I often listen to podcasts after my kids go to bed as I putter around the house washing dishes or doing laundry. Some are about technology (ATP and The Talk Show) or sports (The BS Report) or science (Star Talk) and some cut across categories (The Nerdist). Over time, you build a “relationship” with hosts of a good show and look forward to hearing them say interesting things and talk with interesting guests.
About a year ago, I went looking for a podcast about teaching. In particular, I wanted to hear teachers in higher education talking about what they do in their classrooms. I wanted to find kindred spirits and get ideas from what was working (and not working) for other folks. I don’t know if something like this existed at the time, but I certainly failed in finding it if it did.
Fast-forward to the middle of the fall: My friend Edward and I were chatting about teaching and I realized this was exactly the kind of conversation I would want to listen to on a podcast. I even had a list of folks around campus that I had been systematically inviting to lunch that could serve as a potential guest list. Edward said he would handle all the audio recording and editing and we were off to the races. Well, as soon as the semester was over–Fall was rather busy.
In a funny twist of fate, it turns out that we weren’t the only ones who noticed such a gap in the podcast landscape. Back in June, Bonni Stachowiak launched the Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast. She’s been recording weekly conversations with a terrific range of guests about all manner of topics related to teaching. Since finding her podcast, I’ve been really enjoying her back catalog. I’m also looking foward to being a guest on her show in the near future.
In a world with literally hundreds of “tech” podcasts, there’s plenty of room for two (or more) podcasts about teaching in higher ed. Bonni has a style that I like a lot, but Edward and I have a different style. I bet many folks will enjoy listening to both podcasts.
We are now putting the final touches on episode one of The Teach Better Podcast, and will be recording episode two with math teacher and renaissance man Jim Rolf on Thursday. Jenny Frederick, the Executive Director of the Yale Teaching Center and science educator extraordinaire will be our third guest. We couldn’t be more excited to launch this thing.