Expand Your Learning With Podcasts in 2011

Philosophy & Poetry                                                                                      Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr

As the new year rolls in, we often take inventory of our lives, perhaps even decide to expand our horizons. Podcasting provides an opportunity to learn and deepen the understanding of the world around us in a really simple and cost effective way.

You can immerse yourself in a topic so completely, it feels like you’ve gone back to the university 🙂 Here are a few podcasts to get you going with your Podcast Art and Science degree 😉


  • Podictionarythe podcast for word lovers– Short and sweet and totally easy to consume. I always love learning the history behind words and adding more to my vocabulary. If you don’t want to subscribe you can get the iphone app and have a ton of words at your disposal. Great reference.
  • Brain Science“Recent discoveries in neuroscience are unraveling the mysteries of how our brain makes us who we are.” I already subscribe to so many podcasts, to the outsider it would seem a bit obsessive. I’ve been trying to stop my subscribe tendencies, but I just couldn’t help it when it came to Brain Science. The quality of information offered, the depth on insight and simply the subject matter is the perfect podcast for revving up your brain for optimal functioning 😉 You also get the opportunity to see the world and yourself in a whole new way. Give your brain a workout. Dr. Campbell offers very detailed shownotes, so if you don’t want to listen or subscribe at first, hop on over to the site, or even subscribe to the blog RSS feed and get your learning that way. If that’s not enough Brain Science also has an iPhone AND and Android app with access to the full shownotes as PDFs!
  • Books and Ideas– This is another one by my new favorite person Dr. Ginger Campbell. It’s sort of the spill over from her Brain Science podcast, “exploring history, philosophy, other areas of science, science fiction, monthly interview with an interesting person.” If a podcast all about the science of the brain is not your cup of tea but you wanna delve into the world of science in an accessible way, check this one out. You won’t regret it. The iPhone app offers detailed shownotes via PDF! Love it.
  • Microbeworld Radio– “An educational outreach initiative that revolved around a daily, 90-second radio and podcast series designed to increase public understanding and appreciation of the vital role microbes play on our planet and to promote the science of microbiology.” Yes, this is a podcast all about the teeniest of the tiny. Who knew how magical it could be to delve into the micro? The more you get into the micro the more you see it in the macro. You must first start at the Microbeworld website. It’s jammed packed with info. You’ll see there that Microbeworld Radio is not just one podcast, but a lot of them: BacterioFiles, Meet the Scientist, Mundo de los microbios, This week in Parasitism, This Week in Virology and more. You can subscribe individually to each one of these shows, or you can simply get the iPhone app and have them all at once. Nice.
  • Photography 101– Having an iPhone 4 has made me be a picture taking maniac. This podcast is a great way to learn a little bit more about all aspects of photography. There are tons of episodes available that address the simple to the complex. One of the latest podcasts has nothing to do with digital photography but with a really cool technique for polaroid pictures called polaroid SX-70 manipulation. It’s very cool. Now if I could just get my hand on a polaroid camera…Photography101 is also available for the iPhone and Android.
  • Philosophy Bites and Philosophy The Classics– I put these together, not because they have to be listened to together, nor because they are alike, but because they complement one another. Get into the conversation with Philosophy Bites. Listen to discourse and in depth interviews with awesome philosophers. You get an opportunity to become informed about an array of books that perhaps you have never heard of, plus be exposed to aspects of philosophy you may not get a chance to anywhere else! Philosophy The Classics is just that, The Classics. It is Nigel Warburton reading off his book of the same name. A really great resource to have. iPhone apps are available for both Philosophy Bites and Philosophy The Classics
  • iWoodwork– When was the last time that you did anything with your hands? I suppose getting started woodworking may be a bit far fetched, especially if you’ve never done anything like it, (plus you do need all the tools and everything), but I simply could not pass up the opportunity to share this podcast. Mark Sterner is such a great guy, down to earth, humble, knowledgeable and passionate about what he does. He cares deeply about his work and loves his community. His video podcast is very well done and thought out. He’s supported by the Mark Adams School of Woodworking, having them as a sponsor and also helping them with their online woodworking presence. Check out iWoodwork even if you don’t woodwork, it’ll get your creativity going. If you do woodwork, this is a must for you! iWoodwork is also available as an iPhone app.
  • The Barefoot Beekeeper– I’m sure at some point you have heard all about the slow disappearance of bees and the huge impact that they have to our ecosystem. This podcast offers so much information about beekeeping, the bee ecosystem, as well as the world ecosystem. You get an opportunity to listen to interviews with an swarm of experts within and without the beekeeping culture, plus learn tips and tricks about building and keeping your own beehives! The passion for beekeeping also stumbles over onto an iPhone app called Biobees 🙂

I hope learning a bit about some of these podcasts inspires you to learn something new and subscribe, or at minimum pop on over to iTunes and search for a subject you’ve been interested about for a long time and haven’t ever followed through 🙂 Podcasting is the ultimate choice of taking your education and growth into your own hands, offered to you by those that are truly passionate about what they know.

Learn, grow and expand for 2011!

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