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April 24, 2008
We've been sending out our Free Resource of the Day Emails for two years now. If you've not subscribed yet, we highly encourage you to do so. Who knows what magnificent free audio & video learning resources we'll dig up in the next year!
Here's a top 50 list we put together of the best of the best that we've featured in the last year:
50. CWU Counseling Center (Unfortunately this is no longer available through our site as iTunes U will not allow us to link to them, but you can search it in iTunes U)
The Central Washington University Counseling Center offers nine free mindfulness and relaxation exercises to listen to through iTunes U. These short exercises are conducted with a soothing voice and most feature relaxing music.
Listen to this free audio book entitled The Fundamental Principles of Personal Wealth. This motivational, one-hour audio book examines the methods for gaining wealth in all aspects of one's life. It covers how to shape one's thoughts and emotions in order to thrive in the area of wealth. This audio book is available on MP3 download from TFPPW.com.
48. Parts of a Whole
In this downloadable audio program conducted by New Dimension's Michael Toms, physicist David Bohm discusses how Quantum Physics has the potential to expand our understanding of human consciousness. Bohm observes here that at the quantum level, matter moves in an erratic manner similar to the way the brain moves from thought to thought. The deep implications of these findings led Bohm to work for many years with J. Krishnamurti in the study of how science can help broaden our spiritual horizons. Could the brain's functions mirror a wider universal law that connects the human race? This interview is offered by New Dimension Media and is available on MP3 download through LearnOutLoud.com.
Listen to over twenty philosophical dialogues with everyday people covering a new topic in each podcast. Host Steve Donaldson is joined by about ten other citizen philosopher guests as they spend an hour talking about topics such as "What is Love?", "What is Evil?", "Is Free Will an Illusion?", "What is Mysticism?", and many other intriguing topics. These philosophical round table discussions really get one thinking about the topic and they're entertaining as well. Currently they're allowing internet guests to join in the discussion through VoIP technology. The audio quality of these podcasts varies, but the content is so consistently compelling that you'll want to listen to them all.
46. Peter Singer
Peter Singer's controversial views on biological ethics are openly debated by a panel of experts on this downloadable audio program released by the University Channel. Singer starts by stating his case on the welfare of animals, which leads more controversially to his views on euthanasia and the ethical treatment of the severely disabled. His argument is examined point by point by a varied panel of experts hailing from both religious and scientific backgrounds. This program is a probing examination of how we must treat one another in a civilized world. It's available on streaming audio and MP3 download.
In this free half-hour talk delivered for the Authors@Google program, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, reads an excerpt from her bestselling book which gives a background to the quest she undertook to Italy, India, and Bali, to explore her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. After the reading she fields questions about her experiences traveling and writing the book. This free video is available to watch through YouTube.
A classic short story by Edgar Alan Poe is given a dramatic reading in this digital download provided by Voices in the Dark. In what many observers have suspected is a semi-autobiographical tale, Poe's hero recounts his memory of a lover taken prematurely from him in youth and how he must later come to terms with a promise he made to her before she died. Ending on a note of rare optimism for the author, this reading showcases Poe at the height of his poetic talent. This title is available on MP3 download from Voices in the Dark.
The StoryCorps Podcast features Americans across the country telling their own stories as they are interviewed by family and friends. The StoryCorps organization was established in the hopes of creating an oral history through the tens of thousands of interviews that are conducted in their StoryBooths everyday. The stories are typically only 2-3 minutes in length so they're a great way to learn about the variety of American life in a short period of time.
Renowned science fiction author Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles) gives aspiring writers some encouraging insight in this short lecture provided on streaming video by UCTV. Beginning with a list of essential practices he feels all writers should adhere to, Bradbury then demonstrates how events and people in his personal life fed his classic stories. Inspiring, funny and delivered with irreverent wisdom, Bradbury's account of his career is a sincere argument for "writing what you know". This talk is available on streaming video through Google Video.
