The Faux Driveway Moment – Why I Love Podcasting

I came home from the store just now and was listening to a fascinating discussion about RSS and the transparency of corporations and business models of blogging and aggregation. When I hit the driveway, I sat in my car for a few moments because the discussion wasn’t over yet I didn’t want to turn off the car and miss the rest.

It was a Driveway Moment, but a false one.

I wasn’t listening to the radio. I was listening to a podcast on my iPod Shuffle. Specifically, it was the Gillmour Gang‘s latest discussion that I ran across while downloading something else from ITConversations.

This is not the first time this has happened.

This is why I love podcasting.

I have had numerous driveway moments listening to National Public Radio’s Chicago affiliate WBEZ, but certainly not every day or even once a week. When Terri Gross interviews someone in an area of special interest or on a topic that I am interested in, I listen avidly and when they don’t, I feel a small letdown that I will have to listen to something or someone that I know little about and so it will be (blechhh) educational for me – you know, expand my horizons and all that.

Podcasting lets me find audio content that is almost always worthy of a driveway moment, but it doesn’t have to happen serendipitiously. I now regularly listen to 10-15 podcasts per week while I am driving to/from work, walking the dog and doing the laundry.


Almost all of these (at present) are work-related – something to do with technology or education or the law and so it’s a little like adding another 10 hours to my work week without any pain. In fact, it’s great to have the distraction on the dog walks and they are a great alternative to my meagre music library.

This relates to podcasting in education and the Legal Education Podcasting Project. If students can add another few hours of study time – painlessly – to their schedule, that may be good. If they are listening to recorded lectures or summaries of classes that they have attended, the need to listen intently is lessened – they can pick up new insights or information and process it with the benefit of being several days or weeks away from the material. The more you study, the better off you are and if studying doesn’t seem like studying, all the better.

This is not for everyone. I realize that. But that’s what technology should be all about – giving us choices in how we manage, organize and consume information – our information.

If I am right, podcasting class lectures or summaries is a no-brainer and may actually be a significant improvement in efficient educational delivery.

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