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An Inspiring Podcast from an Unusual Source

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Visit 99percentinvisible.org for more information.

I’m distracting myself from a little “student remorse” from my hack job on (Stanford MOOC) DNLE Assignment 4 by sharing a recent find.

While I’m a latecomer to the whole podcast thing, I am making up for lost time and I try to balance out my entertainment (e.g. serialized podcast dramas) with some educational listenings.

This morning I listened to the initial episodes of “99% Invisible“, a podcast out of San Francisco that describes itself as:

A tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world

I like the concept for a couple of reasons. First, it speaks about design; a fundamental discipline that transcends physical and virtual boundaries. After all, you can have great ideas, but without a solid design to make them happen, they will remain ideas only.

Second, the format. This podcast is a positioned as a radio segment with a very limited time allotment. Therefore, the host and producer have a small window in which to get across their idea or subject.

Finally, it also speaks about the things we don’t normally pay attention to and the thinking behind them.

This podcast has relevance to what we do as educators. First, we have to be aware of the little things, and all of the prep work that goes into a learning solution (e.g. good analysis). Second, solutions don’t have to be big to be effective and meaningful. Finally, design, design, design. Design it, refine it, try it out, refine some more, and let the design evolve. Just because you start with one particular vision doesn’t mean it can’t adapt as you learn more about what recipients “need” instead of what you think they “want”.

Enjoy your Monday!

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