Category Archives: #ECI832MajorLearningProject

So You Want to Start a Podcast…

Over the past couple months, I have grown in my knowledge and experience with the art of podcasting. What started out as a school project, actually turned into a new passion. With all of the uncertainty and changes that have happened in our world recently… listening to podcasts, taking part in interviews, and creating my own episodes have been a beautiful way to cope with the current situation that we are living in. As I reflect back on my podcast process so far, I thought I would share some tips and tricks that I learned along the way in case you are thinking of starting one of your own.

1. Quality Matters

When I first started this project, I put out a survey to ask people what they look for in a podcast. It soon became clear that people prioritize good sound quality. I quickly learned a few ways to increase the quality of my podcast without breaking the bank. There were a few things that I did in order to make the sound of my podcast stand out. First, I made sure I had a good microphone. I bought a Yeti Nano microphone for around $120. I was very impressed with it’s high sound quality and capability to connect to any computer. I also purchased a pop filter to help reduce background noise. Later, I purchased a microphone headset from Amazon for around $40 to see if it compared. Unfortunately, I got what I paid for with the Amazon purchase because the sound quality was significantly less.

I now know, that in the grand scheme of things, $120 is worth it if it makes your podcast quality stand out. I also found an easy trick to increase sound quality- record in your closet! I was shocked at how much better the confined space made my podcast sound. Sometimes it just takes experience to figure out what makes your podcast sound quality stand out.

2. Choose the Right Platform

When I first started out, I chose Anchor as my platform to record and edit my podcasts. After realizing that Anchor is a better program for hosting rather than recording and editing, I decided to do my recording on Zencastr, especially since all of my interviews were long distance. I was thoroughly impressed with the quick-to-learn features and top notch sound quality. I had to pay a minimal amount (as in a couple of dollars) to download my finished recording, but it was completely worth it! As for the editing, I chose Garage Band because it gave me ownership over my content and I was able to fine tune it more meticulously. However, I still use Anchor to host my podcasts because they automatically and easily distribute to all of the podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

voicEd | Your voice is right here!

I also host my podcast on voicEd.ca, which is an incredible website for educational blogs and podcasts across North America. There are so many options and avenues you can take when creating your podcast, so it’s important to do your research and choose the right platform.

3. Be Creative

In order for my podcast to stand out, I wanted to not only make sure my episodes sounded clean and well-recorded, but I also wanted my logo and brand to look established. I didn’t put much thought into my original logo because I didn’t create it with much of a purpose. As I became more invested into my podcast, I decided my logo needed a change. I chose an online design website to create my logo so that the process could be quick and inexpensive. I usually use Canva for my design needs, but this time I decided to try out PicMonkey. They are both easy-to-use websites with engaging templates, but PicMonkey has a monthly fee. Luckily I signed up under their 7 day free trial, so I was able to do my logo free of charge. In a couple of days, I turned my podcast from something that looked amateur into a brand that now looks established. It’s amazing what a little creativity can do to freshen up your podcast look!

4. Be Prepared

You might think that a podcast episode is done with little to no preparation. Think again. When you see a new podcast episode up, what you don’t see are the countless hours of planning and hard work put into that. I quickly learned that every new episode is a longer process than I had initially thought. However, the more experience I got with it, the more efficient and organized I became. Before I start recording a podcast episode, I start preparing in various ways. Throughout this project, I learned some strategies that helped me and could help you too! When I first started out and was organizing my first interview, I would do all of my communication and scheduling through email. However, it was a lot of “back and forth” and the finer details were hard to keep up with. I came up with a podcast document on Google Docs that outlined the recording schedule and contained details about the recording process and platform. Closer to the recording date, I would email my guest the “talking points” and questions that I had planned for the interview. I realized that when I put more time and planning into the interview, I was more confident when it came time for the episode.

