Professional learning can be as simple as going for a walk.
Over the past several years I have found myself falling completely in love with podcasts, and I have come to value them for not only their entertainment value, but for their contribution to my own professional (and personal) learning.
Podcasts are one of those things that people are either really into, or not into at all. Some of us can’t wait for weekly downloads, while others have no idea what that pesky purple icon on their iPhone is for, and why they can’t simply delete it.
For anyone in that latter camp, I can tell you that podcasts are completely free, and the content is as diverse as any other mainstream media such as television, movies, music, magazines, or books. In fact, many of these media outlets have turned to podcasting to either relay similar content, or complement their mainstream content with related, new offerings.
As an educator, I am drawn specifically to many podcasts, but three in particular are on regular rotation: TEDTalks (audio), The Harvard EdCast, and Educators Lead. I say that much of my own professional learning has come via these three podcasts, and it has influenced the work happening in the classrooms of my school.
One of my beliefs about teaching and learning is that we, as teachers, need to learn in the ways we want our students to learn. This can mean seeking new ideas through new technologies. For me, I find that walking the dog is the perfect time to plug in and get down to learning (more on the benefits of dogs and long nature walks in another blog post). It’s my “me time”.
I understand that you may not be into Educational Leadership as a theme for your own professional learning, and believe me, I have a lot more interests and favourite podcasts, but I find that the beauty of podcasts is that no matter what you’re into, there is something for you. You can search by interest or subject. You can try one and stick with it, or dump it right away. It’s all free.
We all have to walk our dogs anyhow. Why not make it a time for new learning? Enjoy!
Here are some of my personal favourite podcasts:
TED Radio Hour
This American Life
The Jay and Dan Podcast
Roenick Life Podcast