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Five Best History Podcasts

I was reminded last week of the huge treasure trove of goodies on iTunes. All for free. And all automatic downloads to your computer.

If you haven’t yet installed iTunes software, it’s okay. Travel over there, download the free software, come back here. I’m just gonna grab a Diet Pepsi. Tap the glass when you’re back.

Basically podcasts and iTunes U are user-created content that acts a lot like a TV show. Just like Grey’s Anatomy or The Big Bang Theory, every week (or day or month) you get a new episode. The content might be a history podcast from Williamsburg or a video of a economics lecture from Stanford.

Okay . . . pretty simple stuff but if you get stuck, head to the How To section on the iTunes site. They’ve got a couple of helpful videos for both podcasts and iTunes U goodies.

Once you have iTunes installed and opened, click on the iTunes Store. You can then select either Podcasts or iTunes U. This gives you the chance to browse through all of the different categories.But don’t be afraid to do a keyword search using the search box in the top right-hand corner.

When you find one (or more) that you like, simply click the icon and listen to samples of previous episodes. Then click Subscribe. The latest episode will begin to download and all future episodes will download automatically. You can also select earlier episodes.

Some sample podcasts and iTunes U episodes:

Since 2005, “Past and Present” has taken you behind the scenes to meet interpreters, chefs, tradesmen, musicians, historians, curators, and more. We offer three versions of our podcast: one that’s audio-only, one that includes a slideshow, and a video podcast.

American Experience: PBS
On air and online, the series brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present.

National Museum of the American Indian
The National Museum of the American Indian is the eighteenth museum of the Smithsonian Institution. It is the first national museum dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of Native Americans.

National Museum of American History: History Explorer
Features NMAH staff members discussing their work and projects here at the museum. Accompanying this series are teacher guides, work sheets and images for classroom use.

Cool Things in the Collection: Kansas Historical Society
An insider’s perspective on interesting objects selected by Curators at the Kansas Museum of History.

Okay . . . I said five but I couldn’t leave Deblina and Sarah off the list!

Stuff You Missed in History Class
Just what it says. Fun, energetic audio clips reviewing a wide range of topics

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