Loni Watson, Chadron High School
As a school counselor, I am ALWAYS looking for ways to get the important messages out to students, parents, and teachers! College prep, scheduling, mental health, and social media trends are all IMPORTANT topics that tend to take more time and conversation than can be gleaned through email, a letter home, or a newsletter. Factor in that students and parents are busier than ever before, and you need a mode of communication that can be simple, time effective, and have TONE and VOICE. Yay for PODCASTS! What I absolutely love about listening to a podcast is that I can do it simultaneously while completing a task. Driving—podcast, laundry—podcast, mowing the lawn—podcast, getting ready in the morning…you guessed it, podcast! It incorporates perfectly into my days agenda and I can find a snippet of time to learn while I work, care for myself, or care for my home!
Are you or your school interested in starting your own podcast? Do not be intimidated! Here are FOUR TIPS to get yours up and running in FIVE MINUTES OR LESS
1. Find a Platform
At Chadron High School we do not have copious amounts of extra funding laying around, so we love us a FREE platform! Check out Anchor or Podbean, easy to use and gets the job done from a computer, phone, or tablet! It’s as easy as signing up with an email and “exploring!
2.Don’t Get Caught up on Equipment
Did you know you can record a podcast from a set of headphones? Do NOT get caught up on needing a fancy microphone or state of the art sound studio equipment! First try a few episodes in a quiet room from your computers built in microphone, a pair of apple airpods or wired headphones, or heck you can even use your phone’s microphone! You will be surprised on how great the quality actually is. Once you’ve committed to leveling up and become consistent, check out microphones on Amazon, but be sure to make sure to read the reviews!
3.Get REAL and Listen to Your Audience
What topics are REALLY NEEDED to cover at your school? Are you having a hard time with student mental health stigma? Are kids afraid to take hard classes for fear of failure? Is sexting and inappropriate use of social media an issue in your building? What topics are truly important and timely and how can you have a conversation with stakeholders to help them better understand the full picture? As educators we have experience and that holds value for parents who might be navigating these school years for the very first time, students who are struggling to learn, or educators that need a fresh new idea!
4.Listen to Other Schools and Educators Podcasting!
• Cardinal Cast: Chadron High School Podcast for Students and Parents. Available on iTunes, Spotify,
• The School Office: Nebraska HS Counselor of the Year Loni Watson and HS Principal Jerry Mack discuss tips and tangible tricks for working with students, parents and educators!
• NETAGo—The Podcast: Professional development on the go with flexibility and accessibility.