Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Technology Review: Radio Lab

RADIO LAB is a website and app containing engaging podcasts on topics related to science, philosophy, and the human experience.
Although these audio programs can be heard on the radio, users are increasingly accessing the content through the program website. The resource is divided into three sections: listen, read, and watch.
The Listen section provides access to the latest podcasts along with a link to the Episode Archive. For each hour-long episode, users can view an image and read an overview of the program. Users can also explore recommended links to extend the experience. The podcast page provides options to listen online, add the episode to a playlist, download the program, embed the program, or make comments. Related podcasts are also suggested.
The Read section provides a blog focusing on recent episodes. These short articles often include images, video clips, and web links to extend the experience.
The Watch section features interesting and sometimes amazing videos along with articles that discuss the topic.
The app allows users to listen to the podcasts, read the show blogs, and access the same content as the website.
Although the programs are aimed at a general audience, they contain information of interest to older children and young adults. A wide range of topics are available from sports and politics to environmental and social issues.
Librarians will find this website an excellent tool for promoting auditory literacy and supporting informational reading activities. The short programs would be an effective way to kick off a research project. Ask students to listen or read a program, write research questions, and conduct their own inquiry using the program as a starting point.
Use the podcasts with student researchers who have reading challenges. Audio can also be an excellent format for other youth with special needs.
To visit the website, go to http://www.radiolab.org/
To download the app, go to http://www.radiolab.org/mobile/.