From Code School to Podