changed not only how students learn, but how teachers learn. Educators across
the globe can now choose between traditional professional learning — as mandated
by the district or state — and nontraditional modes of learning such as
Gone are the days when we could learn a new skill only
by listening to boring
lectures. Now we're empowered to take our
own professional learning by the horns.
The last few years have seen the rise of the unconference, Google Hangouts and, most recently, the Vox for professional learning.
Teachers have become creatures of conversation and interactive exploration. We
share our knowledge on blogs and social media. We interact daily, hashtag by
One could argue that educators have become some of the world's most
active content consumers online. Why, though, aren't more educators creating
their own digital content?
ready for podcasting
I have personally witnessed the rise of amazing professional
learning in the form of educator-created podcasts and broadcasts. Teachers can
create powerful learning experiences for themselves and each other as well as
for their students.
When I founded the TeacherCast Podcast in
the summer of 2011, creating a podcast involved a lengthy process. I recorded
conversations with my guests in Skype, then had to break the audio up for
editing, fit it with an intro and outro soundtrack and cross my fingers that all
of the coding was correct when I finally uploaded it. I'd spend about three
hours editing a one-hour podcast.
Luckily that time-consuming process is behind us. Today, producing
a podcast or broadcast can be as simple as turning on your
YouTube, for example, lets you
record video directly into your account using your device's built-in webcam and
microphone — just click the "upload" button. If YouTube is blocked in your
school, try one of the many educational video sites, such as MediaCore.
It doesn't take much
money to produce high-quality video
and audio content on an iPad or similar device. I recommend the following free
or low-cost apps.
My studio setup includes ScreenFlow, Final Cut Pro, WireCast and more. The availability of free video conferencing
services, such as Skype and Google Hangouts, allows me to easily host guests on
my screencasts, audio podcasts and live videos.
to get started
There are several great resources for learning how to create audio and video
podcasts. Here are my
- Instructional Tech Talk, hosted by Jeff
Herb, provides detailed and informative resources, including hardware and app
- Podcasters Roundtable, a weekly show
hosted by broadcasters Dave Jackson, Ray Ortega and Daniel J Lewis, dissects
all aspects of podcasting and broadcasting.
- The Tech
Buzz Network, hosted
by Stephen Haywood, offers a weekly show that teaches the ins and outs of live
streaming and video broadcasting.
Now that you know how easy podcasting can be, I challenge you to
look around your school. Talk to your fellow teachers and administrators. What
do they want to learn? Take that and run with it.
Did your school recently adopt Google Apps for Education? Create a
screencast teaching basic Google Doc skills. Are your teachers confused about
the new college application and recommendation process? Make an audio how-to
guide with step-by-step instructions for writing letters of recommendation. The
possibilities are endless.
Create a professional learning podcast or video, and help bring
your school into the digital age.
Jeffrey Bradbury is an educational media specialist and director of
orchestras for North Brunswick Township Schools in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
Got questions about podcasting? Email him or reach out on
Twitter via @TeacherCast.