As we enter into the last few weeks of the course, it only made sense to learn another new tool that I had not used before. This time it was podcasts. I have listened to the odd podcast before, so the concept of what others use it for was familiar to me. But as far as actually creating one, well, this was brand new territory for me.
Just as a quick side note here. On the theme of podcasts, if you are at all interested in crime and mystery, or even just fantastic storytelling, I highly recommend a podcast series called Serial! In 1999, a young teenage girl was murdered, her boyfriend arrested, tried, and convicted, and he is currently serving a life sentence in jail. The kicker is this; so much of the evidence, the witnesses' stories, and just the entire setting around the case is so convoluted, sketchy, and just downright confusing. Was the wrong man sent to prison? Who was the real murderer? What really happened that afternoon? That's what Serial tries to find out, as Sarah Koenig interviews and investigates the many, many different stories and tales from just about everyone who was involved. Check it out here: http://serialpodcast.org/ . Trust me, you will get so hooked and will be drive yourself crazy trying to figure out the case!
Anyways, back to educational stuff. I checked out the various sites that were offered, and I settled on Soundcloud. And I must say that it was the best constructed site I have come across in this class. Everything was so simple and accessible. It took just seconds to sign up, and without any tutorial or instruction, I was able to record my podcast and embed it to my blog. Hassle free in every sense. Whoever designed that site deserves a pat on the back. I was really impressed!
I'm going to add Soundcloud to my PLE on the Academic side. I can't say I really see myself ever recording podcasts for public consumption, so it won't make it on to my personal side of the PLE. But I definitely see some great potential for studying. Having Soundcloud open and recording while I study will allow me to play my notes back to me in a fresh way, perhaps revealing some information that I just wasn't picking off the paper. One of my teachers always talked about learning via visual, audio, reading, and practical ways, so this definitely covers the audio part. Even when I'm just getting ready or something, to be able to play the notes in the background will put it somewhere in my head, and hopefully my recall will improve. Exams are only a week away, so it will get put to the test soon!
On to Feedly. Last week I mentioned that the Iran nuclear deal was running into a wall, and I posed the question about whether or not Obama would be able to get it back on track. Well, he did it! A deal was reached, and while Israel isn't pleased, most of the world seems to be in agreement that this is a moment of progress. While I do hope that Iran now turns a corner and enters into the modern age of peaceful diplomacy and basic human rights, I have my doubts that this deal will be a catalyst for major change within the country. But I've been wrong before, and I certainly hope for the sake of the Iranian people, and indeed citizens throughout the Middle East, that this is a signal for change and progress in the region. Read it here: http://nyti.ms/1BYn7KQ