Transcript for "Education - with Nicole Colter"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Constantine hi Nicole so Nicole Coulter who I’m talking with today is a college educator who’s been exploring podcasting and quite frankly like how should we describe.

00:01.45
Nicole Colter
Hi Craig and I’m Nicole Coulter

00:17.50
podcomm
Her in 1 sentence is exactly what we want to talk about because Nicole you and I know each other through the podcasting workshops that are done through akimbo and kind of to my surprise you have gone back into the current cohort and not only are you there as a remarkable hey congrats that’s well-des deserved but you are also. Creating I don’t want to quite say a podcast but you’re creating a project around exploring education. Um, so the first thing is can you unpack? What are the questions that are in your mind that you’re trying to get a handle on. Um, using podcasting.

00:53.51
Nicole Colter
Sure. Yeah, so um, when I joined the podcasting workshop I went in with the mindset that I’m going to create. Ah I later came to know it as a host on Mike Podcast where um, a lot of educators look at ways to flip their classroom which means. How do we actually be more engaged with our students during the time when they’re with us and how do we take things that might look like lectures and put them in the time that the students are not with us because it’s so passive right? So that was my original intent and. Then as I started to sort of interject or intertwine with everyone else’s ideas in the workshop I basically realized like oh wait interviewing what place could that have and um and it wasn’t with me then I took me and put me to the side and started to think like.

01:34.83
podcomm
Um.

01:47.91
Nicole Colter
How could my students like how could they learn by interviewing other people and um and then like the creation process and what is that teaching me and I actually teach management So my core structure had always been where I designed it so students would be in self-managed teams that would co-create our learning experience.

02:03.60
podcomm
M.

02:07.25
Nicole Colter
And yet they still to some extent I turned them into like like groups of lecturers because they didn’t know they didn’t know any other way and and when I finally decided like ok I think I need to change that up because that’s.

02:13.12
podcomm
Gray.

02:23.15
Nicole Colter
It’s not active learning like they’re they’re active when they’re trying to prepare for that. But when everybody’s listening to it. It still just becomes this passive experience right? So so I finally just said and it and it kind of tied into just another one of my passions which is that you know in.

02:30.75
podcomm
That’s um, right.

02:41.57
Nicole Colter
Open source kind of movement that we’re in a space where um, people are making really good content and doing it collaboratively Wikipedia and open. There’s open educational resources and open educational commons and you know i. Wanted to switch to an open educational resource textbook and a we are textbook and I didn’t have time to really even read the textbook so I was like all right like I’m making this switch for spring the pandemic everything made me like say like I if I could save my students one hundred and forty five dollars apiece

03:19.57
podcomm
Right? right.

03:21.19
Nicole Colter
Like I should do that. But how how do I do that and then so those I just put those 2 things together and said um, well what if we just interviewed the authors of these different chapters because they.

03:30.43
podcomm
The different chapters. What are you seeing? So okay, it’s the first question I have is do the students know anything about this yet or is this just in Nicole’s headspace at the moment.

03:40.39
Nicole Colter
So well. So each semester I get a new group of students. So when my spring students came in they did not know anything about it and I will be quite honest, neither did I I had a vision and again I teach management so I’m very honest with my students like here’s the vision for this semester. And we are going to have to really learn how to plan organize and lead and control this this project together. Um, so we learned a lot like there’s 1 episode that I feel is completed to what I would consider to be the the standard I’m kind of looking for There were 3 others that.

04:12.85
podcomm
Right.

04:16.97
Nicole Colter
I Still have to decide how I handle the fact that um, those are various levels of completeness.

04:22.70
podcomm
Um, who was the sous chef and who was the chef and right it it makes a difference. Um, yeah, because my my curiosity is often just generally my curiosity is often like at like ooh meta.

04:27.50
Nicole Colter
Yeah, do I want to serve it up. You know, but I have um.

04:40.28
podcomm
Meta like to to try and zoom out and figure out because I think that’s a good way to figure out whether or not an experience I just had like you come away, you’re like Wow I learned something okay did I learn something because I went in with the intention of learning or did I learned something because I went and did the thing and then I Meta learned you know and and reason I’m asking about whether the students the current batch. I Dont if that’s an appropriate term for is that like already called a gaggle the current the current gang cohort the current semester students who are involved in working with you to co-create both the artifacts you know the finished podcasts but they’re also co-creating.

