I read an amazing post today by teacher librarian and blogger extraordinaire Jennifer LaGarde entitled “Want to be a Great Teacher? Try Being a Great Learner First.” In it, Jennifer starts by saying “Hi. I’m Jennifer. And I’m addicted to learning.” I wanted to scream back at my computer screen, “Me, too! Me, too!!!” Because I feel exactly the same way.

You’ve definitely got to read the article because Jennifer says it a lot better than I could. Essentially, her claim is that the best teachers are the best learners. The learning addicts. And I couldn’t possibly agree more.

I’m a self professed twitter and RSS-aholic. But this summer I wanted to take it up a notch. I sought out some great podcasts that I could listen to during my commute. I wasn’t looking for educational podcasts, though. I wanted podcasts that would teach me new stuff. Any kind of stuff. I just wanted to learn. I wasn’t even sure if these podcasts would influence my work in education (and I’m still not, but I think they will). I wanted to learn new stuff for learnings sake.

And I learned a ton! I learned about colors and how there are animals that see something like 8 times as many colors as humans do. I learned about how Audi became a widely-known and competitive luxury car company. I learned about the life of Christiane Amanpour in an amazing interview with the brilliant journalist. I learned about moss. (It’s more fascinating than you would expect.) And much more.

So I thought I’d share my five favorite podcasts with you. Maybe you are like me and want to learn more, too. If nothing else, it will give us something to talk and tweet about. And maybe help us during trivia night. Here they are:

RadioLab

Brought to you by WNYC, RadioLab is an engaging look at the world around us. Engaging and explained in ways that folks like me and you can understand.

Stuff You Should Know

From the folks at How Stuff Works comes this short and funny (often hilarious) podcast. This is the one that taught me about moss, how tabloids work, and whether or not you could build an elevator to space.

Harvard Business Review IdeaCast

Yes, it has a business slant, but they talk a lot about organizations, innovation, creativity, motivation and other topics that have relevance for educators.

NPR: Planet Money

Again with economics, I know. But most of these are insightful and produced in a way that helps regular folks like me and you understand finance, economics, and all things money.

99% Invisible

It’s hard to categorize this one. But it’s pretty brilliant. Part philosophy. Part antropology. Part sociology. With a bit of science and psychology mixed in for fun. Definitely worth checking out.

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Honorable mention to two of my other all-time favorites: This American Life and storytelling broadcast The Moth.

If you give some of these a try, let me know what you think. And what you learn!

And if you enjoyed this post and never want to miss another one, be sure to subscribe to our blog today!

photo credit: el patojo via photo pin cc

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