Sunday, July 10, 2016

Podcasts!

Whenever I am driving, working out, or just have some general downtime, I enjoy listening to music.  iTunes on my phone has basically every album I have ever purchased uploaded, with nearly 80 GB of music at the touch of my finger.  While I have been buying more of my music on iTunes, I still purchase physical CDs here and there and upload them onto my iTunes account.  However, as I get older, I am getting that whole old man "get off my lawn" attitude, the same old man that I knew as a kid/teenager that said "back in my day, music was actually music, not that crap you call music today" view.  Country and rap left me long ago (I still listen to 90s and prior country and rap), but even the rock and metal that I mostly listen to is starting to turn on me.  It all sounds the same, autotuned, digitally programmed, and uninspired.  The music that I am buying isn't new artists, it is the same artists I have been listening to for years, just new material that they are producing.  Because of this, I am very happy that, albeit VERY TARDY to the party, I have discovered some amazing podcasts in recent months.

I knew of podcasts years ago.  For numerous reasons, I never got into podcasts.  First, I was still into buying and listening to as much new music as I could.  At one point, I was buying upwards of, on average, three new albums a week.  Secondly, under the impression the podcasts were a daily thing, I didn't think I had the time to listen to podcasts.  However, after sitting in on a podcasting session presented by Brian Briggs and Ryan O'Donnell at CUE in Palm Springs back in March, my perception of podcasts changed overnight.

There are thousands of podcasts available (I subscribe to them through iTunes, but they are also available through Google Play Music, YouTube, and other platforms). If there is a topic that you want to hear on a podcast, you are going to be able to find it.  News, politics, sports, comedy, education, beer, the possibilities are endless!  Podcasts also vary in the length of time.  Some the I have come across are as little as under 10 minutes per episode, some are as long as two hours.  It really depends on what kind of podcast you are looking for and what kind of time that you have on your hands.

Over the past few months, I have subscribed to several podcasts.  Now when I am driving, I make sure that I have the latest episodes downloaded for the ride.  With my longer commute to work this year (40 minutes versus the five minutes that it took me the past 6 years), I will have the opportunity to listen to podcasts regularly.  I still haven't used a podcast during a workout, I still need music to motivate me during a run or weightlifting session.  Here are a few of my favorite podcasts, many of which are education-related, but some are simply podcasts that spark interests of mine outside of education:

1.  Check This Out with Brian & Ryan:  "A podcast by educators, for educators," Brian and Ryan (two dudes that I consider professional friends) present to you the latest and greatest on various educational technology with their quirky senses of humor (which is the best part of the show, by the way).  Follow Brian (@bribriggs), Ryan (@creativeedtech) and the podcast (@checkthisoutBR) on Twitter

2.  The Nerdist:  Chris Hardwick (comedian, host of numerous shows like Talking Dead, @Midnight, Talking Saul, but got his start as the host of Singled Out on MTV back in the day) hosts this comedy podcast with special guest celebrities.  This one is a touch vulgar at times, so be careful around the kids and your worksite.

3.  Coach's Corner - Edtech, Academic Coaching, and Beyond:  Ben Cogswell (@cogswell_ben) hosts a variety of edtech gurus, offering up advice on various educational technology on how to better work as a technology coach with teachers.  Episodes are short and sweet and also available as a vlog on YouTube.

4.  Eagle Nation Podcast:  Hosted by Team RWB (Team Red, White, & Blue, a national organization for veterans and civilians to bring people together through physical and social activity), this podcasts has inspiring guests from (mostly) the military or former military that addresses topics such as leadership, physical fitness, and community service.  Check out www.teamrwb.org  for more information on the organization, to join your local chapter, and to help make a difference in veterans' lives.  Also, follow @TeamRWB on Twitter.

5.  Taggart & Torrens:  I discovered this podcast completely by accident.  One of my favorite bands is a Canadian alternative rock band called Our Lady Peace.  Their drummer, Jeremy Taggart, left the band a few years ago to pursue other ambitions.  A few weeks ago, I was doing a search to see what he was up to these days, if he had any side projects, etc.  and stumbled upon this gem of a podcast.  Again, this one is a touch vulgar at times, but an absolute riot.  Taggart and his partner, Jonathan Torrens, a Canadian actor, address all sorts of topics from their daily lives, poke some fun at their home country of Canada, and play ridiculous games like Lake or Fake, What's He Driving, and others.  You have to listen to get what I'm talking about.  You won't be disappointed if you love dumb humor and awesome Canadian accents and slang terms.  Give it a listen BAHD!  Follow Jeremy Taggart (@Taggart7), Jonathan Torrens (@TorrensJonathan), and the podcast (@TAGGARTnTORRENS) on Twitter.

Some of the others that I listen to are the TED Radio Hour, TED Talks Education, The Hockey News, and the Detroit Tigers Podcast.  I have been introduced to some others, I just haven't had the chance to give them a listen just yet.

What are some of your favorite podcasts?  Respond in the comments with one education blog and one other blog, tweet me @AndersonEdTech, or email your favorites to anderka1@nv.ccsd.net.

Until next time...