Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Thank You Neil Gaiman (and podcast roundup)

Well, I ranted about Google's remaking Writely the other day, and I've gotten over it since then (plus I found the spell checker). Now I should sing the praises of Google. One of the netcasts I listen to is CrankyGeeks. The other day they had Neil Gaiman on. For those who don't know, he's an author of fantasy novels, short stories, and comicbooks/graphic novels.

Neil is a long time blogger and he uses He mentioned that he has a good relationship with the Blogger folks (Google) and makes recommendations quite often, and given his readership Google listens and implements changes. One thing I've noticed is that it has been a long time since I've lost a post I was working on. Apparently I have Neil to thank for that. He was getting tired of loosing long posts and so complained and Google fixed it. So, thank you Neil Gaiman (and Google). You've saved many hours of work for me.

What does this have to do with technology in education? There are many angles I could go with. I'm going with the angle of, "I Learn a lot from subscribing to netcasts." I subscribe to many podcasts, netcasts, vodcasts, videocasts or what ever you want to call them. Some I use with my classes and some are just for my education.

Here's a list of all the netcasts I subscribe to that I find educationally relevant. Some of these I would not share with students, but are for my own education. These are all available through iTunes. I've mentioned some of these in previous posts, but I figured I'd bring them all together in one place. You can check one of my previous posts to learn how to subscribe to podcasts.

  • Ask a Ninja - Not really very educational, but it showcases what can be done easily with a little creativity. Another blogging teacher I follow has used this format to push the bounds a little in his "Ask a Technology Ninja" instructional videos.
  • Ctrl-Alt-Chicken - Another fun video series that helps illustrate the value of video over the internet.
  • DL.TV - Here's one for me. It helps keep me up to date on the latest technology. It is hosted by a couple of guys from the old ScreenSavers show on TechTV.
  • Mac Break - Great show that I've started watching since I got my MacBook. This is an HD program and looks great. The hosts walk you through different applications on the Mac and some of the features in Mac OSX.
  • Dr. Carlson's Science Theater - Science demos by a science teacher (I think). Mildly entertaining, it showcases what you can do with videos and education.
  • CHEM1000 Class Demos - Demos from a college level chemistry lecture. There's some good stuff here.
  • Cranky Geeks* - This is is available as a video or audio netcast. I usually just listen to it.

  • Naked Scientist - This is one of my favorites. It's a one hour BBC radio show that covers several science news stories, answers caller questions, interviews scientists, and has kitchen science. Kitchen science are simple experiments you can do in your kitchen.
  • Science Friday - This is actually an NPR weekly radio show hosted by Ira Flatow. You may remember Ira from the PBS show Newton's Apple. Topics range in all areas of science and Ira's guests on the show are the experts in those areas. Each weekly show typically covers at least two major stories (some cover 4-5 stories). Each story can be downloaded separately.
  • Science Talk: The Podcast of Scientific American - Mainly consist of interviews with scientists featured in Scientific American. It also includes a feature called Totally Bogus where listeners are given four far fetched science stories and must identify the one that is Totally Bogus. The host tries to have fun and keep a lite tone.
  • Science Magazine Podcast - Similar to the Scientific American podcast, this one interviews scientists from Scince Magazine but maintains a more serious tone.
  • PopSci Podcast - Stories from the pages of Popular Science hosted by Jonathan Coulton. Coulton keeps a lite, humorous tone while interviewing scientists from his remote base on the moon.
  • TWIT - This Week in Tech is the podcast that got me started listening to internet audio. This was the brainchild of the cast of the ScreenSavers from TechTV before it was bought and totally ruined by G4. This netcast is a round table of technology reporters discussing the big technology stories every week.
  • Cranky Geeks* - Pannelists sit around and discuss recent technology news. They are cranky, as the name implies, and critically evaluate the news.
  • Inside the Net - This podcast covers Web 2.0. The hosts interview the movers and shakers behind up and coming companies.
  • Futures in Biotech - A biology grad student along with Leo Laporte interview scientists on the cutting edge of biotechnology.
  • Geek!Ed! - A group of educators and technology folks from Pikney, Michigan get together every week to discuss issues related to technology in our schools. It's fun and informative, although they often venture into the realm of, "Education today doesn't work, so we should tear it all down and start over." While this may be true, it doesn't really help me as an educator get the job done in our current system. They start talking about how things ought to be without talking about how to get us there.
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