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.
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:
- University of Surrey’s Dr. Radu Sporea with his online podcast series, Potential Difference
- BBC podcasts
- TED talks (and a full list in a handy spreadsheet)
- Browse for presentations in your area of interest on Slideshare(or alternatives such as Note & Pointand Speaker Deck.
- Investigate research and presentation material on YouTube. Try the TEDTalks channel, or course highlights from MIT.
Presentations and podcasts can serve as a great tool for expanding or updating your interests, however online learning has now evolved to the point where it is possible to receive semi-formal education in any topic, for free, from anywhere in the world. Massive Online Open Courses, or MOOCs, are extremely popular and well respected. These highly interactive courses take place in a virtual classroom and can even have homework.
Have a look at Future Learns or Coursera’s list of courses. Take note of the range of subjects offered and the varying depths of specific knowledge. Also note the course providers – some highly respected institutions in there, tutoring people for free!
Have you spotted any courses that might be valuable for you or your research? Perhaps there are courses that might improve your employability?
Week 6 blog post
Feel free to talk about all of this week’s Things in one post, as they lend themselves to comparison and discussion. How do you foresee yourself using (any, or) all of this week’s Things as a researcher? Are some of the Things more relevant than others? Relevant to what? Perhaps it was a Wikipedia page, a podcast, or a MOOC. If you already use these tools or similar ones, let us know how they work for you.
As we’ve talked about CC licenses, we’d like you to find an appropriately licensed image from Flickr (or another media site) that you can include in your post. Make sure it allows sharing! If you’re logged into Flickr, you can use the ‘Share’ button to grab the photo for your blog directly. Otherwise, you can either download and then upload to your blog, or grab the HTML or link for embedding.
Don’t forget to tag your post Thing 9, Thing 10 and Thing 11