name and the date in a header. Submit the assignment via a class dropbox or an email attachment. Bad things happen. Save a copy of your document in your computer. Proof your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon Make your own printer paper answer sheet

Or perhaps you have the resources to record verbal answers. If you do, be sure to first read / record the question. Then record the answer immediately after it.