I was wrong.
Turns out, it is not so easy to find college application and admissions podcasts that are informative and engaging. And even when I did come across a few, I found myself struggling to stay focus and internalize the information. I've never before considered myself a visual learner, but not having a single thing in front of me to help me follow the program was difficult.
As I grow my college counseling business, I am considering every way I can potentially help students. Blog posts, webinars, workshops, e-books, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter...if it's out there, I'm willing to check it out and see if I can make it work. That goes for podcasts, but I'm wondering if pouring time into creating a podcast series is worth it.
I set out to do a little research of my own and posed the following question on Facebook:
Students and parents of students, I need your help for a class I'm taking! Which way would you prefer to receive information about college applications and admissions (FAFSA, essay tips, the Common App, transferring credits, etc.)?
A. A written piece, like an online article or blog post
B. Something to listen to, like a 10-minute podcast
C. Something to watch, like a short video on youtube
15 people responded. 8 of them said A, they would prefer something written. 7 said C, they would prefer something to watch. And not a single person said B. This informal poll is still going, but I'm betting this trend will continue. It seems like people prefer something visual, either a written text or a video, to help them learn information. As a teacher, I'm not surprised. I know that my students learn best when I give them something visual. Honestly, I know that I learn best when I have something visual!
So, where am I going to spend my time? I would be inclined to do a Youtube series instead of a podcast series. With YouTube, people can still subscribe to a channel and be updated on new videos, like a podcast subscription. Videos can be embedded into blog posts or shared on social media. The difference between a YouTube video and a podcast is that there would be something visual to go along with the information, even if it is something simple, like key words on a screen. PossiblityU has the right idea: they provide spoken information while an engaging sketch is going on at the same time.
I'm not discounting podcasts in general. I found one I liked (College Smart Radio) and will definitely use it for myself and students. I simply want to create resources that will have the greatest effect, and that means I need to be in tune with what students and parents are willing to do.