How to Use a Podcast

Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning & Innovation

Introduction

As a podcast listener, you have options! You choose what to listen to. You choose when and where to listen. And, you can choose HOW to listen to episodes of your favorite podcast. There are two basic ways to listen to a podcast:

Method name Description
Streaming method Listen while at the website for the podcast show.
Subscription method Automatically download the podcast episodes as they are released.

On this page we will describe each of these methods and also recommend some free apps to make it easy to become a regular podcast listener.

If you are still wondering "What is a Podcast?," then please read our explanation of podcasting before continuing on this page.


Ways to access a podcast

Streaming method

The "streaming" method for listening to a podcast involves visiting the podcast's website and playing the audio directly in your web browser. There is no special set-up involved. For an Ayers Institute podcast, here are the steps:

  1. Open a web browser on your computing device (desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or phone).
  2. Load the web address (URL) into the web browser: http://podcast.ayersinstitute.org
  3. Navigate the "Podcasts by Ayers Institute" webpage to find the podcast episode you would like to play.
  4. Click on the "Play" button (triangle icon) to begin listening to the podcast audio through the web browser.

The streaming method is quick and easy, but it does not offer some of the conveniences of the other listening methods. You must remain "online" (connected to the internet) for playback to continue. You cannot close the webpage and have the system remember your place in the podcast. And tracking of new and completed podcast episodes is not done for you.

Subscription method

The "subscription" method for listening to a podcast involves using podcast client software (a.k.a. a "podcatcher") to download the newest episodes of your favorite podcast shows. The podcast client will periodically check the "Really Simple Syndication" (RSS) feed from the podcast publisher. When a new episode appears, it will automatically be downloaded to your computer or mobile device. For an Ayers Institute podcast, here are the steps:

  1. Open a web browser on your computing device (desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or phone).
  2. Load the web address (URL) into the web browser: http://podcast.ayersinstitute.org
  3. Right-click on the "RSS" button toward the top of the "Podcasts by Ayers Institute" webpage. On a touchscreen device, you will touch-and-hold the button until a pop-up menu appears.
  4. Choose the "Copy Link Address" option from the contextual pop-up menu.
  5. Open your podcast client software. (Suggested software is listed below.)
  6. Follow the steps to "Add a podcast" or "Add an RSS feed" within your chosen podcast client software.
  7. After saving the new podcast feed, the most recent episode should be downloaded to your computer or mobile device.

The "subscription" method requires a one-time set-up, but you will save time in the future because new episodes are automatically downloaded to your device.


Suggested Podcast Client software

Operating system Software options
Windows or Macintosh Computer On desktop and laptop computers, the most commonly used podcast client is iTunes. This music jukebox program is distributed for free by Apple, Inc. to users of both Windows-based and macOS-based computers. Within the menus, you will find the "Subscribe to Podcast..." option. Download from the Apple website.
iOS Phones / Tablets For users of Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices, here are a couple suggestions:
  1. Podcasts is an Apple, Inc. created mobile app. Download from the Apple App Store
  2. Stitcher is a free mobile app that can subscribe to podcast RSS feeds. Download from the Apple App Store
Android Phones / Tablets For users of Google Android-based mobile devices, here are a couple suggestions:
  1. Podcast Addict is a free mobile app that can subscribe to podcast RSS feeds. Download from the Google Play Store
  2. Stitcher a free mobile app that can subscribe to podcast RSS feeds. Download from the Google Play Store

Learn more

Here are some links with more information about how to use podcasts.

Ayers Institute podcast sponsors:

Edsouth promotes interest and awareness of higher education opportunities to students, families and schools. Working with high school counselors, college and university administrators and industry partners, Edsouth enables students to maximize their potential and fulfill their goals in life through higher education.

Lipscomb is one of only four teacher-preparation colleges in the U.S. to receive the highest four-star rating from the National Council of Teacher Quality. We attribute that, in large part, to our emphasis on community engagement and cultural understanding–our graduates gain the skills and the sensitivity to improve students' lives all over the world.