The Commonwealth Club of California has been bringing fascinating speakers to their forum since 1903. Their podcast feed currently features almost two years of speaking events. Many of the podcasts feature authors such as actor Alan Alda on his book Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, humorist P. J. O'Rourke on his book On the Wealth of Nations, and author Barbara Ehrenreich talking about her book Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy. This forum also features panel discussions on a variety of topics such as the Summer of Love, America's Budget Crisis, Religion in U.S. Culture and Society, Moving Forward in Iraq, Capitalism 3.0, The Politics Of Food, Health of Africa, and Digital Health. Scroll down the list of their podcasts and you're sure to find something that interests you.
Download two of Booker T. Washington's most famous essays "Case of the Negro" (1896) and "Awakening of the Negro" (1899). Confronting the New South after the Civil War, Washington argues with eloquent prose for African Americans to embrace self reliance, hard work, and education in order to advance toward a better future in their communities. He opposed violent and confrontational protesting and felt that angry mobs could not overcome racism in the long run. Download these two essays on MP3 from LearnOutLoud.com, courtesy of FreeAudio.org.
In this downloadable offering from the The Freeway Guides, financial expert Peter Bielagus gives tips to maximize your money. He covers ways to improve your credit score, to pick your financial advisor, to choose the right loan for a home. and how to get the most out of applying for financial aid. This title is available on MP3 download directly through LearnOutLoud.com.
Bryan Golden, author of the book Dare to Live Without Limits, offers his ten basic principles for living a limitless life. These principles are:
In this 15 minute MP3 download, Golden provides the detailed advice and motivation about these ten principles. It's a great listen to start the week. This title was created and offered for free through our TeachOutLoud service.
37. Ron Paul Envisions Smaller Government, Less Global Intervention
In this interview conducted by Judy Woodruff on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul lays out his platform for increasing liberty, reducing the size of the federal government, bringing the troops home from Iraq and throughout the world, and many more of his ideas which set him apart from the other Republican presidential candidates. This 20-minute interview is an excellent introduction to a conservative and libertarian candidate that has gained a loyal grassroots following. It is available on MP3 download and streaming audio & video from the Online Newshour.
36. Building Healthy Lifestyles Conference (Unfortunately this is no longer available through our site as iTunes U will not allow us to link to them, but you can search it in iTunes U)
The Building Healthy Lifestyles Conference is held at Arizona State University and hosted by their department of Exercise, Wellness and Nutrition. At the conference numerous doctors and health professionals discuss best practices that have proven results for a healthier life. Topics lectured on include Mindfulness Practice Programs, Surviving Cancer through Exercise and Nutrition, the effects of Sleep on Wellness, and the keynote address "Physical Inactivity as a Major Public Health Problem in the 21st Century". These lectures provide great insight into methods for building a healthy lifestyle. Lectures from this conference are available to download on audio & video from iTunes U.
Download this essay by German philosopher Immanuel Kant. One of the last Enlightenment philosophers, Kant puts forth his definition of Enlightenment, in reference to the question about what had occurred during the Age of Enlightenment in 18th century Europe and America. Kant feels that it was not a social movement adopted by the masses, but rather an individual movement where certain persons gained the courage to think for themselves and to argue against the paternalism of institutions which were heretofore unquestioned. Kant sees the freedom of reasoning and argumentation as central to the Age of Enlightenment, but this revolution of independent thought can only be achieved through an individual's striving for intellectual maturity. Download this free essay on MP3 exclusively through LearnOutLoud.com.
In these downloadable episodes presented by American Public Media, various experts go in depth on Albert Einstein's religious views and how they informed his incredible achievements. Topics discussed include the Einstein's concept of time and eternity, his belief in a non-personal God and how all of this has contributed to modern science. This series is a great way to reacquaint yourself with Einstein's massive contribution to human understanding and the underlying spirituality that infused every breakthrough. It is available on audio download from the Speaking of Faith website.
