10 Reasons Why You Should Join The League of Education Podcasters, Bloggers, and Content Creators

I’m excited to announce the creation of a new Facebook Group called the League of Education Podcasters, Bloggers, and Content Creators. If you have an education blog, podcast, or love creating and sharing education content; this will be a community where you can connect with like-minded people. Whether you are thinking of delving into education content creation or you are a veteran, I’m hopeful that this will be a community that has something to offer everyone. Just click on the link and request to join. Or, if you are still considering it, here are 10 reasons why you should consider joining today.

  1. You are an education content creator and want to get better at what you do by learning from others.
  2. You are tired of always feeling like you are reinventing the wheel, and would like a community to help you out.
  3. You would appreciate people who could serve as a sounding board for your ideas or experiments.
  4. You are looking for people who can help promote one another’s content.
  5. You want to start a blog or podcast, but could use some sage advice so as to avoid common rookie mistakes.
  6. You are an experienced content creator and this is a chance to pass your wisdom on to others.
  7. You’ve been blogging and podcasting for quite some time, but you are not getting the results that you want.
  8. You are looking for people with whom you can collaborate on current, new, or future content creation projects (maybe even find a co-host for a new podcast or a group to collectively create a new blog that changes the conversation in education).
  9. You want to get better at what you do.
  10. You want to experience the excitement of joining an new online community and helping turn it into a thriving community of practice for current and future education podcasters, bloggers, and content creators.

If one or more of these reasons resonate with you, please head over to the League of Education Podcasters, Bloggers, and Content Creators and request to join. Sorry, no t-shirts yet, but you never know!

 

How Starting the MoonshotEduShow Podcast is Changing Me

Starting a basic podcast is easy. You need a website, an RSS feed, and a microphone. You can always add more, but those are the basics for anyone to get started. Going into my first sabbatical and moving across the country for the semester, I decided that it was time to experiment with this new way of learning and connecting with people around a shared interest in educational innovation and entrepreneurship. I already had a Blue Yet microphone, but I bought a few more items and got started. In case you are interested, I’m cataloging some of the equipment that I’ve tried so far. That is how I got started with the MoonshotEduShow podcast.

It all happened one weekend, and I have not stopped for over five months. When I first got started, the quality was really bad. Over time, I got it up to just plain bad. Now I think that I’m at a decent quality, but I continue to figure things out a bit at a time, gaining new insights from listeners every week.

As much as I value building new connections, I am recognizing how this podcast is changing me. Hereare three of the early observations.

Listening and Learning

I’m often contacted as the “expert” even as much as I am not comfortable with that word. Expertise is a pursuit more than a destination, and as much as it might be cliché, the further I go in my learning, the greater I recognize my limitations and inadequacies. However, what I enjoy about the podcast is that I am the learner first. In the past, some of my greatest learning experiences and epiphanies came from putting myself in the position of learner: visiting, studying, observing, interviewing schools, leaders, and innovators. That is largely what inspired my first book on Missional Moonshots. Yet, over the last year or two, time for such interviews diminished amid other roles and responsibilities.

This podcast is a wonderful chance for me to be the listener and learner. Each new guest shares his or her story and insights gleaned from direct work and research in a given area. I ask questions. I listen. I learn. I muse out loud about what I am hearing and thinking. That is just during the interview. Afterward I am doing the post-production work myself. As such, I am listening to each interview two to four times, editing out silence and other distractions from the main conversation. As I do that, I often find myself having to open a new window and frantically write down thoughts, questions, and ideas that I want to explore or with which I want to experiment. Many of my recent blog posts emerge from these musings.

Humility 

There is something different about being a podcast host. I connect my guests with my audience, but I am not necessarily center stage. I point to someone and something else. When I’ve done research in past years, I am still doing it from a position of power. I’m the researcher and others are the subjects of my research. That is true despite my past work with research methods that challenge this traditional power differential, methods like auto-ethnography, fiction as research, and methods that offer direct connection with voices, unfiltered by a researcher. Yet, there is something wonderfully humbling about this role of podcast host. Some of my guests know me and my work, but most do not, and I love that dynamic. There are some things that cannot be learned from the stage, at least not being center stage.

