After looking at the various podcasts available through www.learnoutloud.com and www.podcasts.com I find myself wondering why I haven't checked out more podcasts. Since I now have the ability to play my iPod in my car (a fabulous Ford Focus -- I highly recommend!), listening to podcasts would be an excellent way to pass the time during my long drive to and from school every day. I found both websites easy to use, although I preferred the Learn Out Loud site more. It appeared more straightforward to me than podcasts.com. However, both would work fine for general searches.
One podcast that I'm already familiar with is Grammar Girl: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com I've used her audio recordings in class before, although not on a consistent basis. When I grew up, grammar was stressed and I had to know all the parts of speech and how to correctly use commas, semi-colons, etc. I find that kids today lack in this area a great deal. Grammar Girl is a quick, yet painless way to introduce mini-lessons on grammar. I don't know how effective they are, but at least Grammar Girl is a source I can refer students to if they have questions about grammar and mechanics (and often in high school they do want to know these things).
Another area of interest for me is foreign language. I've had 6 years of French and 1 year of Spanish. After travelling to Costa Rica two years in a row, I would like to speak Spanish better and understand it a lot more. I searched "Spanish" in the podcast sites and found this gem: www.discoverspanish.com/podcast.php Out of all the "learn Spanish" podcasts available, I selected this one because the podcasts are longer (11-15 minutes) and it receives high ratings from others that have used them.
With all this said, however, I am having trouble subscribing to them using iTunes. When I try, I receive an error message 1202 from iTunes. The last time I received this message I contacted technical support only to be told that it's a firewall or security issue with my computer. This is an ongoing problem with iTunes on my computer since the dreaded reimaging that took place this summer. :( So, for now, I am unable to download these two podcasts to my iPod. But I sure would like to!