04:58.51
Nicole Colter
I don’t semester like the current semester students. Yeah yeah.

05:15.56
podcomm
The way that the module what it would be how it would work what it’s supposed to deliver so that the question I have here is like the Meta question. So The next time you do this and and I’m hoping you’ve thought about this and that you don’t go. Oh no, the next time you do This Are you going to try and reproduce the co-creation experience that the students have. Or are you imagining that when it’s all Done. You’re going to have tools and processes and maybe we do the textbook each time. Maybe we pick a different textbook You see what I’m saying like is the meta experience that your current cohort of students are getting is that going to be a feature of what you want to repeat each time.

05:52.97
Nicole Colter
So I’m not sure I’m completely understanding I’m in the middle of the summer no let me just explain like I’m in the middle of the summer so I’m trying to reflect on what happened in the spring and what do I need to what what minimum foundation like what? what am I sure of that I want to bring forward.

05:56.43
podcomm
Um.

06:12.36
Nicole Colter
And what kinds of things are open for discussion. So I mean I go into the semester where my whole syllabus is open to discussion with my students like they can comment on it. They can challenge grading policies not that they would because I I got rid of tests and it’s I’m using ungrading now. So they they kind of are just trying to wrap their head around.

06:30.33
podcomm
Keep some distracted.

06:30.96
Nicole Colter
What does that Even mean, um, but I mean it’s everything about my um pedagogy is what they call it is about trying to decentralize the power dynamics that are normal inside of classrooms so that they get the sense of what it’s like to have that decentralized in a workforce and.

06:36.70
podcomm
Um.

06:50.37
Nicole Colter
Ah, distributed workforce is kind of more decentralized like that too. So a lot of it ties into the fact that I teach management but I know I’d find a way to do things like this if I wasn’t teaching management but I guess what I think you’re asking is like going into the there will always be changes like.

07:06.66
podcomm
Right.

07:08.64
Nicole Colter
Because that’s part of like we’re always reflecting on if this isn’t working then it’s the manager’s job to to to bring it and fix it to create so we create job aids right? that management that’s a big tool of management I say a lot of times if managers are complaining about their employees. It’s because they haven’t done their job. Well. They haven’t given them the tools right? to do it. But in my class I’m not the manager I’m the leader and they’re all managers and so if there’s something they’re saying isn’t working then they have to bring it to peers attention and then my attention and then we say now what? what? it. But should it look like and how do we create it and how do we move it forward for others so they did um they didn’t get to really write procedures this past time because it was also new. But by the end of the semester. The goal will be to have the first season podcast. Episodes completed which means we’ll interview the rest of the textbook chapter authors and put out 18 episodes and for other professors who use this textbook to actually use with their students because the textbooks used all of exactly.

08:20.90
podcomm
That’s a great resource right? to have the 18 different authors you know, engaged firsthand. Um, so when you when you do this with the next cohort of your students I’m thinking you’re not going to do the exact same podcast. Are you thinking of pick a different.

08:25.97
Nicole Colter
Huh.

08:36.28
podcomm
Book. Are you thinking that each time it would be up to them to select the target like what’s the thing we’re organizing the project around is it would that be up to them each time or.

08:43.78
Nicole Colter
Um I haven’t gotten that far so fall 2021 they have to. We’re gonna complete this first series of episodes and then my spring 2022 students will have that and like some things I think I’d like to do is having them interview. Um. Have conversations which I love your perspective on that. Um, have conversations with people who are actually practicing management inside of organizations because I actually got a grant to do this like I applied for a grant to do this partly because I wanted to also make sure I was.

09:09.91
podcomm
Um, rule.

09:21.84
Nicole Colter
Um I There are people in my state who believe these are these are good ways to do things and then some of my peers I get the impression like do do you really think this is learning when it’s so looks so different like my classroom like if you came into my classroom. You’d see me looking like I’m doing.

09:35.28
podcomm
Yeah, right.

09:40.32
Nicole Colter
Nothing that looks like normal teaching right? so um so I really did want to just connect to people in my state who were also doing stuff so that way of doing that was kind of applying for a grant and so I made a promise to them that I would deliver these 18 episodes.

09:40.85
podcomm
Um, name.

09:52.44
podcomm
Yeah, here’s the thing. Yeah.

