Sunday, February 26, 2017

Two Podcasts Educators Should Be Listening To

Educators are busy people.  They also, for the most part, are looking for ways to continue improving their practice and model the lifelong learning they hope their students will take part in.  Finding time to participate in professional learning can be time consuming, costly, and sometimes not very applicable or relevant to what is going on in their specific school or classroom.  So what's a teacher to do?  Enter: the wonderful world of podcasts! 

In the past year or so I've become a podcast junkie, and I find myself listening in my car as I'm driving to and from work, at the grocery store, while I'm cleaning the house, and walking the dog.  The best part about podcast listening is I can be entertained while still learning new and valuable ideas.  I can return to the parts that interest me and skip ahead when I'm not connecting to the content.  I get to choose when and where I listen and for how long.  Podcasts have become my on-demand personalized professional learning.  While my podcast palette is quite expansive and diverse, I've stumbled upon a few podcasts that are perfect for listeners in educational settings.  

The Google Teacher Tribe Podcast
This podcast has made it's way to the top of my list for a few reasons:
  1. I mean, it's hosted by Matt Miller, author of Ditch That Textbook, and Kasey Bell, creator of the Shake Up Learning website and blog. Duh.
  2. Each episode has an educator-centered theme that focuses on the effective use of Google tools in the classroom.  You can walk away with at least one new way to think about how you and your students can benefit from using GSuite (previously GAFE) in new, innovative ways.
  3. Matt Miller and Kasey Bell provide information about the latest updates to GSuite.  I mean, keeping up with all the changes Google implements could be a full-time job, so this helps keep you in the know without a lot of effort!
  4. The hosts' goal is to have a GSuite lesson plan hub that teachers can access and use in their classrooms.  Each guest on the show is asked to share a lesson they've done using Google tools, and educators will eventually be able to take these lessons and modify them to meet the needs of their students.  Time saver?  I think so!

My Bad

Listening to this podcast has made me appreciate all over again how challenging it is to be a educator.  A huge part of your day consists of making hundreds of split-second decisions.  Sometimes we don't always get them right.  I love this podcast because the host Jon Harper, an administrator of an elementary school in Maryland, openly shares the mistakes he has made in his role as an educator.  He also has different guests well-known in the education field join him each episode.  These guests also share their missteps, judgement errors, and reflections on how these decisions impacted the teachers and students they work with.  If that alone doesn't peak your interest, here are a few more reasons you should download a few episodes:
  1. The episodes are short.  And I mean less that 20 minutes short.
  2. The host and the guests share how they remedied most of their mistakes.  As an educator, I'd love to have a few of these ideas in the back of my mind to save me from making the same mistakes!
  3. It's totally relatable.  I've said to myself multiple times while listening, "I've done that too!"  It's nice to know you're not alone, and you don't have to be perfect all of the time.  
Let's be honest... one additional bonus to podcasts is they are FREE.  There is no cost or commitment; if you don't like it, stop listening and find another podcast that does peak your interest.  

I'd love to hear what other podcasts you're listening to (education related and otherwise).  Or if you're new to podcast listening, I'd love to chat about a few others of my favorites.  In any case, happy learning and happy listening!

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