Of course, I also learn humility amid my many mistakes on the technical end, like the time that I planned poorly and had to ask the guest if he was willing to come back for a redo of the recording. Or, there were the first dozen episodes where I had all sorts of audio issues for the world to witness (like my candid “typos and all” reflections on this blog). These remind me of how much I do not know, but they free me to be a learner first, and I am thoroughly enjoying that.

Action

I believe that ideas have consequences, especially in matters of moral and ethical implications. Ideas change the way that we look at life, ourselves, the world, and others. They can blind us from some possibilities while opening our eyes to others. Yet, I am never fully content with a good idea. I have a drive to see something happen, some sort of tangible difference or impact, even if it is small. Interviewing innovators and difference-makers is a certain recipe to resting content in the world of ideas. These people are doing incredible things, and it is nearly impossible for someone with a hint of an entrepreneurial proclivity to just sit back and enjoy the ideas on this podcast. These people are doing things. They are failing, succeeding, learning, and moving. The more time that I spend with them, the more that part of me is fueled and ready to launch. If you listen to my podcast, be ready for the same thing. This is a podcast for educational dreamers like me who are discontent with how things are and are committed to being difference-makers in specific and tangible ways.

The Learning Continues

There is so much more that I am learning as well, but I’ll save those for future reflections. However, if you want an incredible, time-consuming, but rewarding and inspiring learning experience, start a podcast. If you don’t want to do that, do the next best thing and check out mine. You can listen in many ways but iTunes and SoundCloud seem to be the most common so far. Better yet, why not start a podcast and listen to mine?

 

10 Education Podcasts for Educational Entrepreneurs, Dreamers, and Difference Makers

At the beginning of 2017, I decided to expand beyond blogging by also producing and hosting an educational innovation podcast. At the time of writing this article, I just finished my twentieth episode. It has been wonderful to connect with a new group of people through this podcast, explore new ideas, refine past ones, meet new people through the interviews, and so much more. Even as I started creating my own podcast, I also rekindled my personal interest in listening to and learning from education podcasts, as well as podcasts about a half-dozen other topics. At the same time, plenty of people ask me about my favorite ones. My answer to that question changes weekly, but this post is my public response to that question. Please note that this is not an official rating. It is just a list of ten education podcasts that have stretched my imagination at times, inspired me, and prodded me with new insights that often leads to deeper personal study. These are in no particular order (expect for the first one, for reasons that will become obvious in a moment).

1. The MoonshotEdu Show

It is one thing to listen and learn from another podcast, but hosting and producing your own takes the learning to entirely new level. If you are not up for that, you are more than welcome to listen in on mine, and I am always looking for interesting people to interview.

The MoonshotEdu show is a weekly podcast dedicated to challenging the status quo in conventional education, exploring educational innovation and entrepreneurship, and getting more deeply informed about the possibilities in education. It is a place to celebrate curiosity, human agency, and a love of learning. This is a podcast for people who want to explore ideas that matter and join in helping to create the future of education.

2. The Edupreneur Podcast

I have not seen new episodes of this one for the last six months, however, so I am not sure whether there are plans to continue it. However, I think they were on to something, so I am including it. Even if nothing new, their 60+ episodes are worth checking out. I first learned about this one when they interviewed me last year, but it is a wonderful collection of incredibly diverse interviews. Hosted by two college students, it is especially geared toward fusing the spirit of entrepreneurship with education.

3. EdTech Now

If you grow upon the 1990s and hear that a person who worked on the cartoon, the Thundercats, is now co- hosting a podcast on educational technology with an innovative educator from Colorado as the other co-host, you are sort of obligated to listen. This is a great bite-sized podcast, delivering ten minute episodes, each one interviewing a different person. At the time of writing this, EdTech Now only had a half-dozen or so episodes, but I really like the format and intend to follow it moving forward.

