I think I created my first podcast in 2007 (maybe a bit earlier); however, it was really just me, creating audio files and screencasts and sending them as emails or posting them in Blackboard for students to access.
Podcasts can be an effective tool in delivering professional development.
Have you considered how podcasts can be used to address professional learning goals?
If you already subscribe to podcasts, then you know how informative and entertaining they can be. If you are new to podcasts, or the idea I’m pitching for their use in delivering professional learning opportunities…keep reading.
- Cheap (usually free)
- Highly accessible (sometimes include transcripts)
- Global resources that allows to go deeper into just about any topic
Here are a few ideas to get you started in using podcasts in PD:
• Before your next professional development event/course/meeting, invite participants/students/colleagues to listen to a podcast episode (part of your flipped learning opportunities). After they’ve had a listen, ask them to identify a favorite quote or tip from the episode and bring it to the even to share with others. You can also use the pre-learning opportunities as a way to develop a common vocabulary, to provide foundational knowledge, and/or introduce content allowing you to go deeper during the PD event.
• During your professional development event, invite participants/students/staff to listen to a controversial podcast episode and brainstorm the pros and cons raised by the podcast hosts. You can also engage participants in a jigsaw cooperative learning activity where small groups listen to (and/or read transcripts) podcasts episodes related to your topic. For example, participants pick from three episodes on three different topics (offering choices is always a good idea), listen to the episode, and take notes. Re-divide participants into new groups where they teach one another what they learned. Participants rotate until everyone has shared.
• After a professional development event, or even at the end of a semester long course, send out a link to a podcast episode to help participants remember key points, to extend their learning, or help get them unstuck as they apply what they have learned. You can also harness the power of multiple episodes by picking one podcaster to follow with your staff for a year…sort of like a book club where everyone listens to the latest episode and then comes together to talk about implications for practice.
So, you ask, “What’s on my list?”
Well, I have a very eclectic subscription list…anything from how to run a business (e.g., Seth Godin), to inspiration (e.g., TED Radio Hour), to education (e.g., The Whole Child)…but here are a few of my favorites:
- Child Care Bar & Grill: “A humorous, informative, and slightly irreverent podcast for child care providers and other early learning professionals hosted by authors, speakers, and play advocates, Lisa Murphy and Jeff A Johnson.”
- Recommended episode: “K-Ready“
- Synergy Autism Podcast: “This podcast’s mission is to bring listeners the inside view of our autism community and how passionately we all work for the same mission – to better understand autism together.”
- The Preschool Podcast for Leaders in Early Childhood Education: “The goal of the The Preschool Podcast is to provide inspiration and knowledge to the future leaders of early childhood education by speaking with experienced and insightful leaders in the world of preschool and early learning today.”
- Click here to listen to a conversation I had with Ron (the host) about blended programs and inclusion
- The Inclusion Podcast: “Dr. Julie Causton shares everything happening in the exciting world of special education and school inclusion!”.
- On Being with Krista Tippett: “On Being is a Peabody Award-winning public radio conversation and podcast, a Webby Award-winning website and online exploration, a publisher and public event convener. On Being opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? We explore these questions in their richness and complexity in 21st-century lives and endeavors. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact.” (text taken from http://www.onbeing.org/about).
- Recommended episode: “The Inner Life of Rebellion” (spoiler alert, @parkerjpalmer is one of the guests)
- Good Life Project: “In-depth, unscripted, deeply-inspiring conversations and insights from acclaimed artists, entrepreneurs, makers and world-shakers.”
- Recommended episode: “Sir Ken Robinson: The True Story of an Education Revolutionary“
P.S. If you are ready to get transform your professional development using podcasts, take a minute to learn how to subscribe to podcasts…and then start learning from experts around the globe!