The world of tech is changing so quickly nowadays that it seems impossible to keep up with everything that’s happening. But there’s actually an easy, enjoyable, and free way to learn about technology without having to spend any extra time or money to do so, and that’s listening to podcasts.
Podcasts, audio or video programs available to download free from the Internet, are a terrific way to stay up-to-date on what’s happening and discover new areas to explore. Best of all, you can listen to podcasts while commuting to work, taking a jog, washing the dishes, or just putting your feet up and relaxing.
And, despite the name, you don’t have to have an iPod to listen to podcasts. Any kind of media player, smartphone, or computer can play the files which can be easily downloaded using iTunes or other podcast managers or from a podcast’s website itself.
Podcasts played a large part in me finding my professional passion in tech, and now I listen to over one hundred (!) different programs on a regular basis. If you also want to improve your tech knowledge without giving up your precious free time, I recommend you start with these news and tips podcasts:
A 30-minute daily news review, Tech News Today features tech headlines and analysis by industry journalist. You can even watch live to stay right on the leading edge of the tech events of the day.
The U.K. newspaper The Guardian’s Tech Weekly podcast gives an overseas perspective on the activities of major IT companies (i.e. Apple, Google, Facebook, etc.) as well as the newest technology and controversies in tech. Plus, you can easily browse all the podcast episodes by topic and find related articles on the Tech Weekly website.
A live NPR radio show available as a podcast too, “GeekSpeak “covers both science and technology. The “professional geeks” hosting explain innovations and phenomena and take callers questions about PC’s, software, mobile phones, social media and more.
Living up to its name, Tech Talker’s Quick and Dirty Tips provides fast advice to help you use your tech better. In just a few minutes, you can learn how to boost your WiFi signal, avoid viruses, go paperless or improve your IT skills. You can also find practical hints on everything from careers to finance and productivity to health on the Quick and Dirty website.
TechStuff is “dedicated to demystifying technology and its role in our society and culture”. The topics on this podcast from the Discovery Channel’s “How Stuff Works” group include gadgets, famous technologists, the hottest companies, and all kinds of tech from the past, present, and future.
Clockwise is a four-person round-table discussion of four timely tech topics in 30 minutes or less. Although the hosts and guests are all experts from well-known industry websites, their discussions of issues, trends and devices are easy to understand while still being insightful. And, to keep it fun, they throw in a random subject for quick commenting at the end of each episode.
I’m particularly fond of Spark because it was the first tech podcast I found when I got hooked on the genre three years ago. Spark focuses on “technology-led changes” and how they affect culture and our everyday lives. Spark consistently presents unique and intriguing content thanks to its special focus on the future and “big ideas”.
So, start downloading some podcasts and listening while you go through your daily routines, and you’ll soon find that you’re out of the Stone Age and in on what’s happening in the tech industry now.
Kelli handles customer support here at Skillcrush – plus she's an early alum of Skillcrush 101! She's also taken advanced web development classes and has been an organizer in the Helsinki Rails Girls chapter.