This is the latest in a series of blogs by a partnering cohort teacher.
By Gail Adams
It’s almost November, which means that the holiday season is only weeks away. Years ago, Oprah Winfrey began the tradition of giving away her “favorite things” and Ellen Degeneris has continued along the same vein with her 12 Days of Giveaways. I decided to adopt the tradition in a “Fluency” way, so this post is dedicated to my favorite professional development tools . . . podcasts.
I regularly listen to three podcasts that feed my teacher and techie soul: Cult of Pedagogy, Spark Creativity Teacher, and Google Teacher Tribe. Podcasts are perfect little pick-me-ups when you feel depleted, or they can empower you to take a deep dive into uncharted waters.
With Cult of Pedagogy, Jennifer Gonzalez, a former middle school language arts teacher, has created “a vibrant, encouraging, stimulating community of teachers, supporting each other toward excellence.” She describes her podcast as “pure teacher nerdy goodness right in your ears.” That is music to my ears. Her episodes are in a variety of formats: solo, interview, and panel. The site is easy to navigate. Teachers can search for podcasts by category, such as “hot topics,” or by tag, such as “power lessons.” Her calming voice and relevant topics make me happy I have joined her cult. You can find the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Program notes and so much more are at https://www.cultofpedagogy.com.
Betsy Potash’s Spark Creativity Teacher is primarily a source for English Language Arts teachers. Potash also uses a variety of formats--solo, interview, etc.-- to keep her episodes fresh. Topics such as “10 Review Activities for Any Unit” and “Easy Strategies for Differentiation” make this a wonderful resource for any teacher. When paired with Potash’s Facebook group, “Creative HIgh School English,” teachers get fresh ideas from an additional source--an online community of passionate educators willing to share their tricks and tips. Sometimes it’s a place to share successes and failures. Find Spark Creativity Teacher on iTunes, Blubrry, and Stitcher. For program notes, go to http://www.nowsparkcreativity.com/.
All things Google are covered in Google Teacher Tribe (GTT). Creators Matt Miller, author of Ditch That Textbook, and Kasey Bell, author of Shake Up Learning, have joined forces to cull the smorgasboard of Google tools to give teachers ways to revolutionize learning in their classrooms. Topics like “App Smashing” and “Amazing Add-ons for Google Docs” make this a podcast you won’t want to miss. Links to Miller’s and Bell’s own sites and their own podcasts can be found at the GTT site, https://googleteachertribe.com/. GTT can be found on many platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
Finally, if the podcasts I have mentioned don’t appeal to you, I am sure you will find at least one that feeds your teacher soul at Education Podcast Network. This curated collection of podcasts offers categories in education technology (6 podcasts), motivation and strategies (18), leadership and administration (2), and content and resource specific (1). Happy listening!
Gail Adams, an Innovation Coach for Ohio County Schools, is in her 16th year of teaching. She is a National Board Certified teacher of English Language Arts for Adolescents and Young Adults. Adams was the 2015 West Virginia Teacher of the Year. She is a member of West Liberty University’s Cohort 3 of the ongoing Data and Technology Fluency Project.