It’s hard to believe but this officially marks the 200th episode of the Leading Learning podcast! What originally started as the lead-up to one of our Leading Learning events four years ago, the Podcast has continued to grow and evolve while providing us the tremendous opportunity to connect with learning business professionals from all over the world.
In this milestone episode of Leading Learning (which also happened to be recorded live at Podcast Movement 2019!), Celisa and Jeff reflect on why they do the podcast and where podcasting as a medium is, in general. They also share what’s new with Leading Learning – and where they are headed – in the ongoing effort to provide value to your learning business.
To tune in, just click below. To make sure you catch all of the future episodes, be sure to subscribe by RSS, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, iHeartRadio, PodBean, or any podcatcher service you may use (e.g., Overcast). And, if you like the podcast, be sure to give it a tweet!
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Read the Show Notes
It’s hard to believe we are at 200 episodes and we’re not sure we really thought we’d make this far. It originally started as the lead up to one of our events (Leading Learning Symposium), to support it.
As with any milestone, it’s a good time to pause and reflect and think about the future. And we’ve done this in prior episodes:
- Episode 100 with Guest Host Brian McGowan
- 10 Years and 150 Episodes
- After Action Review for 2017 Learning • Technology • Design™ (LTD)
- After Action Review for Learning • Technology • Design™ (LTD) – Part I
- After Action Review for Learning • Technology • Design™ (LTD) – Part II
And the 200thepisode (roughly) coincides with us completing the fourth year of the podcast/beginning the fifth year. It’s really been a tremendous opportunity for us personally to be able to learn from the folks we interview and from preparing for the interviews.
Before we get into why we do this and where podcasting is (in general), we want to say a huge thank you to everybody who has helped us to get here. Thank you to our listeners/repeat listeners as well as the companies who have helped sponsor us over the years. Also, thank you to the interviewees who take their time to come on the podcast. We are truly grateful to everyone who has made this possible.
Why We Do This
[03:58] – We wanted to talk about why we do this, both to reaffirm for ourselves and for anyone who might be new to Leading Learning. Also, for anyone who might be considering starting a podcast or for anyone wanting to try to get more out of their podcast, really understanding your why is incredibly important (for any venture in life).
For us, one of the major whys is awareness of the sector that we serve—the third sector of education. So not K-12 or higher education, it’s the sector that serves the rest of life after those. There’s a whole group of organizations/individuals/businesses that play an increasingly critical role in supporting lifelong learning, continuing education, and professional development.
This is, in fact, a big business—the learning business—and a big reason we undertook this podcast in the first place is to raise awareness of that and the third sector. And also to increase the appreciation for it because we feel it has been underappreciated over time.
This is tremendously important work that the third sector does and without it, it would be so difficult to maintain a career trajectory. We know we’re changing jobs more often and living longer, and in order to make this more meaningful and something where we can actually flourish, that’s what the third sector is all about. So there’s a deep appreciation for the really important work that the third sector does across all types of fields, professions, and industries.
Part of the appreciation and awareness is also about establishing a sense of identity for learning business professionals. We want to support that and also really increase the professionalism that goes with that.
For example, we’ve done work with the Learning Business Maturity Model to help try to come to a shared understanding of the topics and domains we all have in common—and these are the types of topics that we explore on the podcast.
Why a Podcast
[08:11] – The podcast is one of many ways we aim to support learning businesses/learning business professionals. One of the things we love about podcasting (not just hosting one but as a listener) is that it seems to blend both the benefits of on-demand access while still feeling like a fairly personal, intimate medium.
There’s something about the voice that offers that human connection. And listening to it while doing other things (i.e. exercising, washing the dishes, etc.) tends to connect with listeners in a more personal setting than in the office.
You also feel like you really know the people on the podcast and they are part of a conversation. We remember talking to KiKi L’ltalien in a previous episode about how podcasting is about the story and the conversation that you’re building with people.
Podcasting is so accessible from the listener’s point of view but we also like it because it’s accessible from our point of view (as hosts). It’s simply not that hard to start a podcast for any person or organization that wants to do it. The technology isn’t difficult to master, but of course sustaining it over time is a challenge.
But it gives you that ongoing conversation, that ability to continually be engaged with the topics and your audience. It also helps us become better while we’re trying to help our listeners become better. We learn a tremendous amount in preparing for and talking with the people we invite on for conversations. And this is a powerful tool for us personally in our own learning, but hopefully it’s a powerful tool for listeners as well.
Of course, one of the obvious aspects of podcasting is leveraging the technology to reach a lot of people and in a cost effective way.
See our related episode,The Power of Podcasting.
Where is Podcasting
[12:03] – Podcasting, in general, is enjoying a second really big wave of growth and popularity. In fact, we just heard from Tom Webster from Edison Research in one of the sessions here at Podcast Movement, that in the past year, the number of Americans in the U.S. who listen to podcasts weekly has grown by 14 million. So we now have about 62 million people in the U.S. listening to podcasts weekly.
See the 2019 edition of The Infinite Dial an annual survey put together by Edison Research and Triton Digital.
