Do you know much about podcasting? If you think these are the messages sent out by groups of whales to other whales, then you're several electrons short of having the full story.
Podcasts are compressed audio recordings, often using the MP3 format. They can be heard on your computer or on one of the many portable MP3 players such as the iPod. So what's the big deal about podcasts? Well, they're a free, portable, and almost inexhaustible way of helping you keep up with what's going on in aviation.
Open your Internet browser and type in the words "aviation podcast." Using Google, you will get more than 43,000 hits. Click a link to visit one of the many Web sites hosting these podcasts. I think you'll be surprised at the number of topics covered.
You'll find podcasts by aviation medical examiners that will answer many of the questions you and your students have about passing an FAA flight physical. You'll find podcasts by your fellow professional flight instructors discussing teaching techniques, student challenges, and so on. You'll find podcasts about aviation news, the latest in avionics, and airplane technology. In short, you're sure to find something that can interest, educate, and even amuse you. Most of these podcasts are free for you to download, and you can subscribe so that new podcasts are sent to you automatically.
Here's where it gets even better. Many of these podcasts can help you teach your students. There are many sources of podcasts that explain airspace, weather, traffic pattern operations, and so on. Collect a few you feel are appropriate and provide them to your students as preparation for their flight lessons.
Podcasts provide an excellent source of information that you can listen to while driving, as well as an excellent source of pre-study material for your students. Take advantage of them.
By Rod Machado