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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Hi Adam! I’m obsessed with podcasts! I’ve almost completely stopped listening to music! I l have a ton of educational podcasts and I follow true crime (guilty pleasure) podcasts as well. I recommend The Early Childhood Research Podcast, Teachers Talking Tech, Google Teacher Tribe Podcast, Hack Learning. If you’re into equity in education I also like Equi-tea, Code Switch, and Scene on Radio (seeing white series).
Thank you for the suggestions. They sound great! I have subscribed to some of those already but not all. I’ll head over to my app right now and find them.
Great blog post – and a very helpful resource!. I really enjoyed reading this and exploring the links, so I have sent it along to the teaching staff at my school. Have a great new week!
Thanks for the feedback. I hope that your staff appreciates podcasts as much as I do. Let me know if any of you find any more great shows.
I look forward to trying some out. Thanks for sharing. Now to balance the ones I already listen to with some new ones.
Good luck and let me know how you get on! Come back and leave some recommendations if you stumble across any must-haves!
You’re right – they may be old but it’s never too late to take advantage of what’s out there. We haven’t added this to our pd routines yet either, so thanks for getting us going.
As usual, great article!
Zach and Stephanie
Thanks for the comment. They’ve been around for a while, like you say. I’m annoyed that I didn’t discover them earlier. Let me know how you get on and share some recommendations.
Nice post! Like I said on Twitter Podcasts are my favorite. I’m obsessed. To go with your word “balance”, I’ve found “non-educational” podcasts have helped me out just as much, helping me develop strong habits
and mindsets to be an overall better person, which of course makes me a better teacher! Check out School of Greatness with Lewis Howes, The Tim Ferriss Show or Tribe of Mentors Podcast. Find the episodes that appeal to you!
Thanks for sharing your advice here and on Twitter. I really appreciate it and took the recommendations from your blog post. I haven’t yet considered finding non-educational podcasts but I agree that this would contribute towards my goal of being more balanced. I’ll explore more podcats beyond education and keep you posted. Thanks for the recommendations.