Broadcasts, lectures and other information formats such as slideshows are available online more than ever before, and they can be an important and useful source of information for your own current awareness as well as for your teaching and research.
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Podcasts are a great way to make available things like a series of talks, course lectures or training update videos. Podcasts are audio – or increasingly video – files broadcasted online (for example, recordings of radio programmes, lectures, readings, drama, interviews or music). You can usually listen to or view a podcast online, but they can also be downloaded, and you can usually subscribe to a series of podcasts via RSS so that it automatically downloads to your computer or mobile device (iTunes makes this easy).
Podcasts aren’t the only way to put presentations online, however; sites like Slideshare allow users to post presentations of all sorts. YouTube can also be a treasure trove of quality information.
1. Find some podcasts, and pick one or two to subscribe to. Some places to start
- the University of Oxford’s page on iTunes U (requires iTunes; most content is replicated on the University’s own podcasts pages, where iTunes is not required)
- BBC podcasts
- TED talks (and a full list in a handy spreadsheet)
2. Browse for presentations in your area of interest on Slideshare (or alternatives such as Scribd, Note & Point and Speaker Deck.
3. Investigate research and presentation material on YouTube. Try the TEDTalks channel, course highlights from MIT, or the University’s channel.
Blog about your experiences. Did you find podcasts or presentations you found useful? Why or why not? What podcast/slidedeck/lecture/video did you choose in step 4? Please include a link to it (extra credit: if you’re allowed to embed it, please do so!)
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