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Education in the Media

Cooperative Catalyst Audio Podcast

Joe just invited me to join the Cooperative Catalyst so I’m posting here for the first time. This is a great idea!

He and I have just started an audio podcast for the Cooperative Catalyst, with the idea of increasing the type of media we use to engage other educators. Our objective is to try to find ways to break out of the expanding, but still relatively narrow, circle of educators to whom our conversation about educational reform extends.

We have some ideas we’ve started with and we are looking for some feedback, and some contributors to this podcast.

First, both of us agree that the podcasts should not be too long; somewhere in the range of 20 to 25 minutes. This will allow enough time for reflection, but not be too onerous for the listeners of the podcast to finish. If I download a podcast and I see that it is an hour long, I may not even bother listening to it. Too short and it’s too difficult to convey any complex ideas effectively.

Next, we want the podcasts to be a relatively open format. We’d be happy with many contributors to the podcast as long as each podcast has reasonable audio quality and the discussion that happens is focused on education in some way. Our plan is to have discussions via Skype and record the conversations, but however people want to generate the audio seems fine with me. I’d personally like the recordings to be mostly conversations rather than soliloquies just because this is more interesting.

If you want to participate in this side-project of the Cooperative Catalyst, post a comment to that effect and we can talk about how you can join.

About David Wees

David Wees is a Canadian teacher with 7 years international experience. He started his career in inner city NYC in a failing school. He met his wife in the spring of 2005 and together they moved to London, England where David taught in a small private school which was David’s first exposure to the International Baccalaureate curriculum. London was too expensive, even compared to NYC, so after 2 more years they moved on to Bangkok, Thailand where David taught for 2 years. David has co-authored a textbook for IB Mathematics, and has his Masters degree in Educational Technology. He is now in Vancouver, Canada, working as a learning specialist in technology. He blogs regularly at


22 thoughts on “Cooperative Catalyst Audio Podcast

  1. Fantastic! Thanks for being aural pioneers!

    Posted by Adam Burk | July 20, 2010, 4:55 pm
  2. I’m interested in participating, would love to hear more info.

    Posted by dgende | July 20, 2010, 7:48 pm
  3. Can I collaborate with someone on a theme song?

    Awesome idea. Let me know how I can help/contribute, in addition to the theme song.

    Thematically song-like,

    Posted by Chad Sansing | July 20, 2010, 9:31 pm
    • We were looking at using something from but if you are composer we’d much rather have an original piece of work. I have a friend who is interested in participating who plays a mean guitar, maybe you two can chat. My musical talents lie in singing, which I’m not sure would be appropriate for an opening…

      Posted by dwees | July 20, 2010, 9:33 pm
  4. Maybe we could enlist students to help, too?

    Posted by Chad Sansing | July 20, 2010, 9:53 pm
  5. Students’ help is a great idea. Joe and I were both thinking of some students of ours participate. I’d love to see some of them produce their own episodes.

    Posted by dwees | July 20, 2010, 10:01 pm
  6. i’ve got students and student musicians. cool idea guys..

    Posted by monika hardy | July 20, 2010, 10:42 pm
  7. I’d love to be part of the conversations. . whenever, whereever. . .just let me know.


    Posted by Paula White | July 20, 2010, 10:48 pm
  8. I’d be happy to help. Let me know how.

    Posted by Andrew Stillman | July 21, 2010, 11:40 am
  9. I’m in too! Can’t help with the music, but I’m a former amateur audio engineer (live and radio) so I can assist with production if necessary.

    Thanks folks!

    Posted by mrsenorhill | July 21, 2010, 11:31 pm
  10. I posted earlier comment not logged in because I had recently deleted my browser’s cookies.

    I would love to help with the audio production, as a former amateur sound engineer (radio and live).

    Thanks for all the work!

    Posted by mrsenorhill | July 21, 2010, 11:38 pm
  11. It looks like we have a solid crew ready to go then. Joe had the thought that we should produce a short (5 minute?) pilot and test our audio quality.

    Can we decide on a topic? What will be the best way to produce the actual audio for the podcast?

    Posted by dwees | July 23, 2010, 1:23 pm
  12. how about using technology to connect teachers from around the country.

    Posted by David Loitz | July 24, 2010, 11:13 am
  13. Or around the world even! That’s a great idea for a first podcast and definitely appropriate. Anyone else have an opinion on the first topic?

    Posted by dwees | July 24, 2010, 11:14 am
  14. First topic maybe…Where are we in educational transformation right now? What’s working, and whom would we like to collaborate with that we’re not reaching right now?

    I’d also really love to be a part of this, and thank you for bringing this online and to the COOP!

    Posted by Kirsten | July 26, 2010, 7:05 am
  15. What do people think about using a Voicethread to combine our efforts for this first podcast? We could each leave a brief comment, export the Voicethread (which has a small fee associated with it) and then I can isolate the audio from the Voicethread to use for our podcast. Voice quality here will depend entirely on the microphones we each use to submit our comments.

    I think that I like Kirsten’s topic best as it is a strong opening topic, and easily lends itself to smaller subtopics we can explore in more detail later. I also like David’s topic but I think it could be a whole episode by itself and doesn’t lend itself to branching off quite as easily for later. It could be a stand-alone episode in a later issue of the podcast.

    I’ll set up the Voicethread if I can get a second for this idea.

    Posted by dwees | July 26, 2010, 1:04 pm
  16. You’ve got my second whatever you think is easiest to keep the momentum going…we can refine the tools we use as we go along, no need to get stuck in selecting the means right now.

    Thanks again for creating this EDge in the Co-op!

    Posted by Adam Burk | July 26, 2010, 8:28 pm
  17. Here’s the link to the Voicethread. When you have a moment, try and answer this question:

    “Where are we in educational transformation right now? What’s working, and whom would we like to collaborate with that we’re not reaching right now?” – Kirsten

    Remember that this will be compiled into a single audio podcast and that we may/will need to edit some of the work for clarity.

    Posted by dwees | July 26, 2010, 8:56 pm


  1. Pingback: Podcasting and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate « TLkirsten's Learning Chrysalid - October 18, 2010

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