HumanMedia.org produces Public Radio Programs featuring voices of vision, conscience and compassion. Most of the programs are written and produced by David Freudberg and they feature hundreds of programs for sale on download and CD on their website at HumanMedia.org. Their podcast series provides captivating excerpts from their programs. In recent shows they've featured programs with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh, The Unabomber's Brother, Ken Burns, along with shows on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi, and Helen Keller. Enjoy these free podcasts from HumanMedia.org.
32. 60 Second Lectures from the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts & Sciences (Unfortunately this is no longer available through our site as iTunes U will not allow us to link to them, but you can search it in iTunes U)
Listen to 60 Second Lectures delivered by the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts & Sciences. These one-minute lectures are always entertaining and often quite impressive in regards to how much knowledge the professors can pack into 60 seconds. Some of the best lectures are "Human History" w/ Professor Alan Charles Kors, "The Unknown" w/ Professor Peter Struck, and "The Nature of Nature" w/ Professor Rebecca Bushnell. There's about 20 lectures so it'll only take you about 20 minutes to get through them all. These lectures are offered through iTunes U on Audio & Video Download.
31. Jung Podcast
This podcast is devoted to the understanding of the analytical psychology of the great Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. Jungian analyst John Betts (who graduated from the International School of Analytical Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland) introduces listeners to Carl Jung's theories of archetypes, the structure of the psyche, the Shadow, the Anima & Animus, the Persona, Jungian dream interpretation, and he's just getting started! John Betts is incredibly lucid and articulate in describing these theories, providing real life examples and quoting Jung and other Jungians as he goes along. It's basically a course on Jung, and one would do best to start with Betts' first podcasts and work his or her way through them.
Listen to this talk at the Forum at Grace Cathedral as the the Very Rev. Alan Jones interviews Dr. Jane Goodall. Goodall is best known for her study of chimpanzee social and family life which she conducted for 45 years. In the interview she answers a range of questions regarding the relationship between science and religion, the benefits of the bonds with animals, vegetarian diets, confronting overpopulation, and other topics. This program is available on MP3 download and streaming audio from the Grace Cathedral Forum, and on streaming video from FORA.tv.
Audiobooks.org is now offering a free unabridged recording of Stephen Crane's Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage. Listen as the soldier Henry Fleming enters the American Civil War, and is forced to transform from fear to courage. Told in an unflinchingly realistic and journalistic style, this novel ranks among the best American war stories. It is professionally narrated by Scott Brick and available on MP3 download from Audiobooks.org.
In this fascinating lecture from the University Channel, author Stephanie Coontz shows how the good old days of marriage weren't always as happy as we'd like to believe, and that marriage has had its difficulties throughout history. Her main point is that because marriage is based on choosing who you love in contemporary society, it has the potential to be more satisfying than in the past, but it has also made the institution more unstable. This lecture is available on streaming & downloadable video and MP3 audio download.
This past year American author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. passed away at the age of 84. Watch one of his last interviews which was conducted by John Hockenberry of The Infinite Mind series, and recorded live in the virtual on-line community called Second Life. It's a thoroughly entertaining interview with questions from the Second Life audience and Vonnegut's thoughts on America towards the end of his life. He also discusses his final work which is a collection of essays entitled A Man Without a Country. This streaming video is offered by Lichtenstein Creative Media and is available through Google Video.
After serving for ten years as U.N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan delivered his final address on December 11, 2006. Annan calls on the legacy of Harry Truman who helped found the United Nations and urges international cooperation with an emphasis on human rights. He quotes Truman's credo that "the responsibility of the great states is to serve and not dominate the peoples of the world". This speech is offered by C-SPAN and available through Audible.com on audio download.
In this lecture from MIT, author & meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn shares his perspectives on a society that is busy all the time. He provides insights into how we can regard time from the perspective of mindfulness, and suggests that in our effort to be technologically connected to everyone, we often lose connection to our true self. This lecture is available on streaming audio & video as well as MP3 download.
