My Podcast Addiction

My name is Andy and I am a podcast addict. I first tried listening to podcasts 8 years ago and thought it was something that I could handle, after all, it was only gentle background listening, a sports podcast. Little did I know that these were gateway podcasts, as I soon moved on to heavier podcasts – seeking out specific topics such as education, personal fulfillment and social justice to name a few, I opened up a world of listening that I have never been able to close. You’ll know them as podcast players, but podcast addicts will recognize my difficult relationship with ‘Stitcher‘, ‘Podbean‘, ‘Podomatic‘ and I’ve even been known to ‘Soundcloud‘ every now and again.

Don’t judge me, but to help me deal with this aural addiction I have kept a journal of my listening for the week. After all, you don’t know you have a problem until you admit it.

Monday – Car Conversations & Courageous Conversations

carcastI started the week by trying something new (I can’t help it!) by checking out CarCast Episode 1 from Andy Hair and Arron Gardiner. Recorded while driving back from the Victorian Teacher Games in Australia, these two PE teachers catch up on recent projects, and talk about the upcoming semester before they finish school in the summer. I like the informal nature of conversational podcasts – it feels like you are sitting in the car with them, plus I benefit from hearing from educators from different countries. In some ways they are similar – they mention their excitement at introducing their students to tchoukball and spikeball, but in others they are different – PE teachers play a bigger role in the delivery of athletics (track & field) than they do here in America.

If you like this, you’ll also like these two older, but conversational projects.  The #PhysEd Podcast from Joey and Nathan, and Crystal and Jo’s Excellent PE Adventures from Jo Bailey and Crystal Gorowitz.

tapestryI also listened to Tapestry A Conversation About Race and Culture. This social justice podcast asks tough questions about where we’ve been, where we’re going and what justice, equality, and peace among all people truly looks like. In the latest episode hosts Karlos and Miguel kick-off the 3rd season with a discussion about Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand for the national anthem. Podcasts such as this are of interest to me in that they make having conversations about race easier to have. Additionally, athletes taking a political stance allow me to engage students in conversations about race by piggybacking off of their interest in sports.

If you like this, you’ll also like NPR’s new(ish) social justice podcast Code Switch. This podcast will make you laugh, and might make you uncomfortable, but it remains unflinchingly fresh, honest and empathetic. You’ll also like Politically Re-Active. Hosted by two politically conscious comedians, their guests are awesome. With conversations with people such as Shaun King, Jasiri X, and dream hampton this show is so good you will want to take notes!

Tuesday – Crime Series & PhysEd Pocasts

in-the-darkCrime podcasts are a genre of listening that I return to every now and then and APM just released In The Dark, which has become my favorite serial (no pun intended) to check out. For 27 years, the investigation into the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in rural Minnesota yielded no answers until recently. This harrowing story is both difficult to listen to but at the same time a gripping story. The interviews with residents, family and suspects have had me hoping that I hit traffic so that my commute to school is long enough to hear the end of the episode. We are discussing this podcast on Voxer.

If you like this, you’ve probably already listened to Serial (hasn’t everyone?). If you haven’t, check out season 1. Season 2 didn’t hold my interest to continue through to the end. You’ll also like Making A Murderer on Netflix and episodes 1 – 5 of the Real Crime podcast.

voxcastThe Global Physed Voxcast is one podcast that I’m emotionally attached to. This is created for my people, by my people. Many of the voices that you hear on this podcast are in my PLN, I’ve met a lot of them and collaborated with even more. Crossing the spectrum of physical education, health, pedagogy and recently dance, each episode is always different from the other and the host Jorge Rodriguez is to be congratulated on creating such an awesome product! I listened to the Dean Dudley episode and there are so many soundbites in there that I want my coworkers to hear. I call them Dean Dudley grenades – pull the pin, throw the comment in the room and listen for the explosion.

If you like this you’ll also like The PE Umbrella with Ryan Ellis. Ryan shares the latest in excellent teaching practice and advocates for quality physical education in schools.

