60 Second Civics
I’ve been hooked on a new podcast recently, and it’s one that I highly recommend, especially because it will take no more than 60 seconds of your time.
After reformatting my mp3 player last month and clearing out my podcast subscriptions (something I do occasionally when enough of my regular podcasts get stale), I hopped onto Podcast Ready and hit up iTunes U to see what was new out there. Most of the content I find out there in the educational realm of podcasting is honestly either a bit amateurish to hold my attention for long, or is an overly-extended discussion that rambles on and off topic until the participants of the discussion eventually run out of steam before reaching an over-arching and/or reflective conclusion of the topic at hand. You very well may know of a host of excellent podcasts that are both highly polished, and engaging from start to finish, and I welcome any suggestions, but apparently I always manage to select duds.
That having been said, I was overjoyed to find the Center for Civic Education’s “60 Second Civics” podcast. Quite literally a 60 second production, the Civic Education center has put together a wonderfully concise, well polished piece of media that gives me a quick injection of civic trivia and history. Last week’s small string of 3 podcasts on the origins of England’s Parliament were fascinating. So much of a highly educative treat is it, that I’m waiting until the currently minute-long episodes on the Magna Carta (up to 4 episodes now) are finished before listening, so I can enjoy them all at once. Tied to daily multiple choice civic’s trivia questions, and links to listen to the podcasts directly in the browser rather than download them, the 60 Second Civics series of podcasts does everything right when it comes to educational content. And so far I haven’t come across the typical media consumption problem of saying “oh I don’t have time to devote to it”, because it’s only 60 seconds!
If you’re a Civics teacher (if such a label for a class still exists), or just want a great way to explore the roots of our modern democracy, this website is an amazing resource. Many other longer format podcasts exists, including ones for Constitution Day and podcasts that focus primarily on education for democracy. But the 60 seconds of simple Civics history is what got me hooked, and will keep me listening for quite some time. If you’re a Social Studies nerd like myself, or want to encourage civic-minded young adults in your classroom, this podcast should be on your assigned listening list.
Image – http://civiced.org/images/logos/0906logo60.png