Radio New Zealand Podcasts
Technology has changed the way we access the media, and Radio New Zealand (RNZ) listeners can now choose how and when they listen to a programme. Created in 2005, the RNZ website began providing podcasts (free of charge) of some broadcasts, in 2006. In 2008, the decision was made that none of the material owned by RNZ would be deleted. Regular programmes are updated daily or weekly. Users can listen to podcasts directly from the website or download them onto a computer, iPod, mp3 player, etc.
The podcast material links to most curriculum learning areas. Technology teachers will find information relevant to aspects of the Technology curriculum, and some which is particularly pertinent to specialist Technology areas.
In addition to one-off presentations and interview series, the podcasts include regular RNZ programmes. These include news, current affairs, documentaries, interviews and reviews. Recent content includes:
- Medicinal properties of manuka honey
- fast-fibre digital communication system KAREN
- 3D printing
- Recycling metal surgical implements
- Pilot plant for getting rid of sewage sludge
- Computer game device for stroke rehabilitation
- Meat-processing waste as wound-healing device
- Self-setting possum traps
- Gore-tex rainwear
Ease of use
The website is reasonably straightforward. Anyone who's not a regular RNZ listener can click on items from the section menu to get an idea of the content. The site can be searched by genre (such as Science and Factual, Society and People, MÄori and Pacific, Arts and Culture, News and Current Affairs) or programme (Nine to Noon, Afternoons, Kim Hill, The Week in Review, for example).
The search function allows users to put in a word or term, such as Food Technology, and lists the podcasts with relevant material. Anyone wanting just audio material can do an audio search on radionz.co.nz/audio
The collection of podcasts forms a valuable resource for Technology teachers. It provides useful background material, and stories about innovation, ethics, IP issues and modern technology could be used as the basis for classroom discussion. Senior secondary students could also research general Technology and subject-specific information on the website.
Material is put online every day, with some content available within half an hour of broadcast. RSS feed subscribers receive alerts about new material, while Nine to Noon listeners can subscribe to receive a preview email of what's coming up on the show for the week, and can also follow the programme on Twitter.