I’m very excited to be debuting the EdTech Stories podcast. Over the next five episodes (or so) of EdTech Stories, I’m hoping to share the journey of how with you how some of the technology products platforms used in education were created.
In this blog post, I want to give you an idea of what you can expect from EdTech Stories and where the idea for this podcast series came from.
I’ve been a teacher in New York State over the past 15 years and since starting my career, I’ve always looked for ways to integrate technology into my lessons or professional development workshops. But between the hundreds of products that I learned about or shared with teachers, I’ve always just used used the technology. I never thought about where it came from, how it was created, or who the people were behind it. It was just kind of…there.
Then around April of 2018, I came across a blog post from the James Socol, founder of one of the first EdTech Tools that I ever used Today’s Meet. In his blog post titled “Remembering Today’s Meet” the co-founder of Today’s Meet reflected on his experience running the site. It was a very interesting story that shared why he created Today’s Meet, how the popularity of the platform surged after the 20012 presidential debate, and finally come of the circumstances for closing it down. It was the complete story of Today’s Meet. The life and the death of a popular EdTech tool. And that blog post, made me start to wonder about the backstory of some of the other edtech resources that I was using..
At the same time that I discovered this article,I had started listening to narrative-style podcasts such as NPR’s Serial, Gimlet Media’s Startup and ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcasts. These were that relied on storytelling rather than the interview or “a few people talking around a microphone” format that some may associate with podcasts. A narrative podcast features a host and pulls together elements like voiceovers, music, interview segments and other media to to craft a concise story each episode.
I searched Apple podcast to see if there were any narrative-style podcasts about EdTech. I found a few examples, but none matched what I was looking for. And then I had an idea. What if I created one myself? Selected one EdTech product that teachers around the world use?. Researched that product to try to learn the backstory? Interviewed the founder as well as other people associated with that product? And then compile it all together to edit a 30 or 40 minute podcast.
I went back and forth on this idea for quite some time. I knew that between researching, scheduling and interviewing guests, and then to writing and editing the actual podcast, this was going to take a lot of time. But sometimes when I get,what I think is an interesting idea, I just have to go for it.
So here we are, this is the EdTech Stories podcast. The podcast that shares the journeys of the startups changing the way we teach and learn. In this five-part series you’ll learn about the origins of some popular EdTech products today. Maybe even some of the ones that you use in your classroom. You’ll discover the inspiration behind these products. The success and failure. How the idea for these platforms first came about, how that idea turned into a product and how that product made it to your classroom.
Season 1 of EdTech Stories and I have 5 episodes planned but there might be more. Each episode will drop on Monday every other week. This will be a bi-weekly podcast and each episode will run between 25 to 45 minutes long.
I love listening to podcasts but I’ve also heard that some may not have the time or focus to listen to an episode in it’s entirely. So in the week between new episodes, I’ll be using social media to share audio excerpts and other information related to this podcast. This will be a great way to digest the podcast in smaller increments rather than listening to the entire show.
Right now I want to share the first episode of EdTech Stories profiling the UK-based company Wakelet. You can argue that Wakelet has been one of the more popular EdTech tools over the past few years and next week and on the debut episode of EdTech Stories you’ll learn how Wakelet was created.
In this episode, I interviewed Wakelet co-founder Jamil Khalil and several other Wakelet employees, educators, and even a product manager from Microsoft to help share the journey of this startup from the UK. You can find the episode on The EdTech Stories podcast feed.
Remember, you can subscribe to EdTech Stories from iTunes, Google Play, Spotify or any other popular podcast platforms. You can also find each episode as well as more information on each episode at www.EdTechStories.com…
Like I said earlier, creating this podcast was an idea that batted around for a while and just decided to do it. And I would love to hear what you think about this podcast. There’s a few ways to do that.