The drive to work every morning and the drive home each afternoon are some of my favorite times of the day. For those 25 minute rides, my car transforms from a burgundy Jeep Liberty to a public forum, full of the latest sermons, speeches, talks, and more. My close friends such as Malcolm Gladwell, Steve Jobs, Ravi Zacharias, and many more, regale me with information that enlightens the way I teach and the way I live.
I am speaking of podcasts of course.
Some mornings I am so motivated by what I hear, I practically sprint from my Jeep into school. Other mornings I have to take a minute or two to compose myself as the powerful words have moved me to tears. This is the power of the podcast. And it’s only getting bigger.
“According to survey data from Edison Research, as of 2016, 21% of Americans age 12 or older say they have listened to a podcast in the past month, reflecting steady incremental growth since 2013 – when this share was 12%.”(1)
Still confused on what a podcast is?
A podcast is radio in digital form. It ranges from music and interviews, to talk shows and stories. It really is any audio you can think of. Daily car talk? Got it! Monthly sports radio? Done. Want a weekly show about weird neighbors? It’s probably out there…I think.
Might seem like just another way for people to waste time but there’s something different about listening to something in audio format. Podcasts have the ability to reach people’s minds and hearts the way few other mediums can. While a book or blog can rile some considerable thought, and a video can stir some very humorous sentiment, a podcast can touch deep down into the emotional well of each of it’s listeners.
That is why this year I set out to unleash this power within my school community. Through the use of four different applications I have been able to create short 5-10 minute episodes that focus on the different aspects of learning that are taking place in the classroom. For many years, the medium I used as a PE teacher was constricted to live action photos and brief videos of student’s learning that parents would occasionally see. However, through the podcast, my audience (i.e. the school community) has direct access to what we are doing in the classroom.
They can hear it.
Here’s how I do it. On my iPad, I record students answers, thoughts, and other various aspects of learning through an app called Opinion. After I have sufficient enough audio I transfer the audio to my computer through the use of iTunes. I then download it to GarageBand (an audio editor on Mac) where I can play around, edit, and finalize the podcast. After that I download the finished version back into iTunes as an audio file that is now on my computer. Finally, our school is using SeeSaw as an online portfolio builder, so I download the audio file onto each class’ SeeSaw page.
“I listened to the podcast with my parents. It was fun.”
This is where the community is built. Every student, parent, and teacher within that small class community is then allowed to listen to and comment on each episode. I have only been at it two weeks and have already received countless emails and comments from many within our school community voicing their pleasure at feeling a part of the PE class. It engages those outside of the classroom in what we’re doing IN the classroom.
A healthy and vibrant community is one which is positively engaged in all aspects of teaching, learning, and in this case… listening.
Want to learn more about podcasting? There are plenty of great tutorials on YouTube. Even better, try listening to a podcast on how to make a podcast. 🙂
In the meantime, please let me know your thoughts or opinions on podcasting, PE, or education in general. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Who knows? You just may make it into the next post.
- Pew Research Center – http://www.journalism.org/2016/06/15/podcasting-fact-sheet/