Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Gretchen Reilly history podcasts

Gretchen Ann Reilly is a history professor at Temple College, Texas. She is involved in all of the basic history programs and has developed podcasts series for several of them. A couple of these I have commented on in the past and here I want to return to the course History 2311, Western Civilization until 1600. (feed)

There are many more college and university programs I can compare this with, but there are two significant differences one should keep in mind before taking the podcast. One is that Reilly did not record here lectures in class, she quietly sat down with her microphone and recorded what she had to say. This makes the lecture more smooth, more clear, but also a little less lively. She has also cut the issues into pieces extending no longer than 15 minutes. This is a wise decision, because it will help the listener to stay focused on these unadorned monologues.

In important second difference is the entry level, or the target audience Reilly has chosen. She addresses the listener at a much lower level than others. She makes no assumption as to what you already know, understand and are familiar with. If you do, this can be quite a bore. If you don't you will find yourself in relief. She will explain where is Europe, what AD and BC stand for and mean. She will avoid saying the sixteenth century and leave it to you to figure this is some year in the 1500s. Still, she makes sure you will get the basics of the history mainstream right. A perfect introductory history podcast for the absolute beginner.

One last remark. Reilly's feeds are frequently unavailable and than batched back. I am not sure she is uploading new lectures every time - it sure doesn't sound that way. If you cannot reach a feed, just stay subscribed and the content will come back on-line sooner or later.

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