The Ditch That Textbook Podcast: 5 minutes of ideas every day

Get five minutes of inspiration and ideas every school day with the Ditch That Textbook podcast! Check it out and start listening today!

So … can I come along with you on your commute to school? Or a grocery run? Maybe while you’re working out or gardening?

If you let me, I promise I’ll give you some ideas you can use in your classroom.

This is what podcasts feel like to me. It’s like carrying around radio shows in my pocket about the topics I’m most interested in right now.

Like my introduction said, I want to come along with you.

For five minutes each school day.

What do you think?

(If the answer is “yes!”, you can scroll to the bottom of this post and start listening right away if you want!)

Why a podcast?

I’ve had in mind to do a Ditch That Textbook podcast for years … almost five years to be exact!

In fact, five years ago, I asked the teacher across the hall from me (with a pretty great announcer voice!) to record an intro, some transitions, and an outro.

That summer, I did three recordings, posted them to my blog, didn’t know how to start a “real” podcast and gave up.

(Those recordings are hidden deep in the Ditch That Textbook archives still. I just listened to them and cringed the whole time!)

Today, podcasts are a growing medium — still! As of 2017 …

  • 112 million Americans have listened to a podcast (up 11 percent from 2016)
  • 67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly (up 14 percent from 2016)
  • 42 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly (that’s 15 percent of the U.S. population!)

As technology changes, I believe podcasts will get easier to consume. Car technology is starting to include podcasts. Plus, smart speakers (Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.) make it easier to listen to podcasts than before.

Introducing the Ditch That Textbook podcast

The Ditch That Textbook podcast is a five-minute (plus or minus) podcast every week day.

It’s full of ideas — big ideas to wrap your brain around, practical ideas to use in class right away, small ideas like tips and tricks and hacks.

Why five minutes? Generally, we can fit five minutes into our day somehow … at lunch, in the car, on the treadmill, etc.

I recently wrote about why your students needs a podcast AND how to do it quickly and easily.

I featured an app called Anchor ( in that post, and that’s what I’m using to produce this podcast. I’ll be recording much of it from my phone, so it will be fairly raw and uncut … but that’s what I intend for it to be.

I’m still recording the Google Teacher Tribe podcast with co-host Kasey Bell. It’s a weekly show with ideas for using Google tools in your classroom plus Google news and updates.

So … why do another podcast?

For one, I really believe in the power of audio. We can learn while we do something else, where video and text require our whole attention. That means audio can save us time. Basically, I’m excited about this medium!

Second: this podcast is broader and will touch on different topics than the Google Teacher Tribe will. It’s a way to talk about other things that I’m passionate about as well.

Why this podcast is different

I instantly latched onto this Anchor app because it creates podcasts differently in a couple very important ways …

1. It lets YOU join the show! If you find the show on the Anchor app, you can leave me a voice message inside the app. This will make the show more interactive. You can ask questions, leave your responses to the show, and share your own ideas. I’ll add many listener “call-ins” to the show!

2. Interviews are easy. I can invite guests on the show for interviews through the Anchor app or by recording live in person at events I attend. This way, you won’t just hear from me each week … there will be a variety of voices!

How you can listen to the Ditch That Textbook podcast

You have many options!

1. On the Anchor app. This is a great place to follow the show so you can quickly and easily call in to the show and listen to it the moment it’s published. Go to for the app and search “Ditch That Textbook” to find and favorite the show. Click here to view the show on Anchor.

2. Right here on the blog. I’m planning on publishing podcast recap posts here every Tuesday. I’ll embed the shows right into the posts. You can listen to them without downloading anything!

3. iTunes / Apple Podcasts. If you have an iPhone, this may be your best option. Click here to find the show on iTunes / Apple Podcasts.

4. Google Play Music. If you have an Android phone, this may be your best option. Click here to find the show on Google Play Music.

5. Overcast and Pocketcasts. If you use these platforms or would like to, click here to find the show on Overcast or click here to find it on Pocketcasts.

Let’s start listening!

Episode 001 — Welcome to the Ditch That Textbook podcast!

I’m so excited to start this podcast! My goal is to equip, inform and inspire educators five days a week. In this episode, I will tell you what to expect from this show and tell you a little about myself.

Episode 002 — Padlet: New features, new possibilities

Padlet, the web tool that lets you add digital sticky notes to a virtual bulletin board, has been around for a long time. But with new features — take pictures, record video, and more — there’s more to love than ever. If you haven’t checked it out recently, it’s worth looking at!

Episode 003 — Using Story Speaker w/Google Home

Story Speaker lets you create interactive “stories” or interactions with your Google Home. Learn how you can create them with NO CODING … just a Google Doc and this add-on!

Episode 004 — Google Drawings: Tricks you didn’t know

Google Drawings is a great tool to help teachers and students create eye catching images digitally. There are some cool tricks to it that you might not know. In this episode, we cover some of them. You won’t want to miss it!

Episode 005 — The power of student voice

How can we encourage students to use their voice — in learning, in positive ways, to make a change — in class and throughout our lives?

Episode 006 — Why you need a class podcast — and how to do it

Podcasting is a growing medium. It let’s you learn by listening — consume content — while doing something else. Students can share learning with an authentic audience by creating a free podcast. Learn how!

Episode 007 — Push this button for more learning

There’s a button we use in many digital learning tools to keep kids from cheating. But it can do more than that! Learn how it can be used to help kids learn too.

For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links:

Interested in having Matt present at your event or school? Contact him by e-mail!

Matt is scheduled to present at the following upcoming events:

 DateEvent / Event DetailsCity / More Info
+ 03/30/2018
Taylorville CUSDTaylorville, IL
+ 04/11/2018
Switzerland County School CorpVevay, IN
+ 04/21/2018
Great ExpectationsEdmond, OK
+ 04/25/2018
Connect ConferenceNiagra Falls, CA
+ 06/01/2018
MSD of MartinsvilleMartinsville, IN
+ 06/04/2018
Granbury ISDGranbury, TX
+ 06/05/2018
Columbus City SchoolsColumbus OH
+ 06/06/2018
School City of MishawakaMishawaka, IL
+ 06/12/2018
2nd Annual Learn, Explore, Adopt and Deliver (LEAD) ConferenceCleveland, OH
+ 06/13/2018
InnEdCoKeystone, CO
  Public Event
+ 06/19/2018
Tyler ISDTyler, TX
+ 06/21/2018
Barr-Reeve Jr/Sr High School- Washington Community SchoolsWashington, IN
+ 08/09/2018
St. Joseph Grade SchoolSouth Bend, IN
+ 08/14/2018
Tech CampPortage, Michigan
+ 08/15/2018
St. Anthony de Padua Catholic SchoolSouth Bend, IN