Centered: The Arizona K12 Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Kathy Wiebke, offers her education insights in this monthly column. Last year, when I seemingly spent an inordinate amount of time in my car traveling throughout the state, I discovered CNN on my XM radio. It was a great way to pass the timNov 17, 2017
Centered: The Arizona K12 Center’s Executive Director, Dr. Kathy Wiebke, offers her education insights in this monthly column.
Last year, when I seemingly spent an inordinate amount of time in my car traveling throughout the state, I discovered CNN on my XM radio. It was a great way to pass the time and keep abreast on what was happening around the world and the United States. However, I got tired of the arguing, spin, and hype. While CNN had satisfied what was apparently a pretty voracious appetite for news and current events, it no longer filled a need for me.
That is when I discovered what once was old was new again: podcasts.
Technology makes it easier than ever to listen to these digital audio files. As I started subscribing to podcasts and downloading episodes, an old friend appeared. Amidst brand new podcasts was a relic from eight years ago — the Arizona K12 Center’s original podcast! The Center once had a podcast with our partners at Arizona State University and the Arizona Department of Education through Integrated Data to Enhance Arizona’s Learning. For varying reasons, we let it dwindle. But, when I started subscribing to new podcasts, I rediscovered this vintage podcast and its original playlist. Yes, what was once old is now new again.
Quickly, I became a true podcast fan. I listened regularly, found myself awaiting new episodes from my favorite hosts, and I began to wonder: What if the Arizona K12 Center produced a podcast that was topical, current, and entertaining? I envisioned a show that teachers could listen to on the drive home from work, at the gym, or while walking their dogs.
Then, I connected the dots. The Arizona K12 Center staff is engaging and smart. Over the years, we have made many friends who are more than worthy of an interview or two. I started to imagine what it might look like if this wishful thinking became a reality. I pitched the idea and we talked through the details: What would we call the production? What do teachers want (and need) to hear? How could we engage listeners?
We started this project in June by mapping out the possibilities. From the start, we wanted it to be inspirational and informative with an element of fun. We also knew our target audience would be teachers because that is a demographic we know and understand well. We wanted to connect with educators to give them the skills and knowledge to initiate change.
As we worked throughout the summer, naming our podcast was like naming your firstborn. What one liked, another pulled up their nose. At some point, we came up with “3Ps in a Pod” where Practice, Policy, and Passion would drive each episode.
Once we had a name and a direction, we quickly realized we knew nothing about the physical act of making a podcast. Like good teachers, we turned to our friends who knew more for advice. Next time you are at the Arizona K12 Center, ask to check out our podcast studio. Now, we look like podcasting pros — we’ve got microphones, a sound board, and headsets!
Just six months later, we have a podcast. Right now, you will find four, one-minute teaser episodes introducing you to our hosts, Angelia, Danielle, Donnie, and Mary. Our first full-length episode focuses on teacher leadership and my pursuit of National Board Certification. You will learn that my leadership journey began with a woman named Vivian who asked me to be the building rep and the people along the way who saw something in me that I didn’t. Next week, listeners will meet Josh Meibos, Arizona’s 2018 Teacher of the Year.
Like any good teacher I do have an assignment.
- Take a moment to listen and subscribe to “3Ps in a Pod.”
- Rate and review our podcast — we want others across the nation to jump on the bus, too, and that is how we can best accomplish this goal.
- Finally, share at the bottom of this blog, a practice you want to improve, a policy you want to learn more about, or a passion that drives you.
I hope you make “3Ps in a Pod” part of your professional routine. Remember, this is a conversation, not a lecture. Ditch the notebook, but be ready to share.There’s no need to cram for a pop quiz, but we hope you’ll continue your own quest to be a lifelong learner.