Can you learn history through a podcast?

I saw recently, one of the top 5 podcasts this week was a 15 minute history lesson that the University of Texas created. It begs a question for me- can you learn anything from these short history lessons? I think the use of technology encourages a more in-depth look at an event in history. So technology used this way is advertising history in an attempt to wet the appetite for a greater interaction with history. I have heard great debate on whether the History Channel can even be used or should be used for educational purposes. ( for a comical look at this check out Cracked .)

But there are resources out there for educators to use technology in an attempt to get closer to history, making things interactive for students. I think the only problem is in thinking that all of the technology is enough research to understand a topic. For Example, when Researching Native Americans, I found it a lot more helpful to spend time in the library looking at books. In fact, the closer you can get to the authentic material the closer you are to history, for me I found, for example William Penn’s historical description of the Lenape Indians more useful (though ethnocentric) then the newer materials available online. You can not get every resource on historical events by relying on what has been placed on the internet.

We can learn something of interest in Podcasts, Youtube, the History Channel but the actual learning takes place when you integrate media ideas into historical text and make an educated guess as to the actual historical events.




2 thoughts on “Can you learn history through a podcast?

  1. I love the History channel, but for the reason that I’m not exactly looking for the information that I find there. I’m usually flipping through the channels and when I stop at the History Channel, I always learn something I wasn’t really trying to learn. I stumbled upon it. They keep their lessons fairly short and interesting, while not going extremely in depth. They keep the watcher’s attention, while actually informing them. For more in depth information, I would go to a library or do further research online. The History Channel doesn’t make you an expert. It just gets you hooked.

  2. Technology for me is to help further understand a topic that I am/was learning already through other resources. It might be because I am a millennial that is used to books and physical learning devices before technology. I tried learning Spanish through a mobile device but I felt like typing out words just was not the same as me writing words down. That’s why I think technology is best to be used as a support to learning not material, not where you directly extract most of it.

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