Podcasting is the new black

As we navigate our days in this time of pandemic, podcasts are a way in which our culturally starved souls can be stimulated, challenged and entertained. They are also proving to be a platform that artists can use to express themselves. Anyone can produce a podcast. It can be anything you want it to be. Use it as an audio ‘soap box’ or a platform to educate and inform. A quick search of available podcasts in iTunes will demonstrate the ocean of content available, Peter Eyers writes.

What is a podcast?

Basically, it’s an audio file you can upload to the internet that can then be accessed by consumers worldwide. The beauty of podcasts is that they can be consumed at your leisure - travelling to work, at the gym, long car trips, doing the ironing - you decide when and how you want to listen. And the majority of them can be accessed free. Think of it as streaming for your ears.

I was inspired to create my podcast Stages to record the oral histories of many of the artists I’ve had the pleasure to work with or whose work I have admired. There seemed to be a dearth of arts content in podcasting in Australia, so podcasting afforded an opportunity to make my own contribution.

I talk with anyone whose role requires them to connect with an audience. Included in this are conversations with arts educators. I have been able to feature practitioners like Robin Pascoe who is currently the President of the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association, Dr John Saunders who is Education Manager at The Sydney Theatre Company and Jane Simmons, the Student Drama Officer at The NSW Department of Education and Training. Content has extended to acting and singing teachers from our leading drama schools and training institutions such as NIDA, WAAPA, VCA and ACA.

In working with students who are invested in a drama education and who might be keen to pursue a career in the arts, I am mindful of showing them that there are many pathways to achieving this dream. My conversations with diverse practitioners, whether they be designers, dancers, directors or actors, provides a great lesson in what can be accomplished with resilience, perseverance and through unexpected routes.

Try it – students love it

Creating a podcast audio file is proving to be an inspired way that teachers are conjuring new forms of assessment; and students love it. It’s a perfect way to harness writing and oral skills.

If you haven’t yet discovered the joys of podcast, I encourage you to investigate what’s available in the podcast directories that exist in iTunes and Spotify for a start.

Dip your toe in the water – you’re bound to find a podcast that fits your style of listening, in a professional capacity or others for mere entertainment. You might even clock up a few professional listening PD hours.

Here are a few education oriented podcasts for you. My subject has embraced the platform with Drama NSW presenting its own podcast to address syllabus content and to hear from classroom teachers. I’m sure your KLA might have one too. If not, why not begin that journey.

Available education podcasts:

  • Teacher’s Education Review – won the Career and Industry award at the 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. It is an Australian podcast that explores issues and practices in education from the perspective of classroom teachers.
  • TED Talks Education – Educators, Researchers and Community leaders from around the globe share stories and visions
  • Teachers Talking Teaching – two teachers talking education, pedagogy and current practice
  • K-12 Greatest Hits: The Best Ideas in Education – an American offering of segments hosted by the Executive Directors of the nation’s 14 leading education associations
  • Every Student Podcast – Mark Scott introduces a series of conversations with educators who are delivering quality teaching and learning to improve life opportunities for every young person in their care.
  • The Educhange Podcast – for the doers in schools, people who are coming up with ideas to make things better for kids
  • Subject specific – Drama NSW have produced the Drama NSW podcast – a podcast for students, teachers, practitioners and anyone interested in Drama. Interviews with those working in the industry, educators and past students to assist in a focused look at areas covered in the
  • Drama NSW syllabus and the broader drama world.
  • The Drama Teacher Podcast – another offering from the US that covers everything from putting on a school musical to teaching ideas for a host of theatre and drama topics.
Peter Eyers
Head of Drama
SCEGGS Darlinghurst
Peter Eyers began his podcast journey at the beginning of 2018 with a program called Stages. The podcast was developed to record conversations with creatives about their craft, career and creativity. His guests are sourced from colleagues from time working as an actor. The podcast was recognised with the Best New Podcast award at The 2019 Australian Podcast Awards.
Peter is a graduate of The West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and now works as a drama educator. He was Head of Acting at The McDonald College of Performing Arts for 13 years. He is presently Head of Drama at SCEGGS Darlinghurst in Sydney.