Can Podcasts Change Education?

I am a podcast fanatic.

Three years ago, I accepted a unique teaching position, that was an hour’s drive away. My job as the Innovation Coordinator/Director, was to start our “Innovation and Open Source Learning” class, and help empower Noblesville students’. I LOVED the job, but hated the drive. So, I started investing in podcasts and audio books on my commute.

My first choices were the usual suspects: Freakonomics (still one of my favorites), Radio Lab, This American Life, etc… But then I started listening more and more to startup, entrepreneurial, and “life hack” podcasts. I had already liked Tim Ferris’s books, but started listening to his podcast, along with Ryan Hawk’s Learning Leader Show, and the “School of Greatness,” with Lewis Howes.

The more I listened to the host and their guest’s, the more I realized that my Innovation class resembled many of the journey’s taken by startups and entrepreneurs. In fact, most of the insights provided by the guests made me realize more about education than… well… education sources.

Because I was so inspired, I started reaching out to more hosts and leaders. Our first big break through came when we contacted Quest Nutrition Co-Founder (and podcast host of Inside Quest and now Impact Theory), Tom Bilyeu. Tom was so impressed with our students, that it lead to opening up a visit and appearance on his show.

I became more obsessed with listening to the journey of startup leaders. Some of my students and I would share great episodes, and this lead to more connecting. The highlight of the year is when we had entrepreneur and philanthropist Naveen Jain join the class. He spent over an hour with them, talking about innovation, risks, and giving back. The students were hooked.

Our class listens to Naveen Jain

Next, we somehow convinced Tim Ferris to call the class via Skype. The students were blown away with the insights and stories that Tim supplied.

My daughter, Ava, asks Tim a question about a “gap year.”

After Skyping with Tim, I had a student ask if I would start my own podcast about education, but with entrepreneurs. I‘ve always thought that innovative entrepreneur’s are the new super hero because they look to solve problems. Instead of complaining about the way things are, they look to provide solutions. So, why not try and interview my hero’s?

I started sending emails the next day.

If you an educator, I kindly ask that you listen to episode 2, with Jeff Hoffman, as it will inspire you, and make you re-think the point of education. I hope you’ll like it, and maybe you’ll subscribe. This year we have already recorded, or have upcoming episodes with New York Times Best Selling authors: Jocko Willnik, Daniel Pink, Dorie Clark, Steven Kotler, and David Burkus. We also have all-star entrepreneurs like Naveen Jain, John McDonald, Tom Bilyeu, and Liz Wessel.

If you are a fan of startup/lifestyle/entrepreneurial podcasts, I think you’ll like this podcast as well. The entire program isn’t about education- but rather lessons that we can all learn from.

You can find the podcast on ITunes here.

On Soundcloud here. Stitcher here.

If you are a fan of these types of podcasts, please let me know what you think, AND if you have suggestions for guests, PLEASE let me know! You can email me at: don@startedupinnovation.com

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