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Winter 2011

Education to Go-To: Harvard EdCast Launches

Edcast logoYou’re at the gym. The television set attached to your elliptical machine isn’t working. All of the magazines are from 2008. Most have pages torn out of them. It’s the perfect time to turn up the iPod and … learn. The Harvard Graduate School of Education’s newly launched podcast, Harvard EdCast, allows listeners to learn about education on the go, in an accessible way, similar to the popular NPR Science Friday podcast that makes science user-friendly.

Hosted by Matt Weber, the school’s new and social media officer and a part-time student in the Technology, Innovation, and Education Program, the show features a 15- to 20-minute discussion every Wednesday with “thought leaders” in education, as Weber describes them, both at Harvard and around the world. Launched in September, he says that as the series grows, the goal is to become the go-to place for thoughtful conversations about education.

“We want to be a space for people who are seriously interested in what’s going on in education,” he says, “and who know they can come to our show and hear leading experts.”

Weber says he’s excited about the format, a downloadable audio file, because it allows listeners to learn and reflect without sitting in a class or even in front of a computer. The shows can be listened to on computers, of course, but also on portable devices such as iPods, iPhones, or other MP3 players.

“You don’t need the Internet,” says Weber. “You can listen to it while you’re commuting or working out.”

To date, the show has included conversations on topics such as summer reading loss and the economic importance of kindergarten. Thought leaders have included Harvard President Drew Faust, author Lois Lowry, and former governor Jeb Bush.