In addition to the wide range of news and entertainment digital media on the Web, many educational institutions are making online courses freely available as well. The Open Culture website (http://www.oculture.com/) provides listings of free online courses from a number of universities that can be downloaded as audio or video podcasts. Whether you are looking for digital media to supplement one of your current classes or you would like to try-out listening to an online course in your spare time, it’s definitely worth browsing Open Culture’s directories of educational podcasts.
Open Culture Educational Podcast Directories
Online University Courses:
Foreign Language Lessons:
Business School Podcast Collection:
Law School Podcasts:
Listening to Podcasts
As you browse through the listings of podcasts on the Open Culture website, you’ll notice a few methods for accessing the media files. A podcast is a media file, audio or video, which is distributed by subscription. The difference between a podcast and an MP3 or video file that you download or play from a website is that a podcast is intended to provide a series of audio or video files that can be subscribed to using RSS (really simple syndication) in a program called a “podcatcher,” such as Apple’s iTunes. While podcasts can be transferred to an iPod or another portable device, you may also listen to/watch podcasts on your computer.
For some of the podcasts listed on the Open Culture website, you will notice an MP3s link; if you click on this link you will be taken to a page with a listing of audio files that you can listen to from your Web browser.
If you click the iTunes link, the podcast will open directly in iTunes, if the software is installed on your computer. With iTunes you can subscribe, listen to, or view podcast content on a Mac or PC and transfer podcasts to an iPod. Click here for a free iTunes download.
If you click the Feed link, you will be prompted to subscribe to the podcast from your Web browser. You can subscribe to a podcast using the latest versions of the following Web browsers:
- Internet Explorer 7 (PC only)
- Firefox 2.0 (Macintosh and PC)
- Safari 2.0 (Macintosh only)
If the Feed link doesn’t work you will need to update your Web browser to one of the supported versions listed above. Older browsers do not support the podcast subscription feature. You also have the option to copy and paste the Feed URL for the podcast to your favorite podcast subscription software.
Additional Podcasting Resources
Loyola Tech Tip: Managing RSS feeds in your Web Browser
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