09:55.88
Nicole Colter
But after that I’m free to do to to go to the next level and like I said interviewing people inside of organizations and and really having them almost do like we do in the podcasting workshop like start with the low hanging fruit that the.

10:09.75
podcomm
Um, yeah, yes, are with your little brother.

10:13.66
Nicole Colter
The most gettable going to the or the least getable. Yeah, you know what I’m saying most getable the least gettable and and see how far because I actually think it would be interesting for them to see how far they could get like the kinds of people they could have conversations with even if it’s not the individual who gets there but another team.

10:30.10
podcomm
Um, right? that was on our impossible list when we first imagined this right I and but I was just going to say the.

10:32.10
Nicole Colter
You’re like oh my gosh you interviewed that person like that’s how did you even do that and then yeah because.

10:46.50
podcomm
So Where where we started at the top by I was saying that you’re investigating podcasting in the context of education and I’m wondering. Is there anything about either podcasting specifically you know like recording audio and sling it across the internet or audio more generally. That you think makes this work so well as a way for the students to learn like is there is there something special about that versus let’s all make a wiki website that describes. Ah the textbook and what the authors had to say.

11:07.40
Nicole Colter
Yes.

11:13.34
Nicole Colter
Um, absolutely so ah, one of the foundational skills of any sort of person is Communication. So I think it’s it’s ah and. The art of conversation has kind of been lost I Think over this last generation with texting and everything being like wikis like they did that right? you do those things but um I think putting people in a position where they think about how they actually. And they get to reflect on because they actually get to listen to themselves afterwards. They get to know? Yeah, um, they get to know what they’re how they’re sounding I mean and and it’s funny because I never even put this together but like.

11:45.72
podcomm
Um, shit gets real when you hear your recorded voice. Yes.

12:02.22
Nicole Colter
My first career was in financial services and I wound up ah in a customer service line servicing people all over the country and I used to live in New York city so I had a very strong New York accent and I was getting criticized but like joked with because I I serviced. Brokers around the country so I had like ongoing relationship with them and they were like water you’re going to you want some water and like I was like yeah and and so it was because of hearing them consistently say it back to me that I was like I could fix this like I don’t.

12:25.61
podcomm
Um, we are going to the library right.

12:37.61
Nicole Colter
And because the New York accent isn’t something that I even like liked hearing in my own ears. But I didn’t really think like how do you change it. But it’s with intention right? So most people don’t realize that I grew up in New York occasionally when I start talking about it then.

12:44.18
podcomm
Um.

12:53.93
Nicole Colter
You might hear me say talking about it or something that’s more like how I used to sound you know so I think that it just gives you. It gives them that perspective but the creator be turning them into creators is another one of my big goals that they see all this content. And you know they may have told somebody at some point that they’d love to be a Youtuber I’m like well then why aren’t you doing it like what is stopping you and they’re like well everybody else told me it’s like and I’m like no, there’s nothing up I mean and and then you get to like introduce them to all the concepts of like just do it anyway like you don’t have to so.

13:16.87
podcomm
Happy.

13:26.17
podcomm
Yeah.

13:30.88
Nicole Colter
I think there’s a lot of you were I love talking the meta things. There’s a my one of my most inspiring educators was Randy Pouch who did the last lecture which and you know in that he talks about the head fake and the the sort of indirect learning. You’re trying to get.

13:39.43
podcomm
Um, yes.

13:49.50
Nicole Colter
That you know is a goal of what you’re doing and I feel like I have more indirect learning outcomes that I think are more important than the sort of course stated learning outcomes and so yeah, yeah, but I mean um, so that’s I think why.

13:58.11
podcomm
Yeah, which mike.

14:08.88
Nicole Colter
I’m doing those things I don’t know if that’s yeah.

14:11.88
podcomm
And I know you had ah so I’ve been involved in some of the discussions. You know where you’re talking about like what tools are we going to use. How do we do this? How should we structure it. Do you think there’s anything that so zoom out a little bit for some context. What you’re doing with podcasting isn’t ah, certainly an interesting but I don’t know that I’ve seen anybody else really try and use it in that sort of educational context. So we’ll call it. Unique. So what you’re doing is a unique application of audio medium and podcasting and audio creation. And do you think there’s anything that you’ve seen that would be a good takeaway lesson for those of us who are just doing host on Mike or who are just doing journalistic interviews or just doing like as I am regular conversations.

