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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thing 19 - Podcasts

I had listened to podcasts before. I used to get notified by e-mail of one produced at St. Cloud State University. (Aside, I wonder what happened to that? I don't get notices anymore.)

I listened to the Minitex podcast of an interview with Tom Shaughnessy. His thoughts on the Google digitization projects were very interesting and, of course, made perfect common sense. Why should each library warehouse and convert the same materials when it can be done once? Certainly copies of the books should be in number of places for safety's sake, but do we really all need to keep them?

I also liked his idea about libraries as it meshes with mine. Libraries should be education agencies for lifelong learning. You can build your own curriculum, take as long as you like to learn, and there is no cost to you. The sky is the limit for what you can learn. Tom asks "Have we lost that?" We need to get back to that if we have. This 23 things project is proof that there is a need for self-directed learning by the huge response we got to it.

Tom may need to check out the definition of "retirement"; I think he believes it's a synonym for "job change".

I looked at the directories of podcasts. Podcast.net did a lot of spinning before it loaded but I like the various ways it could be searched and it was neat and easy to navigate. They were all pretty easy to navigate actually. Yahoo assumed that you were there to look while the others had lists to navigate. Some required that you download something while other did not(probably because I already had at some point in time). I added a technology one to my RSS feed just to try it out after I listened to one. It wasn't great, but I can always dump it and look for another. If I find a good one, I will share it.

I looked at Gcast. It's done by the Garageband.com people. I listened to a podcast by Bill Frist about the Child Survival Act. It's easy to add these however you want to get them. If it's as easy to make ( and they claim even your Grandma could do it) it might be interesting to do. It would require more planning than I have time to give it right now, but I plan to go back to try it later when I am not alone in the office responsible for getting the phone.

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