Module 7: Podcasts & Vidcasts

Podcasts and Vidcasts

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module you will:

  • Know what podcasts are
  • Understand why podcasts are useful
  • Know where to find and how to subscribe to podcasts

What are podcasts?

The term “podcast” is a combination of the words “pod” (derived from iPod) and “broadcast”. It refers to audio or video that is streamed over the Internet, but they can also be downloaded in various audio formats. The main difference between podcasts and regular audio or video streaming, such as YouTube, is that podcasts are usually delivered through RSS (see Module 2) using podcast software.

Why are podcasts useful?

Podcasts are portable, meaning you can listen to them on your computer or add them to your personal audio player and listen to them on the go. Despite what the name may suggest, an iPod or iTunes is not required to listen to podcasts.

Furthermore, since podcasts are delivered through RSS feeds, you don’t have to go back to the original site to see if new podcasts are available. Instead, you can subscribe to podcasts that you are interested in and you will be notified through your RSS aggregator when new ones are available. This is the main advantage of podcasts over regular audio or video streaming.

How do I subscribe to podcasts?

Subscribing to podcasts is very easy. All you need is the podcast feed URL, which most podcast directories provide, and a RSS aggregator, such as Bloglines or Google Reader (which you may have set up during Module 2). You will be notified automatically once new podcasts are available.

How can I use podcasts in the Library?

Podcasts are a great way to provide tutorials to assist new users of the library’s resources. For example, the University Map Library’s podcast page has tutorials on how to use GIS software and other geographical tools. See “Other Resources” for an in-depth guide on how to create your own podcast.

Library staff can also stay abreast of current trends in libraries using podcasts like EDUCAUSE, or The Library 2.0 Gang There are many options available.

Podcast Directories

There are several podcast directories and podcast search tools on the Internet.  These are some of the most popular ones which cover a broad spectrum of topics:

  • The “ultimate podcast collection” that covers a wide variety of topics. It has podcasts from featured publishers, such as BBC and CBS news. You can choose to download the podcasts, add them to iTunes, or share them on various social sites. You can even submit your own podcasts.
  • A great directory for podcasts on a wide variety of topics, similar to The layout is clean and simple. This site also provides podcast software for download. You can even submit your own podcasts by creating an account on their site.
  • iTunes Podcasts: Apple’s guide on how to listen to podcasts using iTunes.


Activity 1

If you haven’t already done so, set up an account on Bloglines or Google Reader (Google Ready appears to be more seamless for podcasts). For instructions on how to do this, see Activity 1 in Module 2.

Activity 2

Watch activity 2 here

In this activity you will be subscribing to a podcast using your RSS aggregator (see module 2) and posting to your blog stating which podcast(s) you subscribed to.

  • Sign up for an account with
  • Explore to find a podcast that interests you
    • There are a variety of ways to find a podcast from this site.  Down the right hand side of the page you can browse the podcast collection.  You can also select from the popular choices or  search for a podcast if you already have one in mind. This will provide a list of related podcasts.
  • Click on the Podcast title to obtain a description of the podcast.
  • Click on the “show advanced” button under the podcast image.
  • Select the icon for the RSS aggregator you use and follow the instructions to complete the feed.*

*note: you can also do this manually by copying the URL address of the feed and adding it to your RSS feed aggregator.

  • Click on “Subscribe” (or “Get Podcast” if you used the search option) to obtain the podcast feed URL. Copy the URL and subscribe to it using your RSS feed aggregator. For instructions on how to subscribe to RSS feeds, review Activity 2 in Module 2.

Activity 3

Search one or more of the podcasts directories and see if you can find a library-related podcast. Create a blog post about your discoveries.

If you want to receive a certificate at the end of the Web 2.0 training, please send a screen shot of your podcast in your feed reader to libweb20@library…To create a screen shot either use the program “Snag it” or you can use your keyboard command ALT + Print Screen to capture the image and paste it into the email.

Other Resources


Written and recorded by Rebecca Hutchinson, Kristen Jensen, Rishan Munasinghe and Laura Howell

This post is based on PLCMC’s Learning 2.0 program.

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Module 6: Images & Pictures

Web 2.0 Training Module: Flickr

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand what Flickr is and the basic features available
  • To consider the potential use of Flickr in a library setting
  • To learn how to search for and identify publicly available images
  • To know where to sign-up for a Flickr account

What is Flickr?

