- With constant advances in technology, educators and students have to find the right tools to keep lectures interesting and engagement at an all time high. Let’s face it: the classroom, library, and study centers are no longer just for books—add laptops, iPods, tablets, and e-book readers to the list of must-have gadgets students are toting around campus. In fact, most colleges and universities are meeting students where they’re at, providing pupils with work accessible only on interactive platforms, such as the growingly popular podcasts, which are being used to elaborate on homework assignments, share lecture notes and access additional class materials. As part of our <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/backtoschool/">Back to School</a> coverage, <strong>BlackEnterprise.com</strong> suggests students check out these five podcasts that will boost their academic prowess. <em>—Janel Martinez</em>
- <a href="http://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature-study-guides/cramcasts.html" target="_blank"><strong><a>CliffNotes Cramcast</a> </strong></a> <br> <br> Didn’t have enough time to finish that 200-plus page novel, or just want to refresh yourself on a particular text? Well, Cramcast is a temporary fix to your dilemma. This free podcast dissects the work providing an overview of the book, background information on the author, and three essential takeaways from the book or play; all in less than five minutes.
- <a href="http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/" target="_blank"><strong></strong></a><strong><a>The Naked Scientists</a> </strong> <br> <br> A team of savvy physicians and researchers from Cambridge University narrows even the most complex science topics down to something as simple as a molecule. The award-winning podcast addresses a bevy of scientific themes, from archeology and metallurgy—the study of metals and their properties—to questions you never thought you’d get answered like the reason helium makes one's voice sound animated. Listeners are able to pose questions by dialing in, sending an email or posting The Naked Scientists a <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Naked-Scientists/38242550838" target="_blank">Facebook message</a> or <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/NakedScientists" target="_blank">tweeting their account</a>.
(Image: The Naked Scientists)
- <a href="http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/category/stuff-you-missed-in-history-class/" target="_blank"><strong>Stuff You Missed In History Class </strong></a> <br> <br> History seems far from ancient (or stale) when listening to hosts, <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/missedinhistory" target="_blank">Sarah Dowdey and Deblina Chakraborty</a>, discuss all things history, from the history of chocolate to the hotly contested debate on whether or not LGBT history should be taught in schools. This podcast, powered by <a href="http://www.howstuffworks.com/" target="_blank">HowStuffWorks</a>, makes for a great supplement to any history textbook.
- <a href="http://mathdude.quickanddirtytips.com/" target="_blank"><strong>The Math Dude: Quick and Dirty Tips to Make Math Easier </strong></a> <br> <br> If binomials are your worst enemy, this one’s for you. Jason Marshall, <a href="http://www.facebook.com/TheMathDude" target="_blank">The Math Dude</a>, is like the cool tutor you’ve always wanted. The research scientist can break down even the most trivial math problems and turn them into something you understand (and, dare I say, enjoy). The podcast starts with basic math, such as multiplying fractions and calculating median values; expanding to more complex topics, ranging from the Fibonacci Sequence to modular addition, so listeners can grow with the program. Each podcast is less than 10 minutes long.
(Image: Quick and Dirty Tips)
- <a href="http://www.npr.org/programs/talk-of-the-nation/" target="_blank"><strong><a>NPR’s Talk of the Nation</a> </strong></a> <br> <br> Students are expected to stay on top of current events; however, that can be difficult when you’re balancing a packed schedule. If surfing the web, your phone or Twitter timeline for news is too tedious, just put in your earphones and tune into Neal Conan’s news-talk podcast. Conan reports on timely-topics, then invites listeners to call in to share their perspective. The podcast is lengthy, but well worth the listen.