Fast-forward three years and 250 podcasts and I am proud to say that my conversational Chinese has greatly improved. It was easy!
You see, podcasts are similar to radio programs, except you have complete control over the content. For example, if I am looking for some after dinner chill out music, I can search through thousands of stations offering the perfect sounds for the ambiance I am looking to set. Likewise, if I am interested in catching up on US news, I tune into National Public Radio and I am able to hear a live stream of news from the United States and oftentimes certain broadcasts are available for download. When I find myself disappointed in the state of the world and all of the negative media, I seek out lighter topics such as lifestyle or educational podcasts to bring the positive energy back into my life.
One of the best things about podcasts is its mobility. Oftentimes while walking my four-year-old Siberian husky I tune into the Editor’s Picks on Umano and get three-to-five minute updates on virtually everything trending at the time. Talk about a surefire way to ensure you never run out of dinner party conversations!
Most podcasts have a feature that allows you to subscribe to them and they are automatically downloaded when new podcasts become available, keeping you in the loop with your favorite programming. You can listen to them directly from your computer or on any device capable of playing MP3s. Personally, I prefer downloading them directly to my smartphone, but you need to make sure that you do this only over a wifi-connection or you may exceed your data limit depending on your network provider. For more tips on podcasting, refer to How to Listen to Podcasts by Brian Bertucci.
As an educator, I have come to find that podcasts are an incredible tool for communication. While this is my first recorded podcast, I have recommended hundreds of podcasts to my students looking to improve their language skills. Many of my students tune into a new podcast each morning and have seen dramatic increases in their vocabulary development, listening skills, and general knowledge of the world.
As a college counselor, I have found a number of podcasts that cover a wide variety of topics that I deem my students will find both practical and interesting. The podcasts I have chosen to feature on my website can be found under the Blog dropdown box and are updated quite regularly. I intend to upload my own podcasts as often as possible, so be sure to stay tuned in!
There are many benefits to podcasting, but perhaps the one I find my intriguing has to do with memory retention. According to Mr. Teik in his article Benefits From Podcasting, “Podcasting involves seeing, hearing and experiencing. If combined, it provides the best result for memory retention of about 75% for an average person. This infers that audio messages are definitely more memorable than just plain text. Memory retention is one of the more important benefits you can get from podcasting.”
From music channels to audio books, news broadcasts to language-learning tools, podcasting has changed the way we communicate. The only downside? Not all of us have the soothing and sonorous voice of Morgan Freeman.
Thank you for tuning in to my first podcast. Be sure to log onto www.freecollegeadvice.weebly.com for copies of this transcript or to ask questions and leave comments. Until next time…