We have talked about 3 reasons that now is the time to add podcasts to your PD mix. What we didn’t talk about in that post is why you should do it in the first place. What benefits to you get from listening to podcasts?
If you already do listen podcasts, you’ll be able to answer that question yourself. In fact, I would appreciate it if you did! You can help your fellow readers by commenting below and adding benefits you’ve experienced from podcast listening.
To start the conversation, here are 5 reasons that I listen to podcasts:
I get smarter.
Really, this is the bottom line and overarching reason that I like listening to podcasts. I learn stuff. I love leaving a podcast thinking differently about a topic than I did when it started. I like the middle-of-the-night epiphany that hits sometimes when I’ve been listening.
I hear new ideas and perspectives.
My daughter starts college in a few weeks, and one reason I am so excited for her is that she is about to experience so many new people and so much thinking that is new to her. But that same excitement can continue in our professional lives. There is such a tremendous wealth of ideas to be found through podcasts that they can really make that possible.
I learn in my in-between time.
Podcasts are incredibly convenient learning tools. I do most of my podcast listening while driving. My friend does hers while she’s on the treadmill. Another does his at night while he’s painting. These are all times that used to be reserved for things other than learning. Now, we can learn anytime and anyplace that we have our phone with us.
I can learn about nearly anything.
I once listened to a podcast episode about earwax. Seriously.
I was subscribed to the Stuff You Should Know podcast, and that episode showed up one day.
I don’t especially care about earwax, and I only think about it every 4 to 17 days when I need to clean house, ear-wise. But I listened to the whole podcast. It was hardly gross at all.
And if you find something you can’t learn about? You have two clear choices: wait a little bit (with the number of new podcasts being added to iTunes daily, it’s just a matter of time until one shows up), or learn about it elsewhere and make you own podcast about it. Like earwax, for instance.
I like sharing what I learn.
Conversations are more interesting when people have a shared knowledge or experience. Podcasts can provide that. While writing this post, I was talking to a colleague who mentioned one specific episode of a show. We went off on it for 5 hilarious minutes. It’s not the same as repeating jokes from a sitcom. It’s about the way that podcast made both of us feel.
It’s not either / or.
Several years ago I produced a video project with Tomie dePaola in which he talked about his love for books and reading: In books, you can learn anything about everything, and everything about anything.
Podcasts are no substitute for books. Don’t get me wrong. Podcasts are awesome, but they don’t have that same scope, rarely offer comparable depth, and provide a very different learning experience. But, they do cover an astounding range of topics and tone. And, I can’t read while I’m driving.
For me, because they’re different, it’s not a question of which is better. Some things I want to learn about from books. Some things I just want to learn about. Some things I don’t even know I want to learn about yet. It’s a question of what I feel like I get from listening. Mostly, I feel like I get smarter.
So what about you?
So what about you: Why do you listen to podcasts?
This question I’ve started asking people recently, and I will share what I learn with you. And I want to ask you to share what you learn with us.
So what about you? Yes, you. Why do you listen to podcasts?
Please share in the comments below.