I was randomly selected to be in the Nielson ratings for radio a few weeks ago. It made me realize that I hardly ever listen to the radio any more. Why should I? I have tons of interesting content on my iPod, and I can listen to it whenever I want, with no worries about reception. Sorry, Nielson! The radio shows I really want to hear I can download and listen to at my convenience.
I haven't been doing that, though. I've been listening to tech podcasts (TWIT, Digg, BuzzOutLoud), podcasts on books and film (Authors on Tour, Books and Writing, The Book Show), and also downloading books on Buddhism and meditation (Pema Chodren, Jack Kornfield). I do have music on my iPod too, but I hardly ever listen to it. I guess I'm turning into more and more of a spoken word person in my old age!
And TV is another thing. I'm not a TV watcher. I used to have maybe one show a week that I watched, but now I don't have cable and I never turn on my TV except to watch a DVD maybe once every six months. But...I started downloading videos onto my iPod, and then I bought a package of 16 episodes of The Daily Show. OK, I haven't had time to watch all of them, but still this is more TV than I've watched in the last year!
So how will such changes as these affect adult education? Maybe not at all for a while, but pretty soon more and more of our students will have mp3 players, and more and more teachers will start experimenting with podcasting.
So far I have two good examples, both Vocational ESL teachers in San Diego, as it happens.
Steve Gwynne, at Mid City Center in San Diego, posts a podcast for his students every week.