Sunday, March 31, 2013

Permission

Last Thursday, I sent a message to Teachers pay Teachers requesting permission to produce the Teachers pay Teachers Podcast. In the interest of total transparency, I've included an exact quote of my inquiry below.
I've been with TpT since September of 2007, and I have benefited from being a member for many years. In addition to continuing to share resources and earn supplemental income through the site, I'd like to become a more active member of the community. It is my wish to use my talents to create a TpT podcast to showcase the work of my fellow teacher-authors. Please visit teacherspayteacherspodcast.com to see some of my thoughts from over the past few weeks. May I have your permission to continue with this endeavor? If I'm going to do this well, I'd like to have your support and input. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Do I need permission from TpT? Well, it depends on what kind of podcast I want to produce. Technically, I could develop a podcast that features teacher-authors and their work and call it almost anything I like as long as I don't leave the impression to my viewers that I'm associated with the company. According to the Creative Commons "Podcasting Legal Guide," a registered trademark such as TeachersPayTeachers can be violated in two ways: direct infringement and dilution. Obviously, I'm not planning on infringing upon anyone's trademark, and dilution is not going to be an issue because my goal is to promote the TpT company and its sellers' work.

For me, the question is not whether or not I need permission. I want permission from Mr. Edelman and anyone else in the position to make decisions for the company. Remember, I am part of TeachersPayTeachers too, and I want it to continue to be a blessing to me and all of my teacher-author colleagues.

As far as the podcast is concerned, permission would offer the following:

  • Confidence and validation,
  • Security,
  • Access to future communications, and 
  • Opportunities for marketing and growth.
Will they say, "yes" or "no"? I guess you'll have to wait until the next post to find out.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Format

Picture of Brainstorming Graphic
Over the past few weeks, I've put a lot of thought into what the Teachers pay Teachers podcast should include. My main goal is to showcase the work of other teachers in order to give them more exposure and boost their sales. However, I also want the show to be a practical and useful tool for teachers who are not selling educational products.

By watching the TpT podcast, teachers will receive the following information:
  • Brief and concise educational news pertaining to TpT or the world educational system,
  • Timely information about amazing and undiscovered free products,
  • Technology tips to make teaching more effective on a routine basis.


Why should I include news about education?
This not only makes the episode fresh, but keeps us all up to speed about what's going on in the world outside of our classrooms. In this segment, I might highlight a particular breakthrough in the world of education that is inspiring to us all.

Why should I only include free products?
This might be obvious, but I don't want the podcast to seem like a big infomercial. Sellers should encourage each other to give products away that will help students in classrooms all over the world. This, in turn, will boost traffic to their respective sites, and ultimately increase their sales in the long run.

Finally, why should there be a tech segment at the end?
Technology is something that every teacher can use to boost his or her productivity and effectiveness. It knows no language or cultural barriers and it is constantly changing. I've had a lot of success using technology in my classroom, and I want to share what I've learned with the community. I also hope that other teachers will submit ideas for the podcast so that I can share them with others.

By the way, if you have any ideas for the format of this podcast, you can submit them as a comment below. Thanks!

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Studio

The Teachers pay Teachers podcast must achieve to the level of greatness that we have seen every day on TeacherspayTeachers.com. That's a tall order. I know. But I don't see any point in creating this content unless it is going to be really good. Besides, one of my main goals is to showcase great teachers and their content, so I need to make them look good; very good. In order to do that, I need a studio.

Fortunately, I have a plan to create a professional studio of my own in the very near future.

The Background

About four years ago, my wife and I bought a foreclosure next door to our house. It had burned down and no one seemed to want it. As a result, it was an eyesore in the neighborhood. We thought we could at least clean it up to keep our property value from going down. Not long after the purchase, I came up with the idea of turning it into a studio for audio/video production. However, by that time our family had begun to grow. In the meantime, we have put so much effort into the project, that we plan to move our family into it this summer. That will leave our current house empty, and we plan to keep it for use in producing the TeacherspayTeachers Podcast.

The Future

As soon as my family moves into our other house, my current home will be my office and studio. It will be a fully functional recording studio with a set and green screen capability. I'm going to invest in lighting, technology, and cameras that will help to make the podcast extremely professional.

Next time, I'll tell you more about the podcast format. Keep creating excellent content. Maybe you can be one of my first, featured teacher-authors!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Mastermind Group

As I was listening to some of my online mentors such as Cliff Ravenscraft and Pat Flynn, I kept hearing them talk about "mastermind groups". They casually mentioned how they had met with their groups and shared ideas with people who would lend support and hold them accountable for making progress toward their goals. Listening to this, I couldn't help thinking, "I need that!" So, I began contacting a small number of long-time friends that I thought could both benefit and contribute to a mastermind group.

So far, things are going well. We have four, like-minded individuals in the group, and plan to have our first meeting this week. I won't mention their names just yet, but I will say that we all went to the same university. We have a lot in common, but we are working in different careers. One of us is a licensed counselor, another is an aspiring children's book author and youth and family minister, another is a musician and stay at home dad, and I teach 5th grade. This should be a pretty good mix with lots of similarities and differences.

I can't wait to hear what these guys think about my dream to begin a podcast about the amazing teacher-author-entrepreneurs on TeacherspayTeachers. Stay tuned, and I'll let you know.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My "Aha!" Moment

A few weeks ago, I was putting together some packets of graded papers to send home to my students' parents, and I was watching a podcast called TWIT, which stands for "This Week in Tech".  I've been a fan and subscriber for a few years because I like to stay informed about the quickly changing world of technology and I just enjoy the show. The host, Leo Laporte is very knowledgeable and fun to listen to, and he always has entertaining guests. The production quality of the show is very professional.

For some reason, while I was listening to this show, it occurred to me that Teachers pay Teachers does not have a podcast. There is a weekly newsletter that keeps us up to date with news and seller successes, but there is not a weekly broadcast that we can enjoy as a community. Immediately, I knew that I had to produce a show for TpT.

Soon after that, I was perusing the podcasts in the iTunes store, and I came across "Podcast Answer Man". Since I was interested in producing a first class podcast for a large and growing community of excellent people, I began to listen. And boy did I listen! I could not stop listening! It was as though everything was falling into place. The host Cliff Ravenscraft unknowingly became my mentor as I began to zero in on my goals for this new show.

Just wait until you read my next post about how the other circumstances in my life are slowly coming together to create a perfect storm for this important production. Thank you for joining me on this adventure. Please let me know how you feel about this undertaking in the comments section. And, by all means, if you have any ideas for the show, just sound off!