Parents with digital kids like to keep up with technology and stay as up-to-date as possible. One way that I keep up is to listen to technology podcasts — radio programs, really — except that they are downloadable and portable. Some podcasts start out as radio or TV programs and then they are uploaded as podcasts after the broadcast, however, most podcast hosts record their programs specifically for uploading to a website.
I’m a regular podcast listener. Every week or two I download various episodes to iTunes and from there it’s easy to sync them onto my phone. It’s convenient to listen to “casts” in the car, during my exercise sessions, or simply when I am walking from one place to another. I just need to remember to have headphones handy.
Podcasts are a great way to learn on the go, and they can help parents get started with those all-important digital conversations.
To get you started, here are a few of my favorites.
- Leo Laporte hosts a number of shows on his TWIT network, but The Tech Guy is the one I listen to as often as possible. The Tech Guy program first broadcasts as a live call-in program with Laporte offering technology, advice, opinions, and recommendations. Shortly thereafter the show is posted as a downloadable podcast without commercials. Each show has program notes posted on the web.
- Today in iOS is a long-running podcast series that focuses on iPhones and iPads. The host, Rob Walsh, uploads episodes at least twice a month and sometimes more often. Today in iOS is also a call-in show, but it also has some clever features including an overview of Apple news and app reviews. Rob reads e-mail, recordings, and phone messages from listeners, so few audience members go live. A great feature of the program is how listeners, looking for specific apps can ask for recommendations, which almost always come from other listeners in subsequent programs. Rob posts excellent program notes.
- New York Times technology columnist, David Pogue, hosts the New York Times Circuits podcasts are actually vodcasts (video podcasts). Pogue has a knack for choosing topics that we all want to learn about at exactly the time we want to find out about them. He casts are always funny and entertaining.
- TechStuff podcasts are part of the larger HowStuffWorks.com site and hosted by Jonathan Strickland and Chris Pollette. Each podcast explores a topic, breaking down complex techie factoids into easily understood bits of information. Jonathan and Chris spend most of the time talking about the show’s topic, though near the end of the show the hosts read and answer listener questions. Sometimes the music on this podcast can be way too loud.
- NPR’s Technology podcasts feature reports on technology policy, digital culture, information technology, social media and more. NPR uploads podcasts website on a weekly basis, usually on Wednesdays. The “casts” usually last around 30 minutes and many of the reports have already been used on one of the National Public Radio programs