Weekend Listen-and-Learn: Alex Blumberg on Making Podcasts


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Are you into listening and consuming podcasts?  If the answer is no, it is not surprising.  While podcasting has had a steady audience over the past few years, Pew Research estimates that the number of those that have listened to a podcast actually decreased in 2013.

The landscape changed in 2014, due to the release of Serial, from the makers of the popular public radio show This American Life.  By all metrics, the series that chronicled a true crime story of a convicted murderer that claimed he was wrongly accused was an absolute hit, engaging millions of listeners each week during its run.

The popularity of Serial has spawn what some are calling the “Serial effect:” many other podcasts experienced significant bumps in their overall downloads and listeners as podcast consumers were hungry for more content.

NCCE’s Tech-Savvy Teachers are interested in this story, and believe that podcasting could impact classrooms more now then when podcasting first grew in popularity over a decade ago.  We presented a workshop this month in Bozeman, Montana on the issue and are working on a more extensive half-day and full-day workshop for teachers and school districts looking to take on this media creation challenge.

In the meantime, this weekend, you should listen to this two-part episode from the Tim Ferriss podcast.  Part 1 in an excellent interview with Alex Blumberg, who started his own podcast company in 2014 and released a podcast chronicling his adventures.  There is excellent information on professional-level podcast production, the art of the story and the advantages and disadvantages of expecting perfection.  Part 2 is excerpts of a master class taught by Alex on the art of the interview.

Both episodes are excellent and very much worth your time!

Are you interested in more information about podcasting in the classroom, either as a media resource or an excellent project for engaging kids in making their own media?  Contact NCCE for details on bringing the Tech-Savvy Teachers to your district!

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