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Podcasts vs Literature?

October 12, 2007

Picture 4.pngI wish I was more fastidious about sending links to my del.icio.us account. I’m sure I read a piece about the demise of podcasts recently but I never thought to save the link… Anyway, whether I did read it or not becomes immaterial in the face of two things I did read today.

I’ve just seen from Twitterific that Mark Pentleton’s Coffee Break Spanish has been downloaded some 13.4 million times! This figure is completely staggering and is testament to the skills of Mark and his team… not to mention the beauty of a simple idea well executed.

In a truly synchronistic moment, Euan, one of my S3 bloggers, also posted an interesting take on podcasting. He sees it as the new literature… which might be stretching it a little, but he does make a few good points about half way down his post… certainly worthy of a kind comment or two!

More interestingly from my point of view, is the notion that Euan is one of the next generation who will seek their knowledge where they can find it… as Will Richardson said, he’s a “…nomadic learner…” and it was here that I had a sudden thought. The 21st Century technology is actually allowing us to (metaphorically) return to our roots. We are becoming nomadic – surely the ultimate expression of the ‘flat earth/classroom’… and as Euan points out in his post, when it comes to literature, he’d rather “…click my mouse and download a podcast of it and listen to it in my own time than go to a library and have to look all around for it…” What he is suggesting as the future is really just a return to the earliest days of civilization when we relied on the oral tradition of story-telling… the irony is delicious! Lewis Grassic Gibbon‘s diffusionist leanings in Sunset Song never seemed more relevant!

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