Listen to over 50 MP3 downloads in the JimCollins.com Lecture Hall. Jim Collins (author of Good to Great & Built to Last) provides succinct advice for leadership both in business and in the social sectors in this series of MP3 downloads. Everyone can benefit from these lecture snippets which include great ideas such as how to make a "Stop Doing" list and how to evolve into a "Level 5" leader. Enjoy these free MP3 downloads from JimCollins.com.
Listen to William Shakespeare's famous tragedy Macbeth on streaming audio and MP3 download. This full cast dramatization of the play is offered by Wired for Books. Hear all the drama of Macbeth's bloody grab for power and his subsequent unraveling. The play stars Mark Mann as Macbeth and Laura Lee Parrotti as Lady Macbeth.
Start off your week with some perspective from philosophy professor & Christian author Dallas Willard as he attempts to explain "What Does It Mean To Be Human?". In his authoritative style, Dallas Willard clarifies the core tenants that make a healthy human being tick in this downloadable audio lecture released by the Veritas Forum. Willard explores the ever-changing cultural currents that have led to our current identification of self in the 21st century; a series of trends that he feels have done more harm than good. It is his belief that a God-centered need for love and knowledge is being lost in a society that puts a premium on desire. Always insightful and frequently controversial, Willard's lectures offer cogent arguments that cut through the dogma in order to define religion's role in the modern world. This lecture is available on MP3 Download and streaming audio.
Listen to these podcast interviews conducted by life coach Mary Allen as she talks with top authors and speakers in the self development world. This podcast features in-depth, hour-long interviews with authors such as Les Brown, Caroline Myss, Dr. Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks, Adyashanti, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Byron Katie, Jim Rohn, and others. The interviews cover key teachings and biographical stories from these leaders in personal growth.
Elvis Mitchell's The Treatment Podcast is a weekly discussion with some of the film industry's most interesting creators. With each episode, Mitchell sits down and discusses a director's body of work, argues with actors over their craft and discusses film history with various authors. A must for anyone interested in the scholarly aspects of filmmaking, this podcast is a concise resource on what it takes to make compelling movies.
In this inspiring conversation released on digital download by WGBH, Pulitzer prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talks about Abraham Lincoln, the success of his presidency, and the men that made up his cabinet. Kearns discusses her take on Lincoln's thought processes, what led him to make hard decisions, and why this soft spoken, physically gangly man was ultimately able to command the respect of a nation. Kearns speaks of her subject like she would a friend and gives equal attention to Lincoln's cabinet, a group of one-time rivals that would later become committed loyalists at a time when the country needed his singular leadership. This lecture is available on MP3 download as well as streaming audio and video.
Audible.com is currently offering "The Easter Story" for free on download from the popular dramatized audio Bible Inspired By...The Bible Experience. This dramatization features performances by reknowned actors, sound effects, and music. It makes for a very dramatic listening experience.
Can we Create conscious machines that are every bit as self-aware as a human being? Ray Kurzweil and David Gelertner debate the feasibility of this question in this downloadable audio released by WGBH. Kurzweil argues that future technology will allow humans to mechanically simulate consciousness, to which Gelertner counters that mere replication doesn't necessarily lead to self- awareness. Listen in on this lively and thought provoking discourse on what makes the human brain unique. This debate is available on streaming audio & video and MP3 download.
