Looking for some practical ideas and a little dose of inspiration every school day?
Each episode of the Ditch That Textbook Podcast with equip or inspire you to try something new or think more deeply about your practice. It's hosted by Matt Miller, author of Ditch That Textbook and Ditch That Homework. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.
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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 (anchor.fm) 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.
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 anchor.fm 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.