You should also check out The Fundamental Movement, hosted by an all-star physical education cast. Think The Traveling Wilbury’s in tracksuits. I’ll add both of MrRobbo‘s podcasts in this category. The PE Geek Podcast has 66 episodes in the bag, is always cutting edge and gave rise to the ConnectedPE podcast. Oh, and of course the SHAPE America podcast continues to churn out varied and quality material of interest to PE and, increasingly, health teachers. Big shout out to Matt Pomeroy and Collin Brooks. Finally, keep an eye on new kid on the block Carl Condliffe and his NZPE Teachercast.

Wednesday – Podcasts from WNYC

snap-judgementIf you are looking for bite size stories, maybe your commute is shorter than my 70 minutes, then Snap Judgement from WNYC will be perfect for you. I listened to their ‘Crash & Burn’ episode this morning. Great stories that encourage you to see the world through the eyes of another, all linked with a common theme, and with a great soundtrack too.


radiolab_logo_200Staying on the WNYC flow, I also listened to Radiolab which in a way is similar to Snap Judgement in that it weaves bold stories around the same theme and is for listeners who ‘demand skepticism but appreciate wonder’. I listened to a fascinating story about a girl who was born at home, homeschooled, and never visited a dentist or a hospital. By both chance and design she is completely invisible in the eyes of the state.

Other WNYC podcasts that you might like include Freakonomics Radio – an old favorite of mine that I need to go back to. Every show provides surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. I also just discovered the Radiolab spin-off titled More Perfect a series about the Supreme Court- their recent episode on racial bias and juror selection was very thought provoking.

Thursday – Some Old Favorites

code-switchThis was a day in which I caught up with some old favorites. Those podcasts that I have to listen to as soon as they are released. I’ve already mentioned Code Switch in my notes from Monday. This podcast presents stories looking at race and social justice. This episode on trigger warnings made me think about how I use them in class – warning students of class material that might be difficult to digest. In the podcast they reveal the history of the concept of trigger warnings and discuss their use in colleges when discussing racism, sexism and other difficult to talk about topics.


Dave Zirin’s Edge of Sports podcast covers politics, sports and the messy relationship between the two. His podcasts dealing with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games  were awesome. They peeled back the facade created by the IOC and revealed the disturbing reality of being a Rio resident before the eyes of the world were on them, during the Games, and after the circus had moved on. Today I listened to his lengthy, but gripping conversation with Bob Costas, who came across better than I expected. I disagreed with some of Costas’ commentary, but his take on being a journalist in the social media jungle was very interesting.

Today was  a good day in the life of this podcast addict in that not only did Dave Zirin retweet me, so did dream hampton! Note: I use the Clammr app to take 24 second soundbites from a podcast and tweet it out.

Friday – Food for Thought

bbc-food-programmeI do enjoy listening to food and nutrition podcasts, and I obviously have a penchant for BBC production – it reminds me of home, and I can pretend that I’m actually listening to the radio, not a pre-recorded and streamed podcast. The BBC Food Programme investigates every aspect of the food we eat. Food politics, food production, food consumption and food history.

sound-bitesDisclosure alert – I’ve been on this podcast…and the presenter is the mother of one of my health students. Sound Bites with Melissa Joy Dobbins really draws from a wealth of outstanding guests. The Protein and Exercise episode will be of interest to health and PE teachers. The quote below from Dr. David Katz came from another one of Melissa’s episodes.

Other BBC podcasts that are on my saved list include In Our Time – an intellectual discussion of ideas, and Farming Today – discussions about the English countryside, farming and food. Both make me feel a little homesick, but that explains one reason for my addiction. Podcasts give me my specific fix, when I want it. Sometimes I need a British fix.

Podcasts serve a number of needs, but with a 70 minute commute to work, they are perfect for exposing me to new ideas and inspiration. They make me a better teacher and provide me with professional and personal development in my time, without costing me money.

podcast-dayLook out for International #podcastday on September 30th where I hope to push out a #healthed podcast starring the global voices of students from my PLN. If all goes to plan, you’ll hear voices from Vietnam, Australia, England and America, possibly even more.

You can hear last years podcast here.

Finally, if you want to talk with other PE & Health teachers interested in podcasts, you can join the Voxer podcast chat.

#slowchathealth questions for this week will be posted here:


4 thoughts on “My Podcast Addiction

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