Podcasts are a rich source of information, stories and entertainment, with a surprisingly wide range of topics: the history of the elevator, the secret world of moss, Dolly Parton, and much, much more. Many of us listen to podcasts while we cook, travel, or move our bodies – but have you ever considered using podcasts as a part of your professional development? Here are four reasons why podcasts are taking learning by storm:
1. LEARN WHILE BEING WELL
Podcasts and portability go hand-in-hand. Because you’re only using one sense (hearing), it gives you the opportunity to do other enjoyable activities at the same time. Whether you love long walks, crocheting, cooking or soaking in a bathtub, listening to podcasts allows for intellectual stimulation while doing something good for your well-being.
2. YOU SET THE SCHEDULE
You’ve just finished a long day in the classroom, and really aren’t up to sitting at your computer for another webinar.
Or, you were really excited to hear your favourite speaker at an event, but a last-minute appointment came up and now you can’t attend.
Let’s face it: our days don’t always go as planned. The beauty of podcast learning is the incredible flexibility of when you can listen! Episodes start when you’re ready, you can pause and pick them back up, and they’re available for re-listening if you’re keen to hear them again.
3. ACCESS THEM ANYWHERE
If you’ve got an internet connection, you’ve got access to podcasts. In fact, most platforms let you download episodes to your device in case you want to listen offline. If you find yourself travelling through areas with spotty connectivity or don’t want to max out your data plan while going for a bike ride, a bit of pre-planning lets you listen to that expert you’ve been eager to hear from.
4. BE PART OF A COMMUNITY
The flexibility and portability of podcasts lend themselves to individualizing your listening experience, but that doesn’t mean you have to learn alone. Podcasts are a great way to use a “flipped classroom” approach with your professional development – listen to an episode or series, and join in discussions to further your learning. This can be through informal conversation with peers, or organizing a group or club to meet and dissect episodes. Alternatively, many podcasts have communities of listeners sharing thoughts and prompting discourse on social media platforms like Facebook groups, Discord servers, subreddits, Twitter threads and more. These groups can help answer questions, and dive deeper with you into episodes or shows.
Check out The Podclass from Ever Active Schools: We talk with experts and practitioners about a variety of comprehensive school health topics, and explore practical ideas that teachers, or anyone who interacts with children and youth, can start using the very next day.
Keep an eye out for the launch of The Podclass: Extra Credit – a series of facilitated sessions where you can join a group of like-minded listeners to discuss, dissect, and debate episodes of The Podclass. Think of it like a book club where you can’t spill on the book.