Best Educational Podcasts for San Antonio Listeners

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Podcasts are a great way to keep learning about education, even while you are doing other tasks like driving, working out, or doing chores around the house. Here are our picks for the best education podcasts for San Antonio listeners. Some of these educational podcasts are made here in San Antonio, while others highlight issues and voices in education reform that are relevant to the rapid changes that are happening in San Antonio.

Educational Podcasts Made in San Antonio

CyberTalkRadio (also on YouTube): Bret Piatt, CEO of Jungle Disk, has a laid-back style for leading stimulating conversations about hot topics in San Antonio’s technology ecosystem. Some shows are explicitly about education, such as episode 120 about San Antonio ISD’s Cyber P-Tech program. Others could serve as an introduction to the tech world for teens and young adults who are interested in starting careers in cybersecurity.

The Fundamentals with David Robinson(s): Basketball legend David Robinson and his son, David Robinson, Jr., hold a series of conversations about the principles underlying the elder Robinson’s commitment to education philanthropy—made tangible at IDEA Carver Academy and College Prep. These chats are intimate and real, but also aspirational.

Miss Education: Jen Maestas co-founded San Antonio Leaders & Teachers (SALT) as a way to bring together teachers and principals for networking, fellowship, and truth telling about education. The Miss Education podcast is an extension of SALT, as Jen sits down with guests who shape and experience education policy in San Antonio. Episodes with the “Salty B’s” (Jen’s friends Veronica Valdovinos and Jennifer Rosas) are always special. Jen is also the Education Director at Key Ideas and works with local nonprofit City Education Partners.

School Stories: Stephanie Mendeloff, founder of CREA, invites guests who work in a variety of fields to share their stories about going to school and how it helped—or hindered—their development as creative people. The interviews with Paul Morrissey, founder of Compass Rose Public Schools, and Ryan York, co-founder of The Gathering Place, give a peek at the origins of those innovative charter schools.

The Story Goes: In a so-called “dark closet” at KLRN, SA2020’s President and CEO Molly Cox and Director of Community Impact Kiran Kaur Bains shine a light on San Antonio nonprofits that are making a difference. Education-focused episodes have featured James E. Cooper Jr. of St. Philip’s College, Nicole Amri of SAY Sí, Christina Martinez of Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas, Jeanne Russell of CAST Schools, Kim Jeffries of Brighton Center, and Jessica Weaver of Communities in Schools of San Antonio.

Educational Podcasts That Are Relevant in San Antonio

8 Black Hands: The eight black hands belong to Charles Cole III, Ray Ankrum, Sharif El-Mekki, and Chris Stewart. The 8 Black Hands podcast is so much fun to listen to because of the four distinct personalities and the back-and-forth over different points of view. Along the way, it will challenge your assumptions about education reform and how it impacts children of color. The 8 Black Hands recorded a live episode in the expo hall at the 2019 Texas Charter Schools Conference in San Antonio; one of their guests was Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, a founder of Gervin Academy.

EdChoice Chats (also on YouTube): This series is made by EdChoice, a national nonprofit that does research and advocacy to promote a wide range of school choice options for families. The hosts are EdChoice team members, while the topics and guests are eclectic—everything from “Mean Tweets” and “School Choice in Popular Culture” to analysis of state-level school choice policy and interviews with heavy hitters in education reform. A recent episode featured two EdChoice staffers chatting about a school choice storyline on the TV show Jane the Virgin, while an earlier interview featured Robert Pondiscio, author of How the Other Half Learns, a study of curriculum and school culture at New York’s Success Academy.

The Education Gadfly Show: Lighthearted banter enlivens serious discussions of new research in education reform and what those facts tell us about which programs are working and which aren’t. Mike Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute is the host, with help from team members Amber Northern, David Griffith, and (sometimes) Adam Tyner. The more you listen to Gadfly podcasts, the more you will gain respect for how researchers get at the truth, even when that contradicts our feelings about what should work.

The Integrated Schools Podcast: This podcast is the rallying cry of parents who want to raise their children in diverse surroundings and who are forming a movement—including a San Antonio chapter—to share ideas and organize. In 2019, Integrated Schools suffered the sudden loss of founder Courtney Everts Mykytyn, but the work continues.

The Learning Curve: With co-hosts Cara Candal of Pioneer Institute and Bob Bowdon of ChoiceMedia, each episode of the Learning Curve podcast offers a balance of lively commentary and high-profile interviews. In a December 2019 episode featuring an interview with Core Knowledge founder E.D. Hirsch, Jr., a tweet from San Antonio Charter Moms was featured as the Tweet of the Week. ChoiceMedia also aggregates the best of education podcasts on its site and mobile app.

Reality Check with Jeanne Allen: As the founder a trailblazing organization, the Center for Education Reform‘s Jeanne Allen taps guests that represent a who’s who of education reform. With her co-host Michael Musante, the podcast puts issues in their political context and presents a vision of what American schools can become.

Voices4Ed: Hosts Ikhlas Saleem and Lane Wright set a conversational tone with warm banter and a lack of jargon, but they are fearless about tough subjects in education. A recent episode covered Brightbeam‘s report, The Secret Shame, about large achievement gaps in progressive cities.

Podcasting Resources in San Antonio

This list of podcasts offers hours of listening that will help you build your knowledge of about what’s changing in education in San Antonio and beyond. But maybe something is missing from this lineup? You could start your own podcast! Local podcasting maven Jennifer Navarrete (as profiled in Startups San Antonio) can point you to resources to get started. A smartphone is enough equipment to get started. If you have the budget for professional help, then reach out to studios like Gameday Media, Geekdom Media, and more.

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