By Jeffrey Bradbury
It’s that time of year when both teachers and students are looking forward to time away from the classroom. The sun is out, and the days are long. We enjoy our quiet time, but at the same time, we know that soon we will be thinking about the ringing of bells throughout crowded hallways.
I once heard a principal explain the summertime like this: Teachers think of July as one big Saturday. They wake up with an excited energy and spend each day enjoying every possible moment. However, teachers think of August like a Sunday. They start to become more focused on the upcoming year. They work on lesson plans, purchase school supplies, and look to see what is new in the world of education to make sure they are prepared for their incoming students.
If this describes your typical summer routine, I would like to share some tips and tricks to stay updated throughout the summer and make your back-to-school prep as smooth as possible.
Listening to Podcasts
Over the last few years, many great podcasts have emerged. There are more than 500,000 podcasts on iTunes, and education by far is one of the most popular categories. Here are some fantastic podcasts to check out this summer.
Podcasts by Educators . . . For Educators
- Beyond the Hour of Code—California educator Sam Patterson (www.MyPaperlessClassroom.com) recently launched this podcast to share his experiences teaching coding and programing in the primary grades.
- Kids Deserve It—Created by Todd Nesloney and Adam Welcome (www.KidsDeserveIt.com), this podcast challenges conventional thinking and helps push educational boundaries.
- The TechEduactor Podcast—For more than 130 episodes, these weekly live webinar style podcasts have broadcast on the TeacherCast Educational Broadcasting Network.
Podcasts by Educational Leaders . . . For Educational Leaders
- Goin’ Digital—Superintendent Greg Goins’ (@wfsuper) new podcast features educational leadership conversations and resources.
- Educators Lead—In this podcast, Jay Willis interviews today’s most effective innovative leaders in education.
Podcasts Featuring Educational Technology Companies
- Beyond the Vender Floor—Host Melissa Emler (@MelissaEmler) takes you on a weekly journey through the latest and greatest in educational technology and features engaging educators and entrepreneurs.
- TeacherCast App Spotlight—For the last five years, I have had the pleasure of welcoming hundreds of educational technology companies and web developers on my podcast to discuss how their products can be used in the classroom.
Educational Podcasts That Are Just Fun to Listen To
- My Disney Class Podcast—Created just in time for the annual Edcamp Magic, this podcast is a great way to learn how to bring everybody’s favorite mouse into your classroom and have a bipity-bopity good time.
- Moving at the Speed of Creativity—Wes Fryer and company focus on 21st century literacy, blended learning, tech integration, and educational leadership in this podcast.
Listening to podcasts for personal enjoyment and learning is certainly a great way to spend the summer, but have you ever thought about creating your own podcast? It’s very easy to create a podcast these days. Apps such as Spreaker Radio, BossJock, and Bumpers allow you to record directly into your mobile device. If you are interested in streaming, services such as Facebook Live, Periscope, Blab.im, and UStream are all very good methods of getting your live video broadcasted worldwide. If you are interested in improving the quality of your audio beyond what your phone can handle, there are several great inexpensive microphones available that are very portable.
Teaching with Podcasts
When thinking about the next school year, you might even consider using podcasts in your weekly lesson plans. There are several great audio and video channels on both iTunes and YouTube to subscribe to and make available for teachers and students. Some of my favorites are Teachers.Tech, Soul Pancake, and TEDed.
Whether you are looking to spend the summer at the beach or in the office, there is always a podcast to fit your needs. For more information about podcasts or podcasting, check out my links and resources at Educational Podcasting Today!
Log onto the ASCD website for more resources support your summer learning.
Jeffrey Bradbury is an ASCD Emerging Leader and serves as the technology integration coordinator in Westwood Regional School District in Westwood, N.J. Visit his website or connect with him on Twitter @TeacherCast.