I love using my iPhone for numerous reasons, but a big one is mobile learning. In this post, I’ll describe some of the reasons I’m re-discovering my love for audio podcasts and audiobooks on the iPhone, thanks to the $2 app Podcaster and the free app, Audible.

These are the “media consumption” apps I currently have installed and primarily use on my iPhone.

Media Apps on my iPhone (Jan 2010)

I’ve created a linked list of these on Appolicious, which I titled, “Mobile Media Consumption.”

Best iPhone Apps: Mobile Media Consumption by wfryer | Appolicious ™ iPhone and iPad App Directory

As I explained in yesterday’s post, “Manage Podcasts WITHOUT an iTunes Sync Using Podcaster,” the Podcaster application is potentially transformative because it allows “over the air” management of podcast channels without the need to sync your iOS device to iTunes on a laptop or desktop computer.

I currently subscribe to over fifty free podcast channels. Downloading content from several of these channels to my mobile device is a guarantee mobile learning / professional development is always at my fingertips if I want it. This is a selection of my recent podcast downloads on Podcaster.

Unplayed Audio Podcasts on Podcaster

The interface for Podcaster is similar to the built-in iPod application, but it allows for wireless streaming of podcast content OR podcast downloads. If you’re going to be disconnected from wifi, downloading is the best option. If you’re connected, however, you can save yourself the need to delete the podcast later if you just listen to it as streamed media. This is a screenshot of one episode I enjoyed tonight, “Living the Green Dream” on American Public Radio’s podcast channel for “The Story.”

Listening to "The Story" podcast on Podcaster

I love how Podcaster provides the option to SHARE links to a specific podcast episode to which you’re listening or watching.

Options for sharing a podcast on Podcaster

I used this tonight to post some links to my main Posterous blog. I use this site to save and share different kinds of resources, particularly when it’s not possible to readily save those links to my Diigo / Delicious social bookmarks. Posterous websites are one of the BEST tools for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users because many apps permit sharing via email. In this case, when I chose to email the Podcaster info for the “DocArchive: Lost Voices of Afghanistan” BBC World Service Documentaries podcast, this was the post result on Posterous:

Check out Documentaries: Stories from Afghanistan - wesley fryer's posterous

Posterous automatically created a flash-player on the post so others can directly listen to the podcast from that post. Since Posterous blogs are FREE and easy to populate via email, they are ideal for students to use for research projects. Think of a Posterous blog used in this way as a “research bucket” for links, notes, quotations, and more.

I also want to share an enthusiastic recommendation for Audible and the free Audible iOS app. Last semester, commuting 3 hours to the University of North Texas each week for three days, I became an Audible monthly subscriber for the first time. I had not previously listened to many audio books, and didn’t consider it something I’d want to do regularly. My opinion was transformed by my experiences commuting with Audible last semester! I listened to several complete books over the course of the semester, and there is no way I would have been able to “read” these without Audible. Currently, I’m almost finished listening to Stephen Kinzer’s fantastic book about Iran, “All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror.” I highly recommend it.

Audible for iPhone: All The Shah's Men by Stephen Kinzer

If you don’t know the background of BP as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, it’s a history lesson about English colonialism that’s probably long overdue. If the name Mohammad Mossadegh and the Majlis aren’t in your historical lexicon yet, they should be and Kinzer will remedy this learning gap.

I’m an ardent fan of TRANSFORMATIVE uses of learning technologies, which I define as uses enabling learning that otherwise would be impossible or extremely difficult. Podcaster and Audible are both applications which can be used transformatively for mobile learning, by older adults as well as younger learners. If you have an iOS device and have not already, consider giving both of them a try. If you want to jump-start your own podcast subscription list in Podcaster or in iTunes, my current podcast subscriptions are available as an importable OPML file. Instructions about importing those into Podcaster are available on yesterday’s post.

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