Saturday, July 7, 2018

PD in Your Ears: The BeerEDU Podcast

Just a few of the podcasts that I listen to on
a regular basis, with more added all the time!
If you are an educator, you are always looking for ways to improve your craft.  While formal professional development, such as taking graduate courses or attending paid workshops and conferences, are great, they are not always practical or affordable.  So what does one do to improve?  You find other informal professional development, such as blog posts (like this one, or at least I hope you learn something from this blog), social media, and podcasts.  While I learn a great deal from all of these plus more, I especially like listening to podcasts, as they are something that I can learn from without being actively engaged; I can listen while in my car, while cleaning the house, and sometimes I even listen while on the treadmill or elliptical at the gym.  

Most of my subscriptions are educational in nature.  Many of the educational shows are hosted by people that I have come to know personally and I consider friends, such as TOSAs Talking Tech with Tom Covington and Michael Jephcott, Check This Out with Brian Briggs and Ryan O'Donnell, Edtech Confessions with Ann Kozma, Cynthia Nixon and Kelly Martin, and Teaching Tales with Brent Coley.  Then there is the STEM Teacher Podcast with my friend of nearly 20 years, John VanDusen. However, some of my subscriptions are purely for my own personal enjoyment and interests, such as The Hockey News, the Detroit Tigers, Taggart & Torrens (a comedy/Canadian pop culture podcast hosted by Jeremy Taggart, the former drummer of Our Lady Peace, and Jonathan Torrens, acclaimed actor well known in Canada for shows like Jonovision, Street Cents and Trailer Park Boys), and Drinking Socially (a podcast about the history of beer styles, trends in the beer industry, and where to find up and coming beers).  To listen to these shows, I use an app called Pocket Casts, a podcast catcher that not only allows you to subscribe, change the playing speed of episodes, and trim silence but also allows users to share specific parts of an episode!  

A few years ago, I met a gentleman by the name of Ben Dickson, currently an assistant principal in Reno, NV (when I make my move to Reno in a few weeks, my kids will be going to his school!).  He and I have been talking for years about collaborating on some sort of project to share our expertise, most likely a podcast, but never really was able to nail down something or commit the time to it.  That changed a few months ago when I came up with an idea to combine two of Ben and I's favorite things:  education and beer.  The idea blossomed into The BeerEDU Podcast: The podcast for educators that love to learn and share ideas with fellow educators over beers! Essentially, the concept of the podcast is to model the conversations that educators have with one another at the pub on a Friday afternoon while unwinding after a long week.

As of this writing, Ben and I have recorded and published our first episode, outlining who we are, the podcast's format, and what we expect it to become when we begin recording regular episodes. We are hoping to post 2-3 episodes a month starting in August 2018, and because there are so many great people with a wealth of knowledge that needs to be shared with the world, we will be looking for guests in which to have a great conversation over a fine beer or any other beverage for those that are not beer drinkers. On top of that, you may learn a thing or two about beer lingo!

The BeerEDU Podcast is available on all podcast platforms, including Anchor, Apple (awaiting approval as of this writing, but will be available soon), Google, Stitcher, Spotify, Radio Public, Breaker, and Pocket Casts. You can follow Ben and The BeerEDU Podcast on Twitter and use the hashtag #BeerEDUPod. Since we are new to the podcast game, Ben and I appreciate any suggestions, compliments, and critiques, so feel free to let us know! We look forward to this journey, learning from one another and our guests to become better educators, and discovering some great beers along the way!

Until next time...

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