2018 December Issue
Find a Quick Way to Learn with Podcasts
By Justin Cowen , Technology Integration Specialist Breitung Township Schools & the Dickinson-Iron ISD

In 2004, a BBC journalist Ben Hammersley was trying to find a word to describe a new up and coming technology but couldn’t find the right phrase. Eventually, he decided to form a new word by joining to terms related to the new tech, iPod & broadcasting (Sawyer). Since 2004, podcasting has grown into a phenomenon that has taken over our computers, phones, and smart devices. In fact, according to Google Trends, interest in podcasting has increased by almost 50% over the past two years.

Podcasting can be used by educators to not only increase their knowledge but to also share their knowledge with others. Here are some helpful resources to help you get started in the world of podcasting!

How to Listen to a Podcast

There are many ways to listen to a podcast. You can use an app on your smartphone like Google Podcasts, Apple’s Podcast app, or Spotify to get that sweet cross-platform action. If you have a smart device like an Echo or Google Home, you often can just ask it for a certain podcast and instantly start listening. To find links to these resources and a few others, go to .

Podcasts to Listen To

Now that you have an app or other preferred methods to listen to your podcast, you need a podcast to listen to. There are many podcasts that cover everything from what you missed in history to Reading Rainbow’s own LeVar Burton reading short stories for adults! To help you get your podcast journey started, I asked some educators to generate a list of their favorite podcasts, and I compiled their answers for you here: .

Record Your Own

The next step after listening and learning from podcasts is to start creating your own. This may seem like a daunting task, but it can be done with relative ease! My favorite way to record simple podcasts & audio is to use the Chromebook friendly website Online Voice Recorder. It allows you to record, pause, and trim without being a sound expert. If you need something a little fancier or are feeling adventuresome, try Anchor allows users to create segments that can be assembled together to make a professional sounding podcast. Find links to these resources and some bonus links by going to .

Sawyer, Miranda (November 20, 2015). "The man who accidentally invented the word 'podcast'" (MP3). BBC Radio 4. Retrieved November 15, 2017.

Images courtesy of and
SIGPL Workshops at the MACUL Conference
March 20, 2019
Full Day Workshop
Project Based Professional Learning (PBPL): Igniting Inquiry and Curiosity in Adult Learners with PBL and Technology Integration
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

In a PBL environment, students collaborate to complete long-term, interdisciplinary projects that require content knowledge, creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and communication skills. So, why not take the next step and transform the learning for adults?

By bringing a PBL lens and technology integration together, professional learning facilitators can guide adult learners to similar outcomes. Modeling a PBL environment during staff development gives educators firsthand experience with the process of planning, working in a collaborative group with peers, and learning in a project-based setting. 

Through a synthesis of direct instruction, group work, videos, and hands-on experiences, participants will learn more about project based learning and engaging learners in sustained inquiry, the importance of meaningful technology integration in facilitation and professional learning roles; and designing professional learning that ignites inquiry and curiosity in their adult learners.

  • Myla Lee, Instructional Coach and PBL Specialist, Novi Community Schools and
  • Mary Wever, STEAM and Technology Educator, Waverly Schools
Half Day Workshops
Using Google Classroom as a PD Launchpad
8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Google Classroom isn't just for the classroom teacher and flipping goes beyond the classroom. Whether you are a presenter, administrator, coach, or leader of any group, Google Classroom is an effective tool you can use tomorrow. In this session you will, dive deep and explore numerous ways to use Google Classroom with adult learners.

  • Janice Kato, Instructional Technology Specialist, Saginaw ISD, Google for Education Certified Trainer
  • Matthew McCullough, Director of Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Schoolcraft Community Schools

Designing or Renovating your Makerspace
1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

This hands-on workshop will be led by Nicholas Provenzano, Makerspace Director at University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods and Angela Loewecke, Interior Designer with Demco. If you are looking to create a Makerspace or update an existing space within the next 12-18 months, this pre-conference session is for you. Nicholas and Angela will provide an overview of the renovation of the University Liggett School Makerspace that opened in the fall of 2018.

The latter half of this pre-conference will provide an opportunity for you to begin working through your Makerspace project plans with guidance from Nicholas and Angela. You will leave this pre-conference session with a plan on how to tackle your Makerspace project.

Partnership with SIG PL. Sponsored by DEMCO.

  • DEMCO interior design team, and
  • Nicholas Provenzano, Makerspace Director University Liggett School

Watch the video below to find out more about the Makerspace workshop on March 20 with DECMO and Nicholas Provenzano:
SIG Professional Learning supports educators involved in providing professional learning opportunities in the effective use of technology in teaching and learning.

Director:  Kellie DeLosSantos, Jackson County ISD,  @mrsdls

Communications Officer:  Myla Lee, Novi Community School District,  @MyTLee3

Operations Officer:  Justin Cowen, Breitung Township School District,  @cowen_rocks