I have a problem.
I admit this to you all, because I know you will not judge me, and because I know that, of my millions of blog readers (okay, maybe all two of you), most of you have the same problem as me.
I can't just sit and watch a television show. Nor can I merely cook dinner. Or simply play with my two-year-old. I can't even go for a run in perfect silence.
I, like millions and millions of folks out there today, am an obsessive multi-tasker, the kind that feels nervous getting into a car without folders of articles or books to read. The kind that cannot IMAGINE a worse fate then (GASP) finding myself in a doctor's waiting room without anything PRODUCTIVE to do. The kind that loves taking online classes largely because I can fold laundry AND nurse my newborn while watching videostreamed lectures.
Which leads me to something that I REALLY REALLY REALLY love. My iPod shuffle.
The thing is like one inch long, hot pink, and I've lost it/washed it/scuffed it more times than you could imagine. But it carries, within it, hours and hours of knowledge. Mysteriously locked inside are podcasts about the history of kissing, reviews on movies/music, interviews with famous people, journalistic accounts of people's lives, discussions about faith in our modern world, dramatic readings of fictional stories. In short, my iPod is the only productive non-productive invention that makes me feel validated in going out on a run, washing the dishes, or waiting in a waiting room.
As a rule, my iPod is not for school. Not yet, anyway. I don't load podcast assignments from classes, because only twice in my PhD career have they been assigned. I load podcasts that interest me, podcasts about food and diverse people and places. They are quality podcasts; they are informative podcasts; they are entertaining podcasts. They are mine.
And don't believe for a moment that they don't impact my school career. Nearly every week, I have some comment in class or add some resource to a paper that has its origin in a podcast. So just because I'm not being assigned podcasting for school, doesn't mean I'm not using them for school. Not by a long-shot . . .
What implications do my ramblings have upon educational uses of podcasts, whether they be in recording lectures, providing supplemental materials, or having students make their own?
I have no idea, and no time to think about it since, after all, it's time for my hot-jogging-date with my little pink bundle of amazingness . . .