The days of waiting for professional development opportunities are long gone. Modern teachers take advantage of many platforms for readily-available, free self-learning. I’m keen to share my most recent discovery in the world of PD: podcasts. For years, I have been carrying that purple app in my pocket, totally unused. I had literally never opened it until last week. I spent years overlooking such a beneficial outlet for professional learning.
As I explained in my last blog post, my #OneWord2018 is ‘balance’. I’m looking for opportunities to “work smarter, not harder” so that I can balance the different areas of my life without sacrificing any. The first step in this process was to find a way to continue self-learning while on the go. Podcasts are the answer!
What is a podcast?
The word podcast was derived by combining ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’. A podcast is a digital audio or video file that can be downloaded or streamed from the internet via a computer or mobile device. Content creators develop their podcast shows by releasing episodes. Through the pre-installed Podcasts app (on Apple devices), you can subscribe to your favourite shows and be updated with new episodes when they are released. More detailed instructions can be found here. Although ‘iPod’ is in the name, podcasts are not just available through Apple products. Google Play and Spotify are two other options, but there are many more.
Many podcast shows are dedicated to education and professional development. They offer inspiring and informative episodes for you to enjoy and learn from on the go. At some point, I’ll create a list of favourites on this blog. For now, I direct your attention to the Education Podcast Network (EPN). EPN is a collection of education podcasts created for teachers, by teachers. This is a great place to start your search for great teaching-related shows, but by no means a definitive list. So far, I have been particularly enjoying The Cult of Pedagogy, Inside Innovation and StartEdUp, but I’ve barely scratched the surface. There’s a lot more to discover and a lot more to learn.
Why listen to podcasts?
Podcasts allow you to multi-task and make better use of your “wasted” time. You can continue learning while in your car, on a run, while cooking, etc. As much as I love learning from books and blogs, I’m grateful to have found a hands-free option for professional learning. Give it a try and let me know how you get on.
Many of my PLN friends have chosen ‘grateful’ as their #OneWord2018. Whether it’s your chosen word or not, it’s always nice to share our appreciation. If you appreciate the podcast creators as much as I do, leave them a much-deserved review.
Like I said, I’m new to podcasts. If anyone has any advice or recommended shows, please leave a comment below and share your experience. Your input is always appreciated.
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