This I Believe

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I’ve tried a few times to really subscribe to podcasts that I have subscribed to. I have never quite succeeded. I have every intention of keeping up, laughing along, and making best friends with the voices coming through my headphones, car speakers, or laptop but it just hasn’t clicked with me. I don’t consider myself to have a short span of attention, but for some reason or another listening to podcasts (or audiobooks, I’m not just picking on podcasts!) puts me in a daze that ends up sounding like “Did you pay that bill? What do you want for dinner? When did you last call your dad?”

BUT! I am happy to report, I’ve found my personal key to podcast success: brevity. Audiobooks and podcasts are magical inventions that fill a space in many people’s lives. Some people learn better when they hear it, some people drive a lot, some people sit in a cubicle and would rather wear headphones than hear the clatter of keyboarding and office gossip. I fall into none of these categories, and am clearly a little self-involved so I need a podcast that can quickly captivate me, then let me roll the story around in my head.

I came across This I Believe on Tyler Nakatsu and Bonnie Lathram’s (2015) list of 60 Podcasts You Should Check Out. For me, this was just what the doctor ordered. The site produces weekly podcasts which feature individuals sharing their essays on the beliefs that guide their lives. These short, insightful narratives speak to what I believe: it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you believe in something.

Check out Madeleine McGuire’s “Getting Lost” to learn more accepting the challenge of finding beauty and magic wherever you happen to land.

I love the idea of a class podcast as a sort of “editor’s notes” feed. Teacher recaps/reviews, where to find more, what inspired the lesson, classroom challenges, etc. This gives the teacher extra classroom time without actually taking classroom time. Along these lines, individual student projects could be “presented” via podcasts (again saving instructional time). Even morning announcements could be presented as podcasts (or vodcasts).

I am a huge believer in narrative theory – or the idea that humans learn through story. This makes podcasting a great tool for creating community in a classroom, club, or school. From interviewing friends and family, to writing new stories, to using podcasts as an audio blog, I think there are endless possibilities for student connection, storytelling, and thereby identity production. Producing alternative media stories is important to me. Podcasting is an innovative way to do that for students who may be too shy to tell their story face to face.

Lathram, B. & Nakatsu, T. (2015 Feb 7). 60 podcasts you should check out. [blog post] Retrieved from


3 thoughts on “This I Believe

    Amanda Minter said:
    June 14, 2015 at 12:36 am

    I completely agree with you about podcasts. When I saw the description for Techlandia (a jimmy fallon like podcast) I thought I had hit the mother load! I was soon bored and not listening at all. I really like the blog you suggested,


    Dory Holder said:
    June 15, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Great idea for a class podcast. Do you ever feel like you are chasing students out the door with one more random fact? I taught 50 minute blocks of high school English, and it was never enough time I go to bed at night thinking about little teaching moments I missed in certain classes at night. That would be a great avenue to add those pieces of info. Also, to keep it interesting you could offer hidden jokes or extra credit for those listening, which would make it more fun.


      agree001 responded:
      June 16, 2015 at 2:55 am

      Dory- I love that idea!! It would be a nice way to see if anyone is tuned in. I was thinking about that for the podcast. Reflection can really produce some gems that you might not find otherwise, but there isn’t always time to rehash that during instruction. Hopefully that would be a place those gems could be shared!


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