Edupodcasts – Listening for enjoyment and informal CPD
When you’re making a podcast and enjoy it as much as most of us do, it’s really easy to forget that actually most people don’t have a clue that podcasts are out there. So the aim of this blog is to let you know a bit about podcasts, how you can access them, why you should consider giving them a go and some suggestions of which to try.
Let’s start at the beginning, what actually is a podcast?
A bit more reading tells me that the term came from the merging of the words iPod (Who?!) and broadcast, so strictly speaking we should probably be calling them something else now. But it seems the name has stuck, which is good, because otherwise I’d need a new hashtag, #pagepracticewebcast doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…
Next up, how do I access podcasts?
Now this one depends on what device you are using. For Apple users you have the Apple Podcasts app at your finger tips, android you have Google Podcasts as your equivalent. You’ll find most podcasts listed here. There are a range of apps around to make things easier for you though, I personally use Overcast, I’ve heard of PocketCasts too. It doesn’t make a huge amount of difference, just find an app you are comfortable with using. Have this app on your phone, or whatever you’re likely to be listening on, and away you go! You can listen on your commute, at the gym, walking the dog, going for a run or doing the ironing. The great thing about podcasts is the flexibility to listen whenever and wherever you like, on demand. I use the time travelling between home and work to tune into my favourite podcasts.
But importantly, why should I bother with podcasts?
It’s all a matter of personal choice. Maybe you enjoy reading books and blogs and the idea of listening doesn’t appeal to you. That’s completely fine. For me the major advantage is that I use time when I am in the car or in the gym and can’t be doing anything else. I can’t read when I’m doing these things, so it’s a really easy way to get some quality input and get me thinking.
What I like about podcasts is that by subscribing to a few, they bring me topics and people that I would never have found myself. They’re downloaded straight to my phone with no effort required. Sometimes they prompt me to want to try something out, read something different or influence my thinking in some way. I don’t think I get that so easily, or in such an enjoyable format elsewhere.
Ok I’m convinced, what should I listen to?
Now this question you’ll really need to answer for yourself, there’s so much out there. You have to have a rough idea of what type of thing you want to listen to and what your requirements are. Do the episodes need to be short? Do you need to hear more than one person? Would you like an interview format? What topics do you want to hear about? Try a few, you’ll soon get a really good feel of what’s for you and what isn’t. I tend to know now after an episode or less if it is a podcast that I am going to want to listen to again.
Hopefully soon there is going to be a directory of sorts for you to access to find the podcasts for you. But for now, I will list just some of the ones I know of here:
From Page to Practice – this is my podcast and is all about applying reading about education to classroom practice. It is released fortnightly on Sunday nights. It often features a contribution from the author and always includes multiple contributions from people in education that have read the book, talking about how they have applied it to their practice.