Random Thoughts

Sharing Podcasts across your Network

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I had an idea the other day (don’t laugh…I do get them once in awhile!) that seems to be paying off.

We have these nice older iMacs sitting in our ES HUB (a.k.a. Library). We use one to sync our 10 iPods that the PTA bought for us last year and….well….that’s it. It’s sitting there with a 150GB hard drive and all that’s on it are audiobook files.

So I had and idea while running the other day that I could download podcasts to that machine and then share the library over the internal network so that any teacher or student could access them. In doing this we allow students and teachers access to the podcasts for learning, but do not take up precious space on their local machine’s hard drives. Students…who can’t save anything locally to the laptop cart machines, would still have access to the wealth of information in the podcasts.

This is legal….as far as I know…because the podcasts are all free to begin with. We are not sharing any music or the audiobooks that are on that machine. We’re only sharing the podcasts.

So here’s how I did it:

On a Mac: Go to iTunes- Preferences
On a PC: (I believe it is Tools-Options)

Sharing Library by jutecht.

Now we’re lucky as on our computer image we already had checked “Look for Shared Libraries” on all our machines. So by sharing this one library it automatically appears for the users.

Here’s what they see:

Then of course comes the fun part of finding podcasts (and putting out a call to teachers on what podcasts they like). So far here is what we’ve added.

(All links are to iTunes Store…click on them will take you to iTunes where you can subscribe for free to these podcasts)

1. Apple Quick Tips: A must have for any Apple School (do a search in iTunes…no store link)!
2. TEDTalks Video: We have some teachers addicted to these!
3. Students Teaching Students: Our very own podcast from 5th Graders.
4. CNN Student News: Found this while looking through the store…looks good!
5. SUPER WHY!: From PBS for kids (Great website as well).
6. Teaching with SmartBoards: Great videos…we have a SmartBoard in every room…do I need to say more.
7. SOS Podcast: Yes shameless self promotion…but hey I’m making the list! 🙂

So that’s where I’ve started. Anything else you would recommend adding to the list? Remember the audience is Teachers and Students.

The last thing I need to figure out is some way to organize them as they just come in as a stream with the newest download on top.

I’m pretty excited about this. A great way to spread PD across a school.

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Pingback: Sharing Podcasts Across Your Network

  2. What a fantastic idea! We are in the process of designing a new media library. I know that we have a few REALLY old laptops on hand, that could house this job. We don’t currently use iPods at school, but since we are almost a 1 to 1 laptop school I could see this being a real great addition in the way of teaching and instruction. We are in the early to middle stages of podcasting, but only at the creators level. Many of us that work here, including myself, and the students have yet to utilize others podcasts as a tool to learn from. Thanks so much for this inspiration!

  3. Jeff, this looks like a great idea, but I have a couple questions. First, isn’t there a limit to how many computers can connect to a shared iTunes library? Or is that just a preference the owner can set up? Second, what does this do to your bandwidth? When you have a lot of people connected, doesn’t it clog things up?

  4. Pingback: Gail Potratz

  5. Wondering how you use the 10 iPods the PTA bought for teaching & learning? Our Elementary School PTA has some spare funds…

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