I have a little commute on my way to work each day. It takes me roughly 30 minutes to get to work depending on where I start my day at MSD of Steuben County. Many teachers have a similar scenario as I. Just like most commuters, I listen to the radio to pass the time. It makes driving much more palatable. As of late, I've been contemplating the time that I travel. Am I making the most of it?
The most common complaint from educators is the issue of time. I hear a lot of comments regarding the amount of time it takes to learn new technology, the time to grade papers, the time to expand your PLN through social media, etc. We've all heard and shared in the groaning, and I'm just as guilty as everyone else. In an attempt to make the most of my time, I decided to substitute my music listening to educational podcasts through the BAM! Radio Network. There is a great variety of topics ranging from technology integration to educational best practices.
This change in lifestyle occurred when I came to the realization that I have almost an entire hour of professional development I can do while driving. Driving isn't the only scenario. What about while I clean the house? What about while washing pots and pans. What about while making dinner? We all have tasks that we accomplish at home where we can make the most of our time as educators. The BAM! Radio Network provides just that. It creates an atmosphere of reflection on my practice as a technology integration coordinator and a teacher. It gives me the opportunity to refine my practice without a huge time commitment.
How do I get started?
It is as simple as visiting http://www.bamradionetwork.com/. On their site, you can listen to a wide variety of educational podcasts. You can create an account, save podcasts in a playlist and listen to multiple episodes in a row. This is a great way to get started and explore various channels that might be of interest to you.
On a mobile device?
For the iPhone users, you're probably already aware of the Podcast app that is built into your device. This one works perfectly fine. You can download other available apps, but this is a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with listening to podcasts.
I happen to be an Android user and my favorite app is Podbean. The app is available on iPhone as well. Honestly, I haven't tried a wide variety of podcast apps, but I liked the user-experience on Podbean and stuck with it. Quite a few free podcast apps have in-app advertisements. Podbean appears to be ad-free as users can actually host their own podcast through the site. The amount of free storage is pretty limited, but it would provide you with a good place to start if you are interested in creating your own Internet radio show.
I have several podcast channels listed just as recommendations. There are plenty of other noteworthy educational podcast stations, but this is just a starter list of some of my favorites. What I really like is that they are typically around the 10-minute mark. This allows me to listen in my spare time or when I'm working on a task that doesn't require a lot of focus.
Every Classroom Matters by Vicki Davis is probably my favorite podcast. Vicki covers a wide range of educational topics that is both challenging and appealing to everyone. She brings in educators that will push your thinking and address some of the tough questions that we want answered.
Here are some of my favorite recent podcasts from Every Classroom Matters:
Tales from the Flip Side is from the author of Flip Your Classroom, Jon Bergmann. Here he chats with various educators to discuss methodologies and the effectiveness of the "flipped model." If you are flipping or using a form of blended learning, this channel is worth your while.
Here are some favorites of mine:
- How Flip Happens: Unpacking a Flipped Close Reading Lesson
- In My Classroom, I Tossed My Desk, Got Rid of Assigned Seats, and...
#EdChat Radio is hosted by Tom Whitby (Founder of the #EdChat Twitter chat). I am not a regular #EdChat participant, but I tend to look back at the discussions and contribute casually. However, I am a big fan of his Podcast because he brings in lead participants to discuss the dialogue that took place during the chat. Educators share their viewpoints and go more in depth on the educational issues the chat addressed.
I'm very proud to say that I'm working with a group of teachers that started their on book study on What Connected Educators Do Differently. The book is really about how we contribute our passion for teaching to others in our school district and beyond. It is about how we glean great ideas from other educators and provide support for teachers around the world. Listening to educational podcasts is a great way to keep connected. Listen and learn. If you find a good one, pass it on to your teacher friends in your building or on social media. Being "connected" keeps us sharp. Being challenged helps us refine our teaching craft.