The title of this occasional series is a bit of a joke as it’s been several weeks since my last Podcast of the Week post. Nonetheless, it’s worth breaking my silence this week because this month‘s podcast of the week has local and professional interest. I’m a committee member of the Wales South West Network of the Institution of Engineering Technology (IET). Serving in the Young Professionals Network is ‘young’ Rhys Phillips who broadcasts a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) podcast called Pythagoras’ Trousers on Sunday mornings on Radio Cardiff (7.30-8.00 am). Now, that’s not in receiver range here in Swansea, but it wouldn’t be a modern, thrusting radio show if it didn’t also provide a web site for web broadcasts and a podcast.
Although there have been only 6 episodes so far (they’re all still available on iTunes), Rhys has managed to interview some quite high profile people including broadcaster and writer Simon Singh and Project Leader of the Large Hadron Collider Lyn Evans of CERN. Plus he’s flying the flag for STEM and the IET in Wales, so all power to his elbow.
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Digital Planet from the BBC World Service was one of the earliest podcasts that I picked up when I got my first MP3 player — which wasn’t an iPod! I’ve been listening to it every week for several years and it’s never short of informative. It’s a technology podcast, similar to The Guardian’s TechWeekly (see POTW #2), so it covers the latest news from Google, Apple and Microsoft and the various technology shows and conferences. But it’s Unique Selling Point is that, because it’s a BBC World Service programme, it has a global viewpoint which covers the developing world as much as what’s happening in silicon valley. Digital Planet is presented by Gareth Michell with excellent punditry from “technology expert” Bill Thompson who also blogs independently and occasionally for BBC Technology News (e.g. Clicking the Blue ‘e’).
Like a lot of podcasts, there is an active community around a Facebook group and both Gareth (@garethm) and Bill (@billt) tweet.
If you like this, you might also like the OU Digital Planet website, the BBC Technology News website and BBC Click.
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Git sounds like an insult, but it’s actually a distributed version control system which was originally invented by Linus Torvalds, the developer of the Linux kernel. GitHub is a phenomenally successful open-source code hosting site build around Git. GitHub is also a community and the unofficial voice of the GitHub community is The Changelog, a blog and weekly podcast which highlights developments in Open Source by monitoring GitHub. The podcast is hosted by Wynn Netherland and Adam Stokoviac who regularly get to speak to the developers whose code is being developed in the open on GitHub*. Rather eccentrically numbered like the releases of open source projects that it documents (episode 0.0.1 was released November 22, 2009, 0.3.2 is the latest episode), this podcast is an essential stethoscope for listening to the pulse of open source development.
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An odd one this … but bear with me.
Sprachbar is part of the Deutsch for Ausländer (German for foreigners) programming of Deutsche Welle, the German equivalent to the BBC World Service.
To quote from the website
Sprachbar is an offering that introduces you to the subtleties and secrets of the German language. You will listen to explanations of current headlines, quotes from literature, figures of speech and grammar.
I like it because my wife is German and though my writing and speaking skills are minimal, my aural comprehension is quite good, and I can actually understand these short, humorous explanations of the idioms of modern German. In other words, it helps to keep my ear in.
Deutsche Welle (dw-world.de) provides lots more interesting resources for the budding German speaker, potential visitor, or home-sick native. And don’t worry, lots of the web site and resources is actually in English. For the serious student there are also Lots of German as a Foreign Language resources including news, programming, videos and Podcasts.
The latest Sprachbar podcast is Ein Loch kommt nie allien:
Sommerloch – Astloch – Stopfloch: Es “löchelt” viel in der deutschen Sprache. Wer genug Löcher in die Luft gestarrt hat, besucht Loch Ness – und fällt dann vor Ent-täuschung in ein tiefes Loch.
There’s a full transcript (in German only!) on the site.
I can’t wait!
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Thinking Aloud, a long running BBC Radio 4 show, is a weekly discussion of the latest research in social science. It might seem an odd choice for a lecturer in engineering. But since it’s been a Podcast, I’ve been hooked! It may be the host, Prof. Laurie Taylor, who’s erudition and humour is infectious, but it’s more probably the subject matter. When couched in academic language “discussion of the latest research in social science” seems a dull dry subject. But when framed for an intelligent audience and discussed by Laurie’s guests, usually practicing academics talking about their latest research results, the topics are often fascinating, and generally illuminating.
A few subjects from recent episodes include Japan’s strange love for female robots (rooted in Shinto worship of amina apparently), Oslo drug dealers, choice, lap dancing, and teenage music. As you can see a mixed bag. Like a lot of the BBC’s radio output on “academic” topics, there is a large archive of the show, going back at least 8 years and organized by topic. The latest episode is available as a podcast from iTunes for a week (but there’s not time limit on how long you can keep the recordings … so this is a great resource for teachers). Also for teachers (and learners) there’s an Open University site related to the topics discussed.
If you haven’t been thinking aloud, perhaps you should.
Laurie Taylor is also the genious behind the THE’s long running Poppletonian, an official newsletter publshed from a redbrick university’s chalk face. He is also on the after-dinner speaker circuit. I saw him once at a systems engineering conference. Very funny!
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It’s actually a fortnight since the last one but … this week’s Podcast of the Week is The Guardian’s excellent Tech Weekly podcast. Every Wednesday, regular host Aleks Krotoski along with regular contributors Guardian Technology Editor Charles Arthur and Digital Media Reporter Jemima Kiss, discuss the big technology news items of the week.
Since the demise of The Guardian’s Thursday Technology supplement, the podcast is the quickest way to keep up to date. Highlights this week
include a discussion of emerging trends in the Mobile Internet, the new Amazon Kindle and the ban on Blackberrys in the UAE.
Academic colleagues may be interested to learn that Mendeley
will be discussed next week.
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I read a lot of blogs and I listen to a lot of podcasts, so I thought I’d use this blog to tell you about some of my favourites. Here’s the first of an occasional series of recommendations: It’s e-Learning Stuff and the associated e-Learning Stuff podcast from James Clay, ILT & Learning Resources Manager at Gloucestershire College, and 2009 winner of the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year.
I am an early adopter and self-confessed geek. I love new technologies and often try to find ways to incorporate them into my teaching (and personal learning). But as an educator
rather than a learning technologist
, the bottom line for me is that I want my students to gain value from my experiments with e-learning technology. The technology should not be an end in itself. As such, I’m only on the periphery of the e-learning technology community. A guest, rather than a fully paid up member, if you like.
I have a digital identity and a personal learning environment that extends across this blog and my Facebook, Twitter, Posterous and FriendFeed accounts. I aggregate my Google shared items, Buzz, delicious account, Flickr, YouTube, SlideShare and Prezi to my FriendFeed. But despite all this, I still spend a frighteningly large amount of time in the institutional Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard in our case). I tend to bring resources into the VLE on the basis that that’s were I assume students will be coming to find them, rather than trying to work outside it.
To the e-learning community, the VLE is like bronze-age technology that should have been made redundant by the dawn of the machine-gun age. But if most HE institutions are anything like mine, bronze-age weaponry is well in advance of the stone-age (should that be chalk
-age) technologies that most of my colleagues are wedded to. It’s therefore refreshing to find learning technologists who are as pragmatic as James is. Sure, he likes his toys, but he also knows where the real world is at. His blog, especially his posts on 100 ways to use a VLE
, is inspiring, and his podcast, usually consisting of a discussion with colleagues from the FE community mixed with the occasional recorded conference keynote, is genuinely interesting.
Recent highlights from the podcast include:
You can, or course, subscribe to the podcast at iTunes.
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