I'm writing this blog posting while sitting at a New York City airport, on my way back home from giving a presentation on the use of Web 2.0 technologies for social learning in enterprises. As I mentioned in a posting last year (The When and What of M-Learning), one of the things I do a lot of when I travel is listen to educational content. This can be audio versions of magazine articles, but it also includes several podcasts from the Learning and Development industry.
A podcast is essentially audio content that is updated regularly, that you subscribe to via a "feed" for the podcast, using iTunes or a similar application. Video versions of a podcast go by several names -- vodcast, v-cast, vidcast -- but are essentially the same idea, just with video in addition to audio content. In either case, once subscribed, you will receive the new content in the podcast sent to you automatically, and you can listen to the content either on your computer, or perhaps more commonly, on your iPod, smartphone, or other mobile device. Podcasts are a great way to keep up with particular topics, subject matter experts, your favorite news sources, and so on.
Over the years, the L&D industry has been blessed with several good podcasts to choose from. Some of these have come and gone (their archives of past content are often still available). However, there are several podcasts that are still going strong, including but not limited to:
- ASTD T+D -- Selected articles from ASTD's T+D magazine are available as audio recordings, and you can subscribe to these as a podcast.
- ASTD LX Briefing -- A podcast of the feature items from LX Briefing, an ASTD newsletter for senior learning executives.
- ASTD Chapter podcasts - Over the years, some of the local ASTD chapters have done podcasts. Here are two that I'm aware of that are current:
- Xyleme Voices -- LCMS vendor Xyleme has long had an outstanding podcast in which they interview industry experts.
- The Rapid E-Learning Blog podcasts -- Using the Hear a Blog service, Tom Kuhlmann provides audio versions of his popular Rapid E-Learning Blog, which "shares practical tips and tricks to help you become a rapid elearning pro."
There also appears to be many podcasts about e-Learning and other learning and development topics provided by the academic sector -- whether from academic consortia or other groups, or from individual colleges and universities. Do a search on "e-learning" or similar keywords in iTunes and see what you find!
If you are like me and run out of time to read everything you'd like to, but have some time (commuting, travelling, waiting in lines at the post office, etc.) to listen to professionally relevant content, then give some of the above podcasts a try! I've still got an hour wait for my flight…which of the above will I listen to next?