Well! Here's a confession...I have heard about podcasts and heard people mention them matter-of-factly and have been a bit lost in the conversation! Now I feel enlightened at last! I had even downloaded ITunes when I received an IPod shuffle for Christmas from one of my sons (I actually didn't even know what to do with that for a while, now I love it!)and never really noticed the "podcasts" link in the ITunes store! So I am now amazed. Once again, there's a whole new world out there that sucks me into the 21st century. I can't even imagine my junior high and senior high days when best I could do to get live Spanish was my old short-wave radio! What if I had had all of this! Wow!
I explored all of the links, and found an older style German language lessons podcast that I put the feeder for on my Google Reader, as well as a very good and modern Mandarin Chinese lessons podcast.
I can easily imagine students being able to have podcasts of practical language lessons to supplement their textbooks, and also I imagine that eventually textbooks will automatically have podcast support like they presently have CDs and online support for the texts. How exciting! Is this reality already, I wonder? Since I am no longer in the classroom...hmmmm.
A funny story I have to share...I went to the "Coffee Break Spanish" podcast on the Grazr on the 23 Things wiki page of Thing 18 and listened to it a bit (a random lesson). I had thought maybe I would use it or refer to it for my professional learning activities as I train teachers here for the District! Good idea, right? Well...the lessons were great, BUT I heard a language I did not understand along with beautiful Spanish. In just a few seconds I realized it WAS English, but all the speakers were from Scotland!!! Their accents (though amazingly easy on the ears) made the English instructions and explanations probably harder for the people here to understand than the Spanish! LOL! Don't you love it?
Last night I went back to my ITunes Store on my laptop at home, and downloaded a podcast of Spanish Medical Terminology to use with that course I teach for UGA as well!
I am actually looking forward to creating my own podcast in Thing 19.
I can see immediately how these are new tools that we can use to make learning more productive (not to mention fun) for today's techno-savvy students. Now, MY challenge is with ADULT education. These learners may or may not be so techno-savvy! Ha! So onward rides this Don Quijote toward the windmills perhaps, but I continue to make that impossible dream possible, I hope! I am enthusiastic about these things enriching my life from now on! If my 87 year-old Dad can love email, be on Facebook, and enjoy getting a new laptop, like he does, then I can sure move forward and stretch my techno-comfort-zone (TCZ-a Scott King original term)a bit!