5. Reach Out

Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and make connections with other people! I was surprised to find that almost all the people I reached out to were receptive and excited when I asked them to be a guest on my podcast. I made incredible connections with people like Kathy Cassidy and Mike Ribble. I also reached out to companies like Seesaw and Common Sense Education and they both put me in touch with people who were willing to share their knowledge. Reaching out also opened up a lot of doors and created opportunities for me. I made a connection with Vicki Davis, from the 10 Second Teacher Podcast, and she asked me to speak on her podcast. Due to the recent events of COVID-19, unfortunately those interviews had to be rescheduled, but they are still to come! It’s important to ask and connect, because most of the time, people will support you and join your journey.

6. Do Your Research

Before you interview any guest or speak on a podcast, it’s important that you do your research. When I put out my initial survey asking what people looked for in a podcast, people talked about the importance of quality research. Right when I started this project, I knew I had to put in the effort before I started the recording process. When I have an interview coming up, I read their blogs, follow them on Twitter, check out their About Me page, and read articles they have been a part of. I make sure that I am well-versed with their material so that I understand the topic and can plan for the interview accordingly. Research and understanding is an important part of the podcast process.

7. Be Authentic

I have come to realize that authenticity and vulnerability are important in connecting people to your podcast. When I first started making podcasts, I was nervous when it came time for recording. I had everything scripted and I made sure that when I edited it, the final copy sounded perfect. However, the more practice and experience I gained, the more my need for perfection decreased. I have started using my questions and talking points as a guideline and I am intentional about letting the conversation go in the direction that it needs to. Yes, I have structure for each interview, but I have also learned that there is beauty in a real conversation. As I have grown in my podcasting abilities, I have learned to be more confident and authentic in what I have to say.

There you have it! 7 important steps if you are thinking of starting a podcast yourself. It takes a lot of work to start your own podcast and organize each episode, but the outcome is worth the effort. Even though my formal project for the semester is done, this is just the start of my podcasting journey. I am looking forward to what I come up with next! In the mean time, you can subscribe to EdTech Endeavours on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and take a look at the rest of my podcasting journey below!

  1. Research, Reflect, Repeat: A Podcast in the Making
  2. Growth and Goals: A Look Into my Podcast Progress
  3. “In Conversation with Stephen Hurley” Interview
  4. The Podcast Playback: The 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship Edition
  5. The Podcast Playback: A Conversation with Kathy Cassidy
  6. The Podcast Playback: A Conversation with Mike Ribble
  7. “I Wish I Knew Edu” Interview… Coming Soon!

Thanks for joining me on this journey! Keep a look out for more interviews and podcasts coming up soon… and while we are waiting, let me know what topic you want to hear about or guest I should have next on my podcast!

-Amanda

The Podcast Playback: A Conversation with Mike Ribble

I recently had the opportunity to interview Mike Ribble, a digital citizenship expert and author of the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship. With his vast knowledge and experience with the subject, he not only brought incredible insight to the conversation, but also hope and encouragement during the current time that we are living in.

There’s no doubt about it, as a society, we are collectively going through an experience that is challenging and uncertain. However, this experience brings us the opportunity to grow closer together as a community… and one gift that we have during this unpredictable time is technology. The conversation that I had with Mike Ribble was so timely, especially since COVID-19 has required us to do our teaching, communicating, and learning online. We discuss crucial topics that embody Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship, something that is so valuable to learn about in our current digital world. In this interview, you will learn more about:

  • Digital Citizenship
  • Digital Literacy
  • Digital Safety, Security, and Privacy
  • Digital Access and the Digital Divide

In our conversation, Mike reminds us that yes, “there will be missteps as we go along”, however, “we will learn a lot about how we learn in a digital space through out this.”

Don’t forget to check out Mike Ribble’s website for more information about digital citizenship, including the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship. You can also learn more about these important topics from some of his books: Digital Citizenship Handbook for School Leaders: Fostering Positive Interactions Online, “Digital Citizenship in Schools, Third Edition, and “Raising a Digital Child. If you want to learn more about Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship, you can check out a previous blog post I wrote called “The Podcast Playback: The 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship Edition”.

My hope is that after listening to this podcast interview, you will feel inspired and motivated to make a positive change in our digital world. As we move forward and navigate through this unprecedented time, let us use the gift of technology to work together, inspire each other, and connect with one another.

