Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to a roomful of wonderful parents of some of my students. I was explaining a new course that I am helping to write and create, and mentioned the fact that students in this future class would possibly have the opportunity to design or create a podcast episode as a part of the curriculum. I talked about how I was excited to be a new podcaster and how I loved podcasts, having listened to them since 2008! I talked about the potential of how music, technology, and creativity could come together to create a really cool learning experience! Everyone showed signs of thinking “How cool!”, but when I asked the group of parents in my room just how many of them listened to podcasts, probably two hands went up out of the 30 adults in my room. Now the question I asked was not “Do you know what a podcast is?”, but I will admit to being a little shocked at just how many of the parents seemed lost in my podcast discussion. Whenever I’ve talked to some of my students about podcasting, I get some of the same blank stares. I had no idea!
This all made me realize that people don’t know what they’re missing by not knowing about podcasting. They need to know how they can benefit from a podcast, and how easily accessible they are in this mobile day and age!
What is a podcast?
According to Wikipedia, “a podcast is a digital medium consisting of an episodic series of audio, video, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device.”
There are certainly people who have more knowledge about the history and tech of podcasts, but I can tell you that since around 2004 to 2005, podcasting has been a hugely popular medium for consuming free content (mostly), like entertainment, comedy, news of all kinds, inspiration, how-to, business, and the list goes on and on. And with the popularity of smart phones and other mobile devices, podcasting continues to grow at a fast pace!
Depending on what kind of podcast you choose to listen to, you might be able to think of it as like a talk show, a radio show, a comedy show, how-to, book discussions, or any kind of programming that you may be used to finding on television or the radio, and all delivered to your phone or device.
And anyone can create a podcast! This also means that, in most cases, we don’t have a producer or company telling us what we can and cannot do or talk about. When you tune in, you choose where you listen from, when to listen, if you need to pause or rewind, etc… and for FREE!
Once you subscribe to a podcast, you can sometimes find hundreds of great back episodes to listen to for days! Tired of endless top 40 hits? Annoyed by the endless commercial breaks on TV and radio? (I haven’t listened to the radio in years!) There’s almost sure to be podcasts out there for you! Have a favorite series that you watch on TV? There’s probably a fan podcast devoted to nothing other than that show! You’ll quickly find that you can listen to podcasts while you drive to work and back, take that nightly walk, go to the gym, work at your desk, or whatever task that you would normally participate in during your day. You’ll be able to gain a wealth of knowledge, or be entertained for weeks without running out of content.
Where can you find them?
Your Mobile Device
You can find most podcasts on places like iTunes or Stitcher. Also, almost any podcast has a home on the web. Take The Big Séance Podcast, for example. There are many different places that people can find my show, but BigSéance.com, the page you’re reading right now, is the online home of my podcast and can be found by clicking “The Big Séance Podcast” above. You could listen right from your laptop or desktop computer. For each episode, you’ll see a player like this. (You didn’t think I’d let you get away without trying to get you to listen to my most recent episode, did you?)
Psychic Techniques to Save Time, Money, and Sanity – The Big Séance Podcast #9
Many smartphones, like the iPhone, come with its own podcast player app, but there are also other podcast apps that you can download, such as Overcast, which is my favorite app to use when I’m on the go. Simply search for a keyword or the name of a podcast, and lots of options will pop up for you to try! When you’re subscribed to a particular podcast, new episodes are automatically downloaded to your app as producers publish them. It’s that easy!
Find and listen to a podcast today! It doesn’t even have to be mine! (But gosh, I would be honored if it were mine.) 🙂
Props to some of my favorite podcasts!
The Paranormal Podcast (The first podcast that I was introduced to, which had a big hand in the forming of Missouri Spirit Seekers, and all things Big Séance.)
The Voices Podcast (Hosted by EVP researcher, Randall Keller, who was recently a guest on The Big Séance Podcast!)