So if you’re trying to reach an audience, know that some significant part of that audience is listening to podcasts. And although Apple has traditionally been the source of podcasts, Spotify is trying to compete. They recently acquired two podcast networks for half a billion dollars to expand their network.
And about a year ago, Google launched their podcast app. But earlier this month (August 2019), they announced that individual podcast episodes are now showing up in search results in Google.
We encourage you to search in Google for “podcasts on the learning business” and see what comes up. Leading Learning has been coming up first in the play box.
NPR is also leading the Remote Audio Data (RAD) initiative, which measures podcast listening across a range of participating clients and platforms, aggregating the data in an analytics endpoint.
Getting access to listener data (in the aggregate, how many downloads, etc.) has gotten so much better over the past few years. There’s still a long ways to go but we use a service (Chartable) to get insight into how many plays we’re getting and where we’re getting them. And it helps us to know what’s working with the podcast.
Sponsor: AUTHENTIC Learning Labs
[15:06] –Before moving on, we want to thank our sponsor for this quarter.
AUTHENTIC Learning Labs is an e-learning company that offers products and services to help improve your current investments in education. One key product is Authentic Analytics, a dedicated suite of visualization reports to help analyze and predict the performance of education programs. Organizations use Authentic Analytics to easily scan through volumes of data in intuitive visuals, chart performance trends, and quickly spot opportunities, issues, and potential future needs.
[16:00] – So there’s been a lot of growth and we’ll continue to see growth and evolution in podcasting. On top of data now being more available, there’s also been a real push towards having standards around that data. So when you look at downloads between varying platforms, they would mean the same thing.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has put standards out around that so more platforms are coming out saying they are IAB compliant. This seems to be a clear step in the maturity of the podcast sector.
Where We Are and Where We’re Headed
[17:33] – We want to talk about how we see Leading Learning growing and evolving—how we already have and how we see continuing to do that in the future:
Show notes –
We want these to be a solid resource so we’ve been working on making them more useful, better organizing them with richer content, videos, links to resources, and time stamps.
We want these to be a rich resource for a number of reasons:
- They are practical on our end for search engine optimization.
- If you are listening and want to go back on your own and review/reflect, you can have them as a resource.
- These are a great tool to use with teams and we are trying to support that more going forward. Everyone can listen to a podcast together and then have the show notes to go back to.
Discussion guides –
We are thinking about potentially putting together discussion guides for some episodes, or at least providing clear reflection/discussion questions that we could add to each episode.
Note we’d love to hear feedback as to whether this is something you’d to see so please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are thinking about the idea of curating our own resources.
- We recently put together An Informal Learning Business Curriculum.
- We’ve done 200 episodes now and we need to help people get value out of those. For example, we’ve talked to a lot of people who are rock stars in the learning and development world -like Will Thalheimer and Jane Bozarth (coming up) – and we will do a post on that.
- We also encourage you to follow us on LinkedIn because it’s another place we’ll put some of that curation to help you get as much value out of the content on the Leading Learning site as possible. Note this goes beyond podcasts—there’s our blog posts, Webinar series, newsletter, etc.
Leading Learning site –
We’ve moved our blogs from the Tagoras site to Leading Learning because we really see it as the home for the identity of the third sector of the learning business professional. So this is where we are trying to house the variety of resources that we make available.
Future content and business model –
Flash briefings are something we are going to look at doing (KiKi L’Italien, who we mentioned earlier started doing this with her podcast).
We’re also going to be looking into a community aspect – not just to the podcast but to the Leading Learning site in general.
We need to work through this but part of what we do at Tagoras and through Leading Learning is to try things out, “walk the walk”, and figure out what works and report back. We’ll continue to do that as we experiment with new aspects of the content model and business model.
This is one aspect of our business model that has been successful for us and its helped make Leading Learning possible and to grow as a podcast. We are going to continue to expand this and figure out new and better ways to work with companies on sponsorship.
[23:45] – Speaking of sponsors, we want to be sure to thank our sponsor for this quarter.
CommPartners helps learning businesses conceive, develop, and fulfill their online education strategy. Their solutions begin with Elevate LMS, an award-winning learning platform that provides a central knowledge community and drives learner engagement. To extend the value of Elevate, CommPartners provides a wide range of online education services including curriculum design, instructional design, fully managed Webinars, Webcasts, livestream programs, and virtual conferences.
[24:40] – Wrap-Up
If you are getting value from the Leading Learning podcast, be sure to subscribe by RSS, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, iHeartRadio, PodBean, or any podcatcher service you may use (e.g., Overcast).
We’d also appreciate if you give us a rating on Apple Podcasts (formerly known as iTunes) by going to https://www.leadinglearning.com/apple. We personally appreciate your rating and review, but more importantly reviews and ratings play a big role in helping the podcast show up when people search for content on leading a learning business.
Finally, consider telling others about the podcast. You can send a tweet by going to leadinglearning.com/share. You can also Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/leadinglifelonglearning and share us with others there. However you do it, please do help to share the good word about the podcast.
[28:13] – Sign off