The Podcast Playback: A Conversation with Kathy Cassidy

Have you ever had a conversation with someone new and instantly connected? That’s how I felt about my latest podcast guest, Kathy Cassidy– a retired grade 1 teacher, published author, and classroom blogging expert. Talking to her was like having coffee with a dear friend. She shared so much knowledge and inspiration about her days in the classroom, and more importantly, her “connected” classroom.

Are you wondering what a connected classroom even means? Well, Kathy talks all about it in the latest podcast EdTech Endeavours podcast episode. She explains the benefits and opportunities that come with making online connections through blogging and Twitter. She reminds us that connection creates community, even if it’s done online. Kathy talks about how the connected classroom gave her students an audience and a purpose for their writing, artifacts, and assignments. Her students authentically learned about digital citizenship through the online conversations they had and the posts they interacted with. Her stories and experiences will inspire you to connect online so that you too can gain valuable learning experiences that go beyond the walls of the classroom.

If you’d like to learn more about the experiences you can encounter when using a classroom blog and Twitter account, you can listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and most recently, voicEd.ca– a hub for educational podcasts and blogs.

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Connected from the Start- Kathy Cassidy

Don’t forget to check out Kathy Cassidy’s free downloadable book, “Connected from the Start: Global Learning in the Primary Grades.” You can also connect with her on Twitter and through her blog, which is packed full of great content and resources!

Thanks for tuning in!

-Amanda

The Podcast Playback: The “9 Elements of Digital Citizenship” Edition

In my journey to finding my own voice through podcasting, I have been fortunate enough to gain knowledge and inspiration from the voices of many others. I have stumbled upon so many rich and engaging podcasts that highlight important topics, issues, and themes in education. As I have listened to other podcasts and speakers talk about Digital Citizenship, I am gaining valuable tools and information for my own Major Project Podcast quest.

My original goal in this project was to “build my knowledge of Digital CitizenshipDigital Literacy, and Educational Technology by researching, connecting with experts, podcasting, and reflecting through blog posts.”… and I am doing just that!

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

This week, I did a lot of listening to gain knowledge and research for my project… and by a lot, I mean, I had my headphones in at every possible moment. I thought I would share some of my findings with you, especially because Catherine said she would like some EdTech podcast recommendations. I wanted to provide you with a resource that you can refer to for learning more about Digital Citizenship in the most convenient way possible- by listening!

I decided to round up my favourite episodes that follow the theme of Mike Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship– an all encompassing way to look at technology and digital use. Keep in mind, there are SO many great episodes out there, I could have picked many more under each category! If you enjoy this “Podcast Playback”, I might have to come out with a Part 2 of this series. You can access each podcast by clicking on the title link or by clicking the Social Links under each category. Enjoy!

1. Digital Access: “the equitable distribution of technology and online resources”

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The 10 Minute Teacher Podcast

2. Digital Commerce: “the electronic buying and selling of goods and focuses on the tools and safeguards in place to assist those buying, selling, banking, or using money in any way of the digital space.”

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IRL with Manoush Zomorodi

This podcast episode is all about online shopping and privacy. It made me more aware of why my favourite online stores know just exactly what I am interested in buying. Is Amazon tracking you? Are online companies taking your data? Listen to find out more about the “hidden costs of shopping, online and off.”

3. Digital Communication and Collaboration “the electronic exchange of information. All users need to define how they will share their thoughts so that others understand the message.”

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The EdTech Take Out

This podcast episode is all about communication in regards to students, parents, and teachers. The early part of the episode is more about #EdTech resources, but if you start at 12:50, you will hear more about the first theme in the 4 C’s– Communication. The second episode is all about setting students up for success when encouraging collaboration in the classroom. Don’t miss the other episodes about the 4’Cs: Critical Thinking, and Cultivating Creativity. The hosts of this podcast are engaging and knowledgeable, which makes for an easy and likeable listen.

4. Digital Etiquette “electronic standards of conduct or procedures and has to do with the process of thinking about others when using digital devices.”

