I’m sure you’ve all heard the current buzzword ‘Podcast’ and are wondering if you should hop on the train or continue avoiding the current social norms. Podcasts are derived from two words: ‘iPod’ and ‘broadCast.’ This is a free audio recording, also known as ‘audioblogging’, that allow individuals to pull audio files from a podcasting app for people to listen to on their phones or computers.
Podcasts are offered on a range of topics and genres. There are interview shows, solo shows, panel shows, conversational co-host shows, fiction and non-fiction storytelling, and more.
For this blog post, we will go directly to an ‘expert’ himself in Podcasting, Dr. Marty Jencius from Kent State University.
Marty, what is your current role?
I am an Associate Professor in Counselor Education and Supervision at Kent State University. While at Kent State University, my scholarly interest emerged in international aspects of counseling and counselor training. That interest has provided me the opportunity to teach counseling and to make multiple trips to Turkey, The Bahamas, Malaysia, Scotland, and Singapore. Most of my scholarly work has centered around the use of technology in counseling. Prior to academia, I had sixteen years of clinical experience including employment as an addictions counselor, a clinical mental health counselor, working with emotionally handicapped children, and in a private practice serving business and industry.
I enjoyed developing a lot of ‘firsts’ with technology in the field of counseling. I was founder and listserv manager of CESNET-L, co-founding editor of The Journal of Technology in Counseling, founder/producer of CounselorAudioSource.net, and founder of Counselor Education in Second Life. I am past president of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and currently serve on the Governing Council of The American Counseling Association. I have published over 110 journal articles and manuscripts, 20 book chapters, and 2 books.
How did you get started with listening to podcasts?
I got interested in podcasts having worked in commercial terrestrial radio from 1978 to about 1990, while also working as an addictions counselor and pursuing my master’s degree. Those days were pre-digital age where everything produced in studio was done on tape. So, commercials were all recorded and mixed by splicing magnetic tape. I developed a good ear for audio quality, particularly voice and inflection, that stays with me to this day.
My interest in podcasts began in 2005 when I was starting to travel abroad as a way to be entertained on long flights and continues to flourish from creating to assisting people with beginning their own podcasts. On long flights at that time, there was not a lot of entertainment, and movies were showing on a large screen, one film to the whole cabin. The selection of movies were generally ‘safe’ films, kids’ movies and family fare. One of the first podcasts I listened to was Digital Flotsam by P. W. Fenton, a show about the host’s life experiences. It was really well produced because the host of the show was an old sound engineer from terrestrial radio who had made the change to digital. The stories were very personable engaging. You can still find Digital Flotsam on the Internet and I do encourage folks to give it a listen. My favorite episode is #59 Stendahl’s Syndrome.
Another show that I listen to for my own teach development was MacBreak Weekly. Still running strong since 2006, it focuses on Apple technology, (which I was just learning at the time), and is hosted with regular guests that speak about what’s new with Apple computing. In particular, listening to the show got me to think that we could have the same kinds of conversations in the counseling field and that’s when I thought about starting my first podcast CounselorAudioSource (CounselorAudioSource.net)
How long have you been listening to and creating podcast opportunities?
As mentioned before, I started listening sometime in 2005. Having a background in radio, I was fascinated by ways to create and deliver podcasts. The first episode of CounselorAudioSource appeared in January 2006 and then pretty much on a weekly basis for the first year, and it continued on for another couple years. The way I elected to do the show was to act as a producer and distributor of interview content created by myself and for her five other contributing editors. Recording and producing a show was very time consuming and tedious work. CAS ran its course and I moved onto other new technologies in 2009.
In the Fall of 2017, another colleague, Eric Baltrinic, and I were lamenting about the lack of reward in higher education for creativity and artistry. We were both craving to do something creative. Eric, new to a faculty role, and I would always talk about faculty structure and the dynamics that goes on in running counseling programs. I suggested that we do a podcast as an outlet. Eric seemed to like the idea, so I kept dropping parts of the show in his lap, logos, a website, show descriptions and show notes, and we produced our first The Faculty Meeting podcast. We have had fun with it over the last eighteen months, sometimes with some distance between shows but it has always been fun to do.
In Fall of 2018 I started to look at ways that we could produce more podcast content and new shows. Since I could not do all that I wanted myself, I followed what I had seen with other podcasts, creating a network of affiliated shows. I put a call out for colleagues who would be interested in creating a show, explained the workload involved, and put The Faculty Meeting, and all new shows under The Podtalk Network (ThePodTalk.net). There is some great talent in the network and great shows. We currently have eight active podcasts including:
The Faculty Meeting – about issues faculty deal with from teaching and research to program development
Grad School Deconstructed – about managing your way through a graduate program
Supervision Time – counselors and supervisors converse about supervision
Positively Ethical – keeping sane and remaining ethical as a counselor
The Tech Savvy Professor – technology to assist in the faculty role
Apply Topically – a podcast about current issues and counselor responses
Let’s Get Uncomfortable – a sex positive podcast for counselors
CounselorAudioSource 2.0 - podtalk for counselors
How can you access podcasts through your phone/computer?
Most all podcasts are free, with costs being covered by commercial sponsors in the larger podcasts, or out-of-pocket by the producer, as is with most content. There is some premium content services that have podcasts available for paid members only, but 99.9% of podcast are there for you to be able to listen to at no cost.
To listen to podcasts, you want to use a podcast app on your phone and some kind of aggregator on your computer. You “subscribe” to a particular podcast and when new episodes come out, they are delivered automatically to your device. For Apple devices (iPhone or iPad), you can use the Podcast app and search for the names of the podcast you are interested in. On Apple/Mac computers, you could find podcasts through iTunes. Windows computers have its own media players, as does Google with Google Play.
More and more audio streaming services are providing podcasts, so you can also find podcasts on Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, and TuneIn.
What are some podcasts you currently listen to and recommend?
Podcast preferences are really a matter of taste and purpose for people, so what I am listening to at the moment reflects what my needs are and my personal tastes. The amazing thing about podcasts is that there is so much out there on any subject you might be interested in, for education and entertainment. So, readers should explore and try different podcasts. Listen to more than one episode for a show before making a decision.
Well, of course, I listen to all of the podcasts in The PodTalk Network (ThePodTalk.net). They are podcasts created by counselors with content for counseling students, counselors, and counselor educators.
I have extreme taste in podcasts and do not have time to listen to every episode of every show. What I listen to on a week-by-week basis depends on my time and my mood. Here are a few shows I sample from regularly. For news information, I listen to The Daily. For interviews, I listen to WTF w/ Marc Maron and ID10t w/ Chris Hardwick. For true crime stories, I listen to My Favorite Murder and Crime Junkie. For movie/tv nostalgia interviews, I listen to Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast. For trivia, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and Answer Me This. For general knowledge, Stuff You Should Know and The Complete Guide to Everything. For tech information, MacBreak Weekly, The Tech Guy, and The iMore Show.
For more questions and concerns about podcasts, please reach out to Dr. Jencius directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley Waddington is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in the state of South Carolina working at Columbia College as a Mental Health Therapist and in private practice. She is the ACA Graduate Student Committee Co-Chair and her areas of interest include persons with disabilities, grief and loss, student athlete mental health, as well as career and professional development.
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