Learning by Listening

“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I am going to learn, I must do it by listening.” -Larry King

Several years ago I discovered audiobooks. Later, I became a member of Audible. Most of my early books were non-fiction autobiographies/biographies, like I enjoyed reading as a teenager. Approaching 40-years-old, I added books about nutrition and exercise. While listening to these books did not turn me into a man of steel with six-pack abs, they helped me adjust my heating and exercise habits.

At the time I taught at a residential treatment facility. My students were 12-19 years old with varying reading abilities. Consequently, I began to purchase more audio versions of books available in our class library. I made the audio version available to students to help students experience books they might struggle to read.

For Christmas 2006 I received an iPod. I could now use play my audiobooks without my computer or a cd player. Within a month, I discovered podcasts-recordings of discussions, interviews or stories that could be downloaded to my computer, then transferred to my iPod.

When the speakers stopped working in my car, I switched from listening to music using my iPod to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. With over 45 minutes driving one way, I was able to listen for extended periods. When I switched to an iPhone I was able to use the Podcast and Audible app to speed up listening speed to 2X or 3X the regular speed.

Since my first listen, I have bought 130 audiobooks and downloaded thousands of podcasts. Why do I continue to use audiobooks and podcasts for learning?

The books and the podcasts have allowed me to review material several times. If I want to rewind to re-listen to a point, I can. I can share a podcast or idea from a book through social media. I can keep my focus on a book, by listening to the audiobook at the same time I am reading the physical text. I can use travel time for learning and growing, which is valuable for someone who averages about 25,000 miles a year.


Share your thought and comments below. I look forward to continuing the conversation about learning by listening. Please let me know what you think about my blog entries and help me to reflect and learn by commenting below.


My Commitment – April Blog a Day Challenge

I have joined the #AprilBlogaday Challenge. The goal is to submit a blog entry every day in April. I will not promise each blog entry will be motivational, energetic, and thought-provoking. However, I will do my best to continue to reflect on my journey of learning and my areas of growth.