Download audio lectures of this Modern Art History course which is being offered through iTunes U from the Otis College of Art and Design. In these lectures Jeanne Willette covers many schools of modern art including (in the order they developed) Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Fauvism, German Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Dada, Bauhaus, Surrealism, and a few other schools and movements. Jeanne Willette is an excellent lecturer who's able to describe the styles and themes of the movements without visual accompaniments. She also provides the political and social context which these art movements arose from. Enjoy this free introduction to Modern Art from the Otis College of Art and Design. (Unfortunately this is no longer available through our site as iTunes U will not allow us to link to them, but you can search it in iTunes U)
In this downloadable series from iTunes U, professor Robert Harrison hosts discussions with other academics on variety of philosophical and literary topics. These hour-long conversations probe into the areas of expertise of many of Stanford's top professors and scholars. Listen to Harrison debate with American philosopher Richard Rorty about what contemporary philosophy can be applied to, or hear the author of The Population Bomb, Paul R. Ehrlich, discuss the fate of Earth in the 21st century, or learn about French philosopher René Girard's concept of Mimetic desire in relation to literature. Through other discussions, many literary figures are covered including Albert Camus, Marcel Proust, Martin Heidegger, Henry David Thoreau, Vladimir Nabokov, and Virgil. Download these audio talks available through iTunes U.
Offered by Medio Media and The World Community for Christian Meditation, these are talks delivered by Fr. Laurence Freeman O.S.B. to the Monks of Gethsemani Abbey. In the eight talks featured in this title Fr. Freeman discusses Christian meditation and how to remain in a prayerful state at all times. This free title was published through our TeachOutLoud service and it is available on MP3 download directly through LearnOutLoud.com.
One of the most well-produced cooking video podcasts out there, Start Cooking Video Podcast provides very clear and essential instructions for how to cook over 40 different recipes of food. Host Kathy Maister narrates over the efficiently-edited visual guides to cooking the various recipes. No matter what level of cooking you've done, these video podcasts are perfect for helping you to start cooking something new.
Grammar Girl's Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing is a podcast devoted to helping listeners improve their writing skills. Taking a nuts and bolts approach, these short podcasts clarify common errors in English grammar in precise detail. If you've ever wondered whether or not you should use lie or lay in a sentence, or if that comma splice was used correctly, this podcast will give you the answers. Listen to over forty podcasts from Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty.
Choose from 100 short stories to listen to on Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast. This mysterious woman with a French accent has been reading short stories as podcasts every since early 2005. Listen to classic stories by Nikolai Gogol, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Kate Chopin, Franz Kafka, Jack Kerouac, George Orwell, Graham Greene, and many other masterful writers of short fiction. Take your pick from this growing collection of classic short stories.
This hour-long audio documentary from American RadioWorks celebrates the great African American speakers of the last century. In chronological order it covers speeches all the way back to Booker T. Washington's address at the Atlanta Cotton States and International Exposition up to Barack Obama's recent speech at the Democratic National Convention. The hour-long documentary features excerpts of the speeches with interviews and commentary on their significance, and if you liked a particular speech American RadioWorks offers each speech individually as streaming audio so you can listen to it in its entirety or you can download each individual speech through iTunes U. The hour-long audio documentary is free to listen to on streaming audio from the American RadioWorks site.
With the History of the Byzantine Empire Podcast, Lars Brownworth examines the 12 rulers that have come to represent a unique era in Roman history; a period marked by decline. With an excellent handle on the subject and concise delivery, Brownsworth devotes each episode to an Emperor; describing the man, how he came to power, how he ruled, and what his legacy was thereafter. When taken as a whole, each bite-sized character profile tells the overall story of the Roman Empire as it struggled to survive during the middle ages.
Over the course of ten weeks Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle teach an online class covering Tolle's book A New Earth, which was featured in Oprah's Book Club. These classes are being webcasted on Oprah.com and they're being offered as a free podcast on both audio & video. Oprah and Tolle also field questions from viewers through the internet call service Skype.
