5 Reasons Why Innovative Educators Listen to Podcasts

I remember doing podcast projects with my students almost 10 years ago. They seemed to be all the rage at the time, and I jumped on board as a teacher and a listener. But then, my listening fizzled out. I didn’t take the time to find podcasts that really resonated with what I wanted to learn, and instead heard much of the same information over and over again. I never doubted the form, but I did fade away from why it was an important medium for information.

Then everything changed a few years ago…

I used to have a five-minute commute to work. By the time I got to school I would rarely have time to listen to one song, let alone an audio book, or podcast.

When I began my first administrative role, I spent about 70-80 minutes in the car each day. And although I love music, it’s time I want to spend learning as well as unwinding.

Podcasts rejuvenated me as a learner in ways that I could not expect. I believe they’ll do the same for many teachers and leaders. Here’s my reasons to sway you to listen to podcasts right now:

Podcasts are an easy way to learn with your ears

I try to read as much as I can. But lately I’ve been listening to podcasts in the same way I’ve read through blogs. See, maybe you are like me. I find a great article or post by a new author or blog and automatically start binge reading older posts and articles. Then an hour later I’ve read through 10 posts, watched a video, and want more.

Podcasts are just like that. You listen to an episode on a topic that interests you, like it, and then you can dive into series like you would on Netflix. Let your ears do the learning!

Educators Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts let you connect better than just text

I don’t mean the type of connection that social networks allow you to do, I mean the connection between creator and reader/listener. There are a few blogs that really allow me to connect with the author. But in podcasts, I feel connected to many of the hosts (especially of the shows I listen to regularly). The act of listening and hearing their voice, gets to a deeper level than text.

Podcasts go into depth where sometimes an article can’t…

Podcast vary on length and how frequently they are released. However, they usually take the listener to a further depth into a subject than an article. There is this weird void between a well written article and a book. The article can give lots of great suggestions and advice, whereas the book is a complete manual on the subject. Podcasts fall somewhere in between, and I love that.

Podcasts cross multiple disciplines and platforms

I don’t just listen to education podcasts. In fact, most of the podcasts I listen to are about writing, or business, or life-style, or even stories (like Serial) in podcast form. Because so many of the podcasts I listen to interview guests for their shows, I’ll also hear a guest on a show and jump onto another podcast because of that guest. I’m a big fan of the “Self-Publishing Podcast” and when they interviewed Steve Scott (an author) and I heard about his new podcast, “Self-Publishing Questions”…I immediately was hooked!

Podcasts build a tribe of people who care, share, and learn together

Because of the connections a podcast makes, many of these shows have built a tremendous community around them, filled with people who have interests just like you and want to learn.

Here are a few of the podcasts I listen to regularly and am inspired by in my role as an educator!

The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast

Jennifer Gonzalez is a former secondary language arts teacher, and also has worked as a coach for teachers.  Her podcast is named after her website, Cult of Pedagogy, and it dives into practical strategies, tips, resources, and everything else a teacher needs to know for being successful in 2017.

Here’s what her site says:

Teaching strategies, classroom management, education reform, educational technology — if it has something to do with teaching, we’re talking about it. On the podcast, I interview educators, students, administrators and parents about the psychological and social dynamics of school, trade secrets, and other juicy things you’ll never learn in a textbook. Other episodes feature me on my own, offering advice on ways to make your teaching more effective and more fun.

Beyond that, Jen really wants to create episodes that answer your questions. So be sure to leave a comment, review, or reach out to give her an idea for the next episode!

Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers Podcast

In Truth for Teachers, Angela Watson speaks to the hearts and minds of teachers everywhere. A former teacher, instructional coach, author, and now founder of the 40 Hour Teacher Club–Angela has the experience to connect with what is happening in education (and your classroom) right now.

Truth for Teachers is consistently ranked in the top ten K-12 podcasts on iTunes. Each Sunday, a new 15-20 minute episode is released to speak life, encouragement, and truth into the minds and hearts of educators. Subscribe below to get a fresh dose of inspiration for the week ahead!

If you’re a regular listener of Truth for Teachers, I’d love your feedback–take the TFT survey here and let me know what you want changed and what you want more of! 

Angela hits on many innovative topics, looking at them through the lens of someone who wants what is best for teachers.

The Creative Classroom with John Spencer

John Spencer’s The Creative Classroom podcast is consistently ranked in the top 15 K-12 podcasts on iTunes. Start your school week off each Monday with a thought-provoking 10-15 minute exploration of the creative process. John focuses on helping teachers and schools leaders inspired to boost creativity and spark innovation in any classroom.

From John’s site:

I believe all children are naturally creative. I want to see teachers can transform classrooms into spaces of imagination and wonder. Here’s where I explore what it means to make this a reality. So, here’s a space where I share my journey.

Spencer doesn’t interview many people on this podcast, but instead focuses to tackle a topic in depth like he recently did with an episode: “10 Ways to Leverage Student Choice in the Classroom.” You’ll finish each episode inspired but also ready to take action!

And a few others I jump into when I see an episode that resonates with me:

Introducing My New Podcast: Inside Innovation

If podcasts are something you are listening to right now or something you are thinking about using as a way to jumpstart your professional learning, I’d love for you to check out my new podcast: Inside Innovation.

Inside Innovation Podcast with A.J. Juliani

As a father of four crazy kids, author, and a public school teacher (turned Director of Innovation), I’m sharing strategies, resources, interviews, rants, and practical ways to innovate right now. We look at all the innovative solutions you wish they taught you in grad school, and how to bring back creativity into our schools today (oh, and we definitely have fun while doing it!).

My new podcast is going to be released later this week, with four awesome episodes to get you started listening!

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • I do agree that podcasts are an easy way to learn with my ears as you said which is why I want to listen to comic podcasts to learn more about the Marvel Comic Universe. Since you also mentioned that it lets me connect better than just text, I’ll be able to get a better idea on how it has progressed over the years. Whenever podcasts go into depth where sometimes an article can’t as you pointed out, it’s usually why I want to listen more so
    I’ll try to listen to ones about comics when I find one.

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