  • Flickr is an online photo sharing and management application that allowing you to organize photos or videos and make them more accessible to others (
  • Members are part of the Flickr online community and must therefore abide by the community guidelines (
  • Flickr is currently owned by Yahoo.

Why use Flickr?

  • It’s great for people with an interest in photography or those who want a web based method for storing, organizing, discussing, and sharing their photos and video. This includes libraries!  Photos are always accessible as long as you have an internet connection.
  • How can Flickr help you or your organization? Check out six key features available from Flickr (upload, edit, organize, share, maps, make stuff, keep in touch) at and
  • Take the “Magical Feature Tour”.
  • There’s a libraries and librarians group. Here you’ll find thousands of library related photos from around the world. There’s even a discussion board and RSS feed. (see Module II for info on RSS)
  • Flickr has a partnership with the Library of Congress called “The Commons”, which includes thousands of photographs from public domain collections.
  • Flickr provides photo solutions for bloggers via the “blog this” feature and makes it simple for account holders to quickly and easily post photos to their blog.
  • Flickr has a favourites menu, similar to that found in a web browser, so that you can bookmark the photos you like and find them again easily.

Flickr and Tagging

  • Tags are like keywords that facilitate searching for and organizing photos. Flickr uses the concept of tagging to create associations between ideas or concepts and the photos shared on the site.
  • Tagging creates a “folksonomy” of terms.  This is similar to a taxonomy without all the corresponding rules and hierarchical relationships.
  • In addition to tagging, Flickr members can also interact by posting comments to a photo.

How to Get Started With Flickr

  • Anyone can explore photos and tags made public by Flickr members or found within the Commons.
  • If you’re interested in becoming a member and setting up a free Flickr account go to If you already have a Yahoo ID creating a Flickr account is very quick. Individuals that do not have a Yahoo ID must first sign-up for one. Once you have an account, you have the option of setting up a profile in Flickr. Note that Flickr also offers paid accounts that provide access to more features and have fewer restrictions.
  • Flickr members can determine the level of privacy they would like for their photos. Users can choose to limit photo access to friends, family, or a group. Alternately, photos can be placed in the public domain and shared with the world. Members can set restrictions on who is able to tag or comment on their photos and determine the level of copyright they would like for their material.


Are you ready to take your images to a whole new level?  By completing these activities you will be able to upload images into flickr,  share images using your blog and explore some of the awesome features, like searching images by groups, in flickr.

Activity 1:

In this exercise you will create a flickr account

Watch activity 1 now

Activity 2:

In this exercise you will upload an image or picture to flickr

Watch activity 2 now

  • Upload and tag a photo of your choice using

Activity 3:

In this exercise you will post your image or picture to your blog

Watch activity 3 now

  • Add the picture to a post in your blog using Flickr’s “blog this” tool:
    • You’ll first need to register your blog in “Your account” under the tab “Extending Flickr.”
    • Then click on the image you would like to blog and click on the “blog this” icon just above the image.
    • Follow the next few steps in Flickr and violà your photo!
  • Comment on your Flickr experience in your blog.

If you want to receive a certificate at the end of the Web 2.0 training, please send the URL of your blog post to libweb20@library

Activity 4: (optional)

  • Explore Flickr at
  • Browse the “Popular” tags
  • Check out the Libraries and Librarians photo group to see how other libraries are using Flickr at Search for photos of Dana Porter Library.
  • Search Flickr for a topic of interest and see what you find. See what related tags have been given to interesting images from this search. Create a link to your favourite image in a post to your blog.

When Using Flickr Remember:

  • When posting photos in a publicly accessible place, such as Flickr, it’s advisable to get the necessary permissions before posting any photos containing identifiable images of other people.
  • Never upload pictures that weren’t taken by you, unless you have the photographer’s consent.
  • Check the copyright status given to a photo. If the photo is assigned a creative commons license, give credit as per the license guidelines when you include photos taken by someone else in a blog or other web based medium.

Additional Resources

Flickr Tutorials @

Get Flickr-tastic @ , Andrea Mercado.

How To Get the Most Out of Flickr@

Educause: 7 Things you should know about Flickr @


Written and recorded by Rebecca Hutchinson, Kristen Jensen, Rishan Munasinghe and Laura Howell

Based on Learning 2.0 from the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (PLCMC) @ and Learning 2.0 @Mac.

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