4. Educate

In the style of an NPR news story, these episodes tell the story of ideas and research issues in education. They focus upon many of the equity and access matters, using a journalistic storytelling format.

5. The Hack Learning Podcast

Brought to you by Mark Barnes, creator of the Hack Learning Series of books, you can always find something practical, interesting, and innovative.

6. StartEdUp

Hosted by Don Wettrick, author of Pure Genius, this is a show that includes interviews with successful innovators and entrepreneurs, and it is always good for a few new ideas and tips for cultivating the mindset and skill set of the entrepreneur in education and beyond. This is a new one to my list. I actually learned about it when interviewing him on the MoonshotEdu Show.

7. Moving at the Speed of Creativity

This is the oldest podcast on my list with hundreds of episodes that are packed with insights about countless educational innovations and possibilities.

8. Stanford ECorner

This is an ongoing collection of recordings about all things related to cultivating the entrepreneurial mindset. Technically, this is not just one podcast, but I follow it on SoundCloud and listen to anything that shows up as new.

9. FreshEd

This is a podcast that looks at issues related to comparative education. If you want to geek out on education research and some substantive and deeper issues, this is a place to go. It is a wonderfully refreshing distinction from some of the more trend-based podcast content about education.

10. Getting Smart Podcast

The team at Getting Smart has a way of connecting with some of the deepest and most substantive people in their education podcast, and they always seem to be grounded in real, concrete efforts. These are people who think deeply and act boldly in education.

This is my current top ten list of education podcasts, but I am constantly adjusting my “playlist.” For the same of focus, I also left off some of the non-education podcasts that are an important part of my thinking and learning.

Seeking Educational Entrepreneurs for Interviews on the New MoonshotEdu Podcast

Launched on January 1, 2017, the MoonshotEdu Show is a brand new podcast focused upon challenging the status quo in education, exploring the breadth of possibilities, celebrating curiosity and a love of learning, and joining as co-learners and co-creators of the future of education.

The first four episodes explored a variety of topics. In episode one, the host (that would be me) offered a vision for the show. In the second episode, I shared eleven must read books for the educational entrepreneur. For episode three I jumped right into the question of whether the letter grade system is an outdated educational technology. Then, in the fourth episode we examined the role of academic disciplines in modern life and education, musing about their benefits and limitations in education.

The next three shows are already recorded and ready for release over the next couple of weeks, covering self-directed learning, ethics for the educational entrepreneur, and an exploration of digital versus traditional note taking (although this is really a launchpad into a much deeper and broader exploration of what it takes to prepare people for life in an increasingly digital and connected world).

Now I am looking ahead to the episodes after that. While a solo podcast format will continue for the show, I also plan to add rich and engaging 10-15 minute interview segments with educational entrepreneurs of all types. These can be education startup founders, venture capitalists in the education space, edupreneurs, K-12 or University leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset, policymakers, or anyone else who resonate with the show and has a compelling story to tell. I welcome people who want to spread the word about their work, products and services; but the focus of the interview will be on telling one or more stories about how your work is part of the effort to ultimately make a difference in the lives of learners. I’m especially seeking anyone who has one of those big, hair, audacious goals; those educational moonshots! After all, that is in the name of the show and represented in the opening jingle for every episode.

If you are interested in being on the show or you know someone who would be a great fit, please reach out on the MoonshotEdu website. There is a link at the top of the main page for contacting me. Or, if you click on any other page on the site, there is also a voicemail system that will allow you to leave a voice message.

By the way, in addition to guest interviews, that voice mail system on the MoonshotEdu website is also there for people who want to share a story or question for the show. It is set up so that I can download your voice message and play it during the show for a question and answer time. Anyone is welcome to try it out. I don’t guarantee that every message will make the show, but know that I will give each one serious consideration.

I invite your help in spreading the word about this show, joining in the fun, and celebrating education moonshots that matter.