Podcasting has had its second coming in the last year, with thanks to the huge success of the first season of Serial. Executive produced by Ira Glass of This American Life, Serial was the first podcast to achieve over 5 million downloads.
My enjoyment of podcasts (which, let's be honest is the manifestation of a love of learning, connecting and sharing) dates back to 2004 - my second year of teaching and the year I got my first iPod (which I still have in a box somewhere). I relished discovering shows and stories (most from Radio National at the time) to use in the classroom. The fact I was using an iPod at all made me a tad uber-cool to the kids.
To be honest, I had mostly forgotten about my podcast subscriptions until I binge-listened to Serial's first 6 episodes in an effort to catch up and keep up with the online conversations relating to #TeamAdnan. Since then my work commute regularly consists of a host of audio stories, from All In The Mind to Ideas at the House and the Tim Ferris Show (I dont know how he really has a 4 hour work week when he spends almost 2 making a podcast!). Sometimes I even tune into Mamamia radio (don't judge me).
While my interest in technology is less about gadgets and more about the human side of technology, it's important to me to keep up with tech trends and across the bigger picture of the Internet of (stuff and) Things.
There are a gazillion technology podcasts when you search for them, yet we still only have 24 hours in a day. What I need out of a tech podcast isn't in-depth geek-outs on the specs of new gadgets but broad brush strokes on new releases, digital cultures and the human side of technology.
Here are my top 5 (ok, maybe 6) technology related podcasts and why I bother downloading and listening most weeks:
5. The Guardian's TECH WEEKLY and BBC 4's THE DIGITAL HUMAN: Ok, so I am a sucker for a lovely British accent and I'm a big #fangirl of Aleks Krotoski who previously hosted Tech Weekly and is now doing Digital Human, which explores a different angle on the nexus of people and Tech each week.
4. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF VIDEOGAMES: Jamie Madigan knows his shit when it comes to games, and talks us through a range of the nuances involved in understandings aspects of the social, cognitive, emotional and cultural aspects of gaming. He presented a balanced approach and backs it with science.
3. THE DIGITAL MINDFULNESS PODCAST: In its relatively short history Lawrence Ampofo has had a stellar line-up of guests, dare I say 'thought leaders' on his show which explores ways in which we can have 'balanced interactions with technology, improving our lives and digitised society'. Recent guests have included Alexandra Samuel, Aleks Krotoski, (two women whose work I really appreciate) David Ryan Polger from DigCitSummit and Larry Rosen. Digital Nutrition also got a feature when I talked to Lawrence from Boston in May, listen here.
2. DOWNLOAD THIS SHOW: I dig this because it's Australian, doesn't take itself too seriously, and gives me a useful snapshot of general trends and insights happening across the Internet and digital culture. I also don't have to look at Marc Fennell's outfits on a podcast! They manage to cover a lot of useful ground in a short period of time and have a range of perspectives. Personal goal for 2016 = get invited on this show as a guest!
1. NOTE TO SELF ( aka the podcast previously known as NEW TECH CITY). I gleefully discovered New Tech City (as it was known then) when it popped up in one of my google alerts. Their Bored and Brilliant Challenge spoke directly to all of the things I was thinking and feeling about my own use of technology and what my brain was percolating with regard to Digital Nutrition. Host Manoosh Zamorodi is great to listen to as she is genuinely fascinated by the issues they investigate. Their newsletter is also loaded with cool tech treats, links and listener questions.
- Lisa Harrison's Tech Women Australia: A chat with inspiring women working in different aspects of technology.
- Raising Digital Kids by Dr Kristy Goodwin: Short audio bytes on issues impacting children's use of tech and parenting in the digital age.