Everyone needs a podcast…

Do you know what is really great (and also terrifying) about the internet? There is a place for everyone, if you’re willing to look for it. The quality and quantity of the content may vary, but you can always find something that you’re looking for.  Now podcasts are replacing orange as the new “black”. After the immensely popular SERIAL,  from the makers of This American Life (my wife’s personal favorite), podcasts are enjoying a level of national popularity that they haven’t previously had. Several years ago, when I first started looking for podcasts at the suggestion of my future father-in-law, the choices were limited and the production quality wasn’t always very good. But that isn’t really the point of podcasts to me; I like podcasts because they provide me with content that is specific to what I like, with depth that can’t even be imagined. For example, in addition to Biology, I also like Star Wars. And over Thanksgiving Break, I might have listened to three separate podcasts totaling more than four hours over the 88-second trailer released that weekend.

However, up until recently, I had a noticeable gap in podcasts addressing my biggest interest area: education, and science education in particular. Well, no more! Thanks to two very accomplished, very giving, and occasionally very funny guys (Paul Anderson and David Knuffke), there is now a place for the science teacher that wants to listen to people talk about education content with Inside Baseball-like depth.

Horizontal Transfer, a double-entendre directed at their target audience, provides you with a weekly “chat show”-style conversation about a topic relevant to science teachers. The audio quality is top-notch, and the show notes are amazing sources of links cross-referencing everything talked about and alluded to on the show. But, as is the case for any good podcast, you may come for the content, but you stay because of the “talent”. Anderson and Knuffke are engaging, funny when they want to be and serious when they need to be, and have different enough views/styles that it isn’t 50 minutes of constant agreement and back-patting.

In addition to the unique discussion points each week, they also have repeating segments. TWIL (this week I learned), “Constructive” Criticism, and a new sponsor for the podcast (which took me two episodes to realize was actually just some biology content snuck in for good fun). At our recent winter board meeting, the KABT officers agreed that this kind of endeavor deserved actual sponsorship. And while we would love to be flush with enough cash reserves to act as a patron for this podcast, alas we are not. We can, however, support a group of compatriots to show them that we recognize what they are doing, and that we think it is excellent. So we are very proud to be the first actual sponsors of the Horizontal Transfer podcast. After all, as teachers, we should never miss the chance to positively reinforce productive and desired behaviors, right? So take some time, and check out Horizontal Transfer. It is available online, through iTunes, and with any number of third-party Android podcast catchers.

And if you’re new to the KABT website, welcome! Take some time to click around, and if you have any questions, drop us a line on our Twitter feed, email, or Facebook page! We have some pretty neat content designed by some really great teachers who like to share and collaborate with other teachers that share our passion.