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Personalize Your PD and PLN with Podcasts

Heck, you don't have time to even read this.  So, start listening to educational podcasts to help create a broader Personal Learning Network.

I'll get to the why later in this post if you got the time.

My Favorite Podcasts for Teachers

#EdChat Radio

Click here for link in iTunes.

Every Classroom Matters

Click here for link in iTunes

i am ME.

Click here for link in iTunes

On the Vendor Floor

Click here for link in iTunes

K-12 Greatest Hits

Click here for link in iTunes

So "why" podcasts?

To be honest I don't really have time to read many blogs no matter how good they are.  If I'm in front of a screen dealing with educational content, I'm usually designing lessons,  correcting student work, or working on my graduate coursework.  So, even though I do write blog posts, they function mostly for personal reflection and synthesizing ideas.

My primary PD occurs not with visual input, but with auditory input.  Podcasts have really changed my PD workflow.  I discovered podcasts back in 2005 and have never looked back. Up until about a year ago, most of the podcasts I listened to were for entertainment. Now, the podcasts I do listen to have a balance between film and music podcasts (I am a huge film buff) and educational ones.

Listening to a podcast can be seen as some like listening to the radio.  But it is far from it.  If we are listening to local radio over the public airwaves, our choices are very limited.  I actually hate most talk radio because so much of it is dead air, information that I am not engaged in, or frustratingly provocative for the sake of entertainment. Having the ability to find sources that tie into our passions or areas we are looking to improve in is part of personalizing our lives.   When you listen to a podcast, you can connect to a network of like minded individuals.  Also, it's not a one way conversation. Educational podcast creators want your feedback and ideas. When you provide feedback, your voice is heard.

As we put on our headphones or earbuds, we tune out the world around us, but it doesn't have to be an isolating experience. The educational podcasts I listen to have gone a long way to introducing me to brilliant thought leaders, incredible practitioners, and ed tech innovations.  You'll be surprised at how many new people will instantly be a part of your PLN after just a week of listening.  It's great to hear the voices you may see as a part of your Twitter feed when they flesh ideas out in more than 140 characters.

"How" do I listen to podcasts?

I am an Apple guy.  So, I listen to all of my podcasts on Apple devices.  Although I like Apple, I loathe their podcast app.  I use an app called Downcast. It is a paid app. But if you listen to podcasts, I think it's worth it.

I listen to podcasts when I drive, cook, and clean.  I have learned to love cleaning thanks to great podcasts and noise-canceling headphones.  During the summer, podcasts provide the soundtrack to all of trips to the park with the dog.

If you have any educational podcasts I should be listening to, I'm always looking to add more to my queue.

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