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Podcasts to Inspire Your Classroom Practice
February 2, 2016 - 9:08pm

Anne Guarnera is a doctoral candidate in Spanish at the University of Virginia. You can find her on Twitter as @aguarnera and at her website.

 

Pug Podcasting.jpg

 

If you’re looking for ways to change up your classroom this semester—with new techniques, new technologies, or new perspectives—or if you’re just starting out teaching and trying to find your way around, let podcasts help! Just like podcasts can help you deepen your knowledge within your discipline, they are also a great tool for improving your teaching practice.

 

There are a number of excellent podcasts dedicated to the art of teaching in higher education. Today, I’m profiling three of my favorites, all of which are currently in production (which means lots of new episodes to listen to) and all of which are relevant across disciplines. Alas, none of them are hosted by pugs.

 

Teaching in Higher Ed

 

In my opinion, Teaching in Higher Ed represents the gold standard of podcasts on higher education—and James Lang agrees. Host Bonni Stachowiak is upbeat, entertaining, and always asks thoughtful questions of her guests. Most weeks include interviews with experts in college teaching—including some real heavy hitters, such as Ken Bain and José Antonio Bowen—but in other episodes, Bonni shares her own professional expertise on topics from personal knowledge management to achieving inbox zero. Some of my favorite episodes are those in which Bonni tackles difficult subjects, such as supporting grieving students, vulnerability in teaching, and the terror of teaching. These are some of the least discussed issues in higher education, yet they are highly relevant to anyone working in the field. The podcast is complemented by Bonni’s very active presence on social media—I love following her on Twitter.

 

Student Caring

 

If you are new to college teaching this semester (or school year), Student Caring is an excellent resource to turn to. In their carefully planned, quick episodes (most lasting less than 20 minutes), hosts Daniel De Roulet and David C. Pecoraro answer such questions as: “How do I plan my students’ assignments so that I don’t have to deal with an avalanche of grading at the end of the semester?” and “What does it mean to practice student-centered teaching?” For topics requiring more extensive treatment, the hosts have developed a number of series, including one on defining student success (find the episodes here, here, and here) and one on boundaries at work (listen here, here, and here). Daniel and David are two of the most jovial podcasts hosts that you’ll ever hear, and their enthusiasm for teaching is infectious. Their podcast is part of a larger initiative called the Student Caring Project, which helps professors, students, and parents partner for student success in higher education.

 

The Teach Better Podcast

 

Hosted by Doug McKee and Edward O’Neill, the Teach Better podcast provides extended, in-depth explorations of topics ranging from memory and metacognition to fostering student creativity. Each of the twice-monthly podcasts features an interview with an expert on these subjects, many of whom are from Yale, the university where McKee and O’Neill themselves teach. Definitely on the “philosophical” side, this is the podcast that I listen to when I want to be surprised with a new perspective or idea—such as the teacher as provocateur.   

 

If you are new to podcasts, may I suggest downloading the app Downcast? I find it infinitely more manageable than Apple’s normal podcast app, and it’s a mere $2.99—well worth it to make your listening experience more enjoyable.

 

Do you listen to any of these podcasts or other podcasts about teaching in higher ed? What have you learned from them? What podcast apps do you suggest to improve the listening experience?

 

[Amazing image by Flickr User zoomar and used under Creative Commons Licensing]

 

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