The Best of Our Knowledge
12:34 am
Mon January 1, 2007

The Best of Our Knowledge # 850

Albany, NY – ACADEMIC PODCASTING/TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION -
You may have given one, or received on as a gift during the holidays.
We're talking about iPods, those portable digital media players.
Podcasting has become one of the most popular buzzwords on the
Internet in recent years. The term is thrown around so much now,
that its meaning has come to include many things. But it primarily
refers to audio, and sometimes video, automatically distributed online.
And yes, the pod in podcasting is derived from iPod, though one does
not need Apple's brand name digital media player to use podcasts.
As the technology spreads, it's finding its way into colleges and
universities. Schools are using podcasts to distribute lecture audio,
supplemental materials, even homework. In fact, this show is
available via podcast through our website.
Greg Dahlmann reports. (6:45)

ORIGINS OF LIFE - SCIENCE RESEARCH IN EDUCATION SERIES
THE VIRTUAL PLANETARY LABORATORY: CHARACTERIZING EXTRASOLAR TERRESTRIAL PLANETS , Pt.1 of 2 -
How large is the universe? How old is it? Are there other planets like
Earth out there among the stars? Over the centuries, we've all asked
these questions from time to time...whether it be around campfires on
a starry night, or in the halls of universities. Within the next couple of
decades, we may actually have some definitive answers to these
questions. Teams of astronomers continue to discover new worlds.
They've now found about 200 extrasolar planets...planets around other
suns, outside our solar system. Dr. Vikki Meadows is helping recognize habitable worlds and distinguish between planets with, and without life.
Dr. Meadows is a Staff Scientist at the Spitzer Science Center at the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Meadows is the
Principal Investigator for the Virtual Planetary Lab that's helping
characterize extrasolar terrestrial planets.
Glenn Busby reports. (8:38)

The preceding material is supported by the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration.

VOICES IN EDUCATION SERIES
DR. JANNA LEVIN, PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY PROFESSOR -
This series takes us throughout North America for close up looks at
the people inside education. Not just teachers and administrators.
But crossing guards, students, and food service employees too.
This chapter features Dr. Janna Levin, a Professor of Physics and
Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York
City. Dr. Levin's work focuses on theories of the early universe,
chaos, and black holes. She's another excellent example (like the
Origins story before this one) of the important work women are doing
in science and education. Dr. Levin's new book, A Madman Dreams
of Turing Machines , is published by Knoph. She's also the author of
the popular science book, How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a
Finite Time in a Finite Space.
Dr. Janna Levin comments. Produced by Mary Darcy. (2:45)

**(Attention Program Directors. If you know of someone, or receive
calls from listeners who would like to be profiled in this series, please
E-mail Mary Darcy or E-mail TBOOK at
)**