This was a big week here at The Teacher Learning Sessions. That’s because this week we launched our first two podcast series: Stories from the Teaching Life with Penny Kittle, and Re:Teaching, which features conversations with notable educators and authors.
These podcasts are filled with great content and expertise from amazing authors, and we have done our best to make them valuable learning tools for you. If you already listen to podcasts, we hope shows from our podcast network will help augment your current PD experience. If you don’t listen to podcasts yet, here are three reasons why now is the best time to start.
Podcasts are convenient.
Podcasts meet you where you are. They make no demands that you be in a certain place at a particular time and focused on a specific station or website. They expect nothing of you. They make no demands. They are simply there for you when you are ready for them.
Teachers are busy, busy, busy, busy. You all know that. Podcasts bring you great content, on demand.
Podcasts are portable.
Do you have your phone on you right now? Are you reading this on a phone? If you are, thank you. I’m flattered that you are making space for this among your favorite songs, your social media network, photos of your family, and the games you play in your spare time. You have the entire contents of the internet in your hand. But keep reading–that will all be there when you finish.
The point is that most of us carry our phone around with us everywhere we go because it is such a critical part of how we live our lives. It’s our connection to the rest of the world. And podcasts expand our understanding of that world.
Where do you bring your phone? It’s almost easier to approach this from the opposite side. Where do you not bring your phone? Where are you not connected?
Podcasts provide connection.
Like any shared experience, podcasts provide a common ground for listeners. They create a shared pool of information, a starting point for conversation, and a tide to raise all boats.
But that’s true for any piece of memorable content. What makes podcasts different?
It’s in the way we, as humans, connect to sound. When we hear somebody speak, the connection (or disconnection) is nearly instantaneous. And why is that? Voice. As writers, we strive to articulate our written voice. As teachers, we help our students strive to find the voice of their character. As listeners, we seek the human voice, and when we hear it, we know.
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”
– Maya Angelou
Podcasts are a supplement, not a substitute.
Notice that I said adding podcasts to your PD mix. I didn’t say podcasts should monopolize, take over, or dominate your PD mix. But you should start to add them in. For the reasons expanded on above–convenience, portability, connection–podcasts fill a niche in the PD space that can’t be reached by books, journals, or video. But used in combination with any of those tools, podcasts can enrich your learning and deepen your connection with professionals around you, wherever they are.
So start listening today!
Go explore! Check out some podcasts. Listen to them, and share them with your colleagues.
I can think of 2 excellent options you can find right here on the site before they are available anywhere else. Two more preview episodes will be posted Monday. Both series will be available on iTunes soon.
But there are millions of others to choose from as well. Don’t know what to listen to? We can help you start. (tip: don’t try to listen to them all.)
If you sign up for our email list, you will receive podcast recommendations delivered to your in-box, every week. Most of them will be education-focused, but we will include others as well. The first edition will be sent out on Sunday.