Podcasts You Should Listen To–Teaching and Technology
Lesson Plans on August 24 2015
Many people consider podcasting the future of radio, and they’re not entirely wrong. According to an article in the Washington Post last September, they found that in the course of a month, over 75 million people download at least one podcast, and those numbers are only growing. Some podcasts (the infamous Serial comes to mind) even gaining audiences larger than those of major television programs. It cannot be denied anymore as a major medium for communication and entertainment in the modern world
We at Teq have covered podcasting before in our online PD, particularly as a tool that teachers can use to either record their own lessons, or let students do the recording. However, podcasting also has opened up the audio world to people wanting to learn as much as people who just want to publish their knowledge. Podcasts like TED and NPR’s This American Life expose listeners to topics ranging from science to social justice to self-improvement, while niche storytelling or review channels like Bookfight! and Welcome To Night Vale encourage critical thinking and new approaches to writing and analysis.
However, our focus at Teq is on education, so what we’re really excited about is the rapidly growing list of podcasts dedicated to the art of teaching. For educators with little time or access to professional development, podcasts can be ideal. The platform allows the freedom for teachers, administrators, and others in education to discuss pedagogy, provide practical classroom tips, or introduce new technology with every update! I personally enjoy downloading a couple of episodes of an audio podcast, then listening to them during my commute to get me psyched to write new curriculum.
Here’s a few of our favorite podcasts this month:
Blog Talk Radio: Therapy and Learning Resources
If you work in special education, subscribe to this podcast NOW. Short, sweet, and to the point, each episode targets a unique aspect of working with special needs students and provides practical advice.
Teachers Teaching Teachers
The strongest point of this podcast is that their most frequent guests are teachers—and sometimes students who are still in the classroom. As a result, the conversations about ed tech are real and relatable, and make projects like incorporating Minecraft and high school courses on blogging feel just as relevant and usable as tips on how to survive the first school week.
According to their website on PodOmatic, Techlandia’s mission statement is “simple, great educational content without taking things so seriously.” Many of their podcasts are less formal, simple conversations between experienced teachers, and provide a lot of insight and entertainment at the same time. I especially like the “Grumpy Old Teachers” series as a way of bridging the gap between young teachers and their predecessors.
An interesting take on gamification from a group that I believe would have the best perspective on the theory–teachers who are also gamers. While it’s a video series rather than audio, and a fairly short one at that, I recommend it if you’re a teacher with an Xbox, or just want to look at a new set of teaching tools.
Infinite Thinking Machine
One of the strongest and funniest video podcasts on this list, the educators among the Infinite Thinking Machine cover a wide variety of classroom types, approaches to educational topics, and even include interviews from big names in innovative education. As a starter, I’d recommend trying Episode 48, which covers the writing process using a digital platform that may surprise you. It also helps that these podcasters CLEARLY enjoy their jobs, and present these topics in a way you won’t be able to help laughing at.
Flipped Learning Remixed
Recommended for any teacher considering the flipped classroom format! All of their episodes tackle digital content and pedagogy from within this particular setup, and provide valuable insight and updates on the tech involved. They’re also updating frequently, providing their own takes on big ed conferences such as ISTE in Philadelphia!
Education through a pop-culture lens can be useful, especially for teachers who want to focus on writing lessons their students can relate to. That’s where Nerdycast comes in—each episode has some framing with an element of pop culture, and often weaves that element in how to improve their teaching practice. The host’s experiences range from graphic novels and student blogging to Girl Meets World and classroom bullies, and never neglect the fact that teachers (despite what our students may believe) are people too.
All of these podcasts are available for download through iTunes, as well as a number of other podcast downloading applications like Podcast Addict or PodOmatic. Check out one, or all of them, or explore out even further–this is only a very short list of the content available!