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> How a Road Trip Can Be The Best Professional Development - Instructional Tech Talk



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Published on May 20th, 2013 | by Jeff Herb

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How a Road Trip Can Be The Best Professional Development

It sounds funny, but it makes complete sense. We consistently talk about how we are so hard pressed for time and how our lack of time translates into a deficiency in our ability to continue our learning and actively seek out professional development opportunities.

Recently, my good friend Sam Patterson (patue.org) completed an 8 hour road trip – texting me along the way with comments about my back catalog of shows. This made me think a lot about the untapped potential of the ‘road trip.’ I know that I am likely the first to give the road trip a hard time – always favoring a 2 hour plane ride to an 8+ hour car ride. What Sam has reminded me is the learning power of the road trip – the ability to stock up on some great podcasts and learn. Seriously, how often are you that free of interruptions? You shouldn’t be texting/emailing, no one can walk in and ask you questions, and you get to curate your own professional development via the back catalogs of some great podcasts. There are a couple ways to ensure you’re ready to go when leaving for your next road trip. Here they are:

Download a Podcast App:

Apple has a native iOS app for podcasts. It allows you to download episodes for off-the-grid listening. For those of you on Android, here is an app I’ve heard a lot of great things about: BeyondPod. These apps will allow you to create a library of your favorite podcasts and run them in playlist form during your trip. Here are a couple more options: Downcast, Podbay

Get your phone connected to your car:

There are SO many ways to accomplish this. If you have a newer car, it will likely have either a headphone jack, USB port, or bluetooth functionality to listen to the audio from your phone. Lots of cars don’t have this functionality so other options are necessary.  You can use an FM Modulator, which plugs into your phone’s headphone jack and will wirelessly transmit to your radio via one of the pre-defined stations. At only $20, it’s a great way to get audio from your phone into your car.

Here is a link to that FM Modulator.

Find some great Podcasts:

If you’re leaving soon for that big road trip, be sure to get a ton of awesome shows saved up. Here are some I’d recommend:

  • Techlandia: Jon, Alison, and Curt talk about 3 Apps, 3 Twitter users to follow, 3 EduAwesome things and 3 things that aren’t. Definitely worth a listen.
  • TeacherCast: Jeff Bradbury has an amazing podcasting network put together via TeacherCast. Tons of great information is shared on his podcast and many great guests are featured to discuss innovation in education.
  • Mobile Reach: David, Sue, and Jennie talk about how mobile devices are revolutionizing education. You can count on them to provide fresh content on a weekly basis by subscribing to Mobile Reach.
  • Instructional Tech Talk: This is my show that talks all about instructional technology and how it can help innovate your classroom. It features many great app developers, educational bloggers, and educational masterminds (the teachers!).

 

Enjoy your time on the road:

It’s not everyday that you have the ability to have several hours of uninterrupted time. Take advantage of this time by learning some great resources  for the classroom. Let us know where you go and what podcasts you listen to!

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About the Author

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Jeff Herb is an Educator, Blogger, and Podcaster focusing on Instructional Technology and finding ways to innovate the classroom using technology. Follow Jeff on Twitter to keep up with the latest in Educational Technology.



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