LearnOutLoud.com's U.S. Presidents Podcast features biographies of some of the most reknowned American presidents from the past. It is unique in that we have drawn our biographies from the free web-based encyclopedia Wikipedia. To start off the podcast we chose to feature four of the most highly ranked presidents according to historians, political scientists, and popular opinion polls. This podcast currently features the complete Wikipedia entries for:
Wired for Books is offering a page full of downloadable MP3 interviews with many of the best authors in contemporary literature. Compiled from the 1980s CBS Radio show, Book Beat, these interviews feature journalist Don Swaim spending roughly a half hour with the author discussing their books. Swaim seems to have done his research and to have read the works of the authors he interviews. The interviews seem very relaxed and off-the-cuff. Here's a list of some of the people Swaim interviews: Douglas Adams, Maya Angelou, Isaac Asimov, Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume, Ray Bradbury, William F. Buckley, Anthony Burgess, William Burroughs, Raymond Carver, Joan Didion, E. L. Doctorow, Bret Easton Ellis, Joseph Heller, John Irving, Erica Jong, Garrison Keillor, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Amy Tan, Studs Turkel, John Updike, Gore Vidal, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Elie Wiesel, and hundreds more.
5. Alpha Break
Listen to this free 12 Min. MP3 download offered by Effective Learning Systems. This spoken word program is designed to put listeners in a relaxed state both mentally and physically. It can be used again and again at any time during the day. Download this free MP3 from LearnOutLoud.com.
Listen to one of the great spiritual texts of all time. The Bhagavad Gita is revered as sacred by Hindu traditions, and the teachings that the divine Krishna gives to Arjuna act as a guide to much of Hindu philosophy.
Listen to the ideas of the great 20th century philosopher Bertrand Russell on "The Value of Philosophy", which comes from the final chapter of his 1912 book The Problems of Philosophy. In the essay he lays forth his conviction that although philosophy cannot come to any certain answers regarding the questions it asks, these questions are important in that they enlarge our views of the universe beyond the narrow viewpoints of practical men, who are concerned solely with the material world. The piece is well read by Paul Sunderland. You can now download this excerpt directly from LearnOutLoud on MP3!
Listen to Dr. King's final speech which he delivered the night before his assassination. In this prophetic speech, Dr. King looks back over his life and thanks God that he was able to take part in the victories of the civil rights era. He makes a passionate cry for nonviolence and freedom throughout the world, and confesses that no matter what happens to him that humanity will make it to the Promised Land. This speech is available on MP3 download and streaming audio & video from American Rhetoric.
By far one of the largest collections of free literature to be released for free on MP3 download is the University of South Florida's Lit2Go collection, now available through directly through their site. This treasure trove of free downloadable audio books, poetry, and short stories is aimed at K-12 educators, but most of its resources can be enjoyed by literature listeners of all ages. We've added the best audio books to our site.
And that's it for our Top 50 Free Resources from the past year!!!
Posted by LearnOutLoud | Permalink
April 11, 2008
You can take your education anywhere you go when you tune into a free educational podcast. These podcasts should appeal to traditional students, distance learners, and anyone else who wants to study on the go. From pop culture to advanced physics, your options are vast. The following free university podcasts should be very enlightening:
1. Quantum Mechanics Discusses the theory of relativity and other physics-related topics.
2. Geography of World Cultures This should help anyone who is taking a class in world cultures and anyone who travels regularly.
3. Ben Franklin and the World of Enlightenment Learn about Ben Franklin's life and achievements.
4. The Literature of Crisis From Socrates to Shakespeare, this podcast discusses existential literature.
5. General Biology Those learning the fundamentals of biology will benefit from this podcast.
6. Issues in Foreign Policy After 9/11 A heated discussion from the politically charged campus of Berkeley.
7. Human Emotion The science and psychology of human emotion.
8. Introduction to Human Nutrition This is a helpful podcast for anyone, not just students.
9. Nintendo: A History of Innovation Discusses the history of the company and its many innovations.
10. Italiano 2.02 Learn all about the Italian culture, from language to cuisine.
11. Game2Know Focus IDC Topics related to online gaming and more.
12. Business Ethics General discussions on business ethics.
As you can see, there is a wide variety of topics being covered by some of the most famous universities in the country. One can almost receive a completely free college education just by tuning into podcasts like the ones above.
Heather Johnson is a freelance writer, as well as a regular contributor for OEDB, a site for learning about online education. Heather invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by LearnOutLoud | Permalink