Thursday, June 29, 2017

4 Podcast Episodes to Expand Your Mind This Summer

Summer is a chance for educators to think about something different, expand our minds, and explore new ideas.

And if you're anything like me, some your best sparks of inspiration will come from taking in ideas outside of the edtech and education world. These concepts collide with what's already working inside your brain to create something new and beautiful.

Or maybe they'll just make you stop and think for a second.

In honor of exploring outside ideas, here are 4 great non-edtech, non-education podcast episodes you may want to give a listen to this summer. You just never know what you're going to find.

  1. Jason Friedman: Restoring Sanity to the Office (31:32)
    Harvard Business Review Ideacast 

    The HBR Ideacast talks to authors of articles that have been published in the Harvard Business Review. And honestly, some of them can be just a touch dry.

    This is not one of them.

    Jason Friedman is the CEO of Basecamp and also wrote one of my all-time favorite business books, Rework. He's a very straightforward writer, and this interview goes the same way.

    He takes on the insanity of our current office culture, the stupidity of status meetings, and the nuttiness of our excessively collaborative multi-tasking (all of which also applies to school culture) and gives some ideas on taking back your work environment so you can actually get some work done.

    Anyone who has ever worked anywhere will appreciate the simplicity of Jason's approach to creating a more sane culture of work.

  2. Disruptive Leadership (52:28)
    The TED Radio Hour

    The TED Radio Hour, hosted by Guy Raz, pieces together TED Talks that all share a common theme. In this episode, speakers and interviews include (among others) retired general Stanley McChrystal on learning from failure (and he did have one, if you don't remember), Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (also of Lean In fame) on cultivating female leaders, and Seth Godin on how ordinary people can find and lead their tribe.

    There's a great variety of perspectives in this episode, and I felt like I learned something from all five segments of the show.

  3. What to Make of Philando Castile's Death, One Year Later (21:59)
    Code Switch

    Code Switch is a team of seven NPR journalists who cover race, ethnicity, and culture, and they do so in a very honest, engaging way.

    This episode explores the landscape after the acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop in July 2016. A journalist who has followed the story since it happened and close-friend-turned-activist talk about their perspectives on the tragedy.

    Two takeaways: first, Castile had been pulled over 46 times since he was 19 years old, and only 6 of those were for offenses that could be observed from outside the vehicle (speeding, running a stop sign, etc.).

    Secondly, in the suburban area where Castile was pulled over, 50% of the arrests made are African-American, while African-Americans only make up 7% of the population.

    An eye-opening episode indeed.

  4. Virgin: Richard Branson (34:54)
    How I Built This

    I love stories about how entrepreneurs have built their companies. It reminds me that they were scared, uncertain, and unsure if their idea would work long before they became successful.

    This interview with Richard Branson reveals a very honest portrait of a very interesting guy who went from starting a magazine, which became a record store, which became a record label, to currently mining the possibility of commercial human spaceflight.

    Virgin now has over 250 lines of business worldwide, and Branson couldn't even tell you what all of them are. But he is a serial entrepreneur and a once-in-a-generation type of personality. Really a fascinating listen.
There are 4 episodes to get you started. Let me know what you think, and if you have a "must-listen" episode of your own, post it in the comments below.

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