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Convos with vendi55

This podcast is not only informative, but also enjoyable to listen to with it’s interview-style format. Dean, the host, and Jennifer-Casa-Todd, author of Social Leadia, talk about how Digital Citizenship and Etiquette goes beyond doing good and bad things on the internet. Listen and find out more about how Jennifer Casa-Todd uses social media in the classroom to model Digital Leadership and Social Leadia. You can also check out her podcast, Social Leadia, on Apple Podcasts and voiced.ca!

5. Digital Fluency– “the discussion of media literacy and the ability to discern good information from poor, such as “fake news” from real news.”

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Teaching Tolerance: The Mind Online

I was very impressed with this well done podcast! In this episode, Katy Byron, from MediaWise, not only talks about the importance of teaching students how to identify what is real and fake on the internet, but she also gives us some ideas on how we go about doing this. They also shared an initiative that they are doing to help students decipher if something is real or fake. They are encouraging students to use the hashtag #IsThisLegit, which informs MediaWise so that they can help them search for the source. This episode ends with behavioural scientist, Gordon Pennycook, who is from Regina, SK, explaining why people have a tendency to believe things that aren’t always true.

6. Digital Health and Welfare “the physical and psychological well-being in a digital world.”

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NPR Life Kit: Parenting

I was excited to listen to this podcast because it comes from a different perspective than what I am used to- parenting. Instead of telling us all the things not to do with technology, it actually talks about the advantages of using screen time in a positive way. They even have a blog post about it that you can easily refer to. There is also a second episode in this series called, “The Darker Side of Screen Time”, which I was apprehensive to listen to because I thought it would portray technology in only negative ways. However, this episode is very beneficial to listen to, especially if you’re a parent! They talk about the importance of modelling behaviour instead of policing behaviour. They give multiple “take-aways” that you can apply to your own life. These high quality podcast episodes have thoughtful content and thought-provoking research-backed information.

7. Digital Law “the electronic responsibility for actions and deeds and has to do with the creation of rules and policy that address issues related to the online world.”

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The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast

There are many aspects to Digital Law, but something that stands out is plagiarism and copyright laws. In this episode, Jennifer Gonzalez describes 5 exercises that teach students about plagiarism in a non-threatening, preventative way. She reminds us that we need to “explicitly teach these skills and we need to do it more than once if we want good results.” Along with this episode, there are countless other Cult of Pedagogy Podcast episodes that are full of valuable information and exciting ideas to use in your classroom.

8. Digital Rights and Responsibility “helping students understand that when they are provided opportunities, such as the access to the Internet and use of online products, they need to be diligent in helping others as well, such as informing adults of potential problems.”

EdTech Endeavours

This podcast is all about recognizing what the rights and responsibilities of Digital Citizenship are, but moving much further than that. In this episode, Graham Brace and I discuss practical tools and teachable lessons for instilling Digital Leadership in your students so that they are motivated to do more. As digital leaders, we have online rights that come with not only responsibility, but with amazing opportunity.

9. Digital Security and Privacy “the electronic precautions to guarantee safety.”

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IRL with Manoush Zomorodi

This podcast, suggested to me by Nancy, is a great way to learn all about security, privacy, and policies of the internet. This episode talks about “how companies collect, use, and share your personal data.” Are you interested in learning more about online privacy? Are you concerned about how your information and data are being used online? If you want to learn more about Digital Security and Privacy, this episode is for you!

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The 10 Minute Teacher Podcast

Podcast: The 10 Minute Teacher Podcast: 5 Things About Effective Digital Citizenship You Need to Know

One more you can add to your list is a podcast interview with Mike Ribble, the digital citizenship expert himself. In this short, yet informative podcast, Ribble talks about “five important things every educator should know about Digital Citizenship.”

As you can see, there are many different podcasts to choose from online! The important thing is that you find one that interests, inspires, and engages you. It’s also important to share what you learn with others. I hope that you find these podcast recommendations helpful in your digital journey. Feel free to comment any of your “take-aways” from each of these episodes.

In Conversation with Stephen Hurley

…and if you are curious how my podcasting journey began, you can listen to my full interview on voiced.ca with Stephen Hurley, where I talk about my teaching career, my Master’s journey, and my podcast adventure.

Happy listening!

-Amanda