14:57.89
Nicole Colter
Um, so before I did this another thing I had done was I started hosting a meetup where people were asking me questions about um, self-directed education is something I studied and I’m very passionate about. And when I was hosting that I realized I was kind of running it like kind of like a roundtable with a live audience like ah so I mean I’ve just experimented I feel like experiment is is a sort of thing I’d love to offer up to people is that like just um, you might have your.

15:22.81
podcomm
Um.

15:36.40
Nicole Colter
This is what I’ve normally been doing but like record other things and consider how that audio might be able to be turned into something more and how the experience of um, creating those spaces for people might actually be a valuable learning. You know when I distinguish between medium method and Assessment. It’s like medium when we’re listening to things right? A Textbook’s a medium a podcast is a learning medium but when you’re creating the podcast then you’re using it as a method of learning and and when you’re um. Professor if your teacher or professor uses the creation to to actually assess whether you’re getting the content that you’re talking about then it can replace things like tests and papers and things that I feel like um others I don’t prefer to use those.

16:32.43
podcomm
Um.

16:34.47
Nicole Colter
You know others may still love those. But I kind of feel like I would love to get to where I could share not a map with other teachers like they have to follow it to the letter but that they have ah an examples to follow of other educators who are experimenting with this and finding success.

16:55.38
podcomm
What’s the most surprising moment that you can recall when in like when you’re watching the students do this educational like what’s the most surprising moment you remember.

17:06.56
Nicole Colter
So um, this semester I guess the things that I found surprising were the students who decided to do something with audio outside of what I had assigned right? So I had 1 student who took to sending me. Voice recordings in Microsoft Teams which is what I use as our learning management system and I don’t know if she would have done that if it wasn’t for the fact that audio was such a part of the class already and then that same student then did and she wasn’t on what um I’ve had podcasting teams and then this semester we actually. Made text message courses for the chapters. So I have those to hand off to the next students that they can take the text message courses developed by this semester but I’m not sure how much I’ll do with that going forward. Um, they still need to be perfected but um. And she was on a text message course team and she still then decided to like make a podcast for her final project. So it was just the aspect that I could it so I don’t know that it surprised me but it was just confirmation of the fact that I knew that if you introduce it that. Some of them may decide even ones that didn’t actually do it firsthand. It just gave them permission. It kind of introduced something that they could see themselves doing then so that was a good surprise.

18:33.75
podcomm
College let’s see college age. So this is people 18 to 21 somewhere in there. Okay so this could be a whole range of continue to Ed and everything I was going to say this might make the question a little harder to answer um is there anything that you saw them struggle with.

18:38.78
Nicole Colter
I teach at a community college. So at the yeah.

18:53.73
podcomm
And and I don’t want to put ideas in your head by giving you suggestions but like were there any threads of like oh this keeps coming up. They keep struggling with.

18:59.97
Nicole Colter
I Mean the same things that we all struggle with that like who am I What do you do? Why did I don’t you know? um, just and I realized that I need you know they need more practice with conversation I’m with.

19:03.75
podcomm
Um.

19:16.78
Nicole Colter
Um, trying to see themselves asking questions before I put them in that position again. So again, this was an experiment soul semester and um I went in with the vision of create I had never created text message courses either. So I really put and I had never used Microsoft teams so it was this like.

19:33.58
podcomm
All the new tools.

19:36.38
Nicole Colter
All the new tools. Um, but we got there and that that was they always get surprised at the end that like even as painful as it is in the process that you can look back and be like I knew nothing about any of this and now look where what we’ve created. And and that part is different than like they don’t have that same sense of accomplishment if you just gave them a bunch of tests because they’ve been doing that since they were a little you know it’s not it doesn’t have the same kind of pride and ownership and and I don’t think it sets them up for being the kind of creator. But the world needs.

20:15.40
podcomm
I’m glad that you highlighted the sense of accomplishment that empowerment that’s ah I think that’s a great place to stop so nicole it was as always a pleasure to give a chance to talk to you. So thanks for taking a half hour out of your day.

20:25.86
Nicole Colter
Um, thank you for having me and letting me talk about this and keep clarifying my thinking around it. It will continue to evolve so check on with me in like two weeks that I’ll probably have a whole new perspective. No thank you so much bike.

20:31.57
podcomm
My pleasure and.

20:38.58
podcomm
Great! Thanks bye.