For the past 4 years, I’ve been obsessed with consuming podcasts. If you were to go through my subscriptions, you would find a variety of different genres from education, hip-hop, comedy, and parenting. I could confidently state that I now to the majority of my learning through my headphones. I learn while I type, drive, cut the grass, wash the car, and walk. That last one…walk…I’ve been brewing an idea for a couple of years now and I’ve always put it on the back burner until now!
#PedometerPD Is Born!
That’s right, Pedometer PD. What is it? Well, let’s break it down. Pedometer: An ancient device that counts your steps and motivates you to be more active (NOT a device that measures your pedos!). PD: professional development, making ourselves better ________. I wanted to bring something different to our educators in the realm of professional development. But first, I needed to get approval from my directors to give teachers credit for listening to a podcast while walking the track at one of our district facilities. I did not want it to stop there though. I wanted a way for teachers to share what they learned from a podcast in a not-so conventional method. This way, they could reflect and put together an implementation plan to make their classrooms a more engaging environment. Once I wrapped my head around this, I began executing my plan! My directors loved the idea and were in full support of this. First, I booked a district facility from 4:30pm-5:30pm for our “course”. Knowing that was taken care of, I curated a list of podcast episodes that gravitated around student engagement. I put these into a Google Doc and typed out detailed instructions for installing a podcast catcher app, searching an episode, and downloading it to the device. Next, created a Synth Podcast for reflection. Participants would answer a set of reflection questions in the form of a Synth podcast. This way, I could promote using podcasting in the classroom! Lastly, I put the course in our digital catalog so it would be discoverable by anyone in our district. Before I knew it, people signed up for the course!
The official day was January 23rd, 2020. I arrived at our facility early, scoped out the walking paths, printed my sign in sheet, and was patiently awaiting participants. As they arrived, they signed in and I made sure they all had a podcast catcher app and an episode downloaded. As soon as all participants were present, we began walking. I was able to get in 2 miles in the 45 minutes allotted. We met up at the end of the session and I clarified any questions they had regarding the Synth recording for feedback. We agreed that 1 week would be enough time for them to get these reflections to me before I submitted my final attendance. The feedback was incredible! They loved being able to be outside on a perfect day and be able to learn about their craft while being active. I have received their Synth responses and they have some great ideas on how to increase student engagement. I responded to all of their Synth recordings and have another Pedometer PD setup for February 26th. I’ve already got people signed up for it and the word is spreading. I plan on keeping this as a monthly course and going with a different theme each month.
All in all, I would say this was a success and I really feel that this idea is going to grow exponentially. I love learning while I’m active and I feel that with the different media outlets that we all learn from, why not recognize podcasts as a true learning outlet? I’m really looking forward to next month’s session and I plan on outdoing my previous 2 miles. Let’s. Do. This.
January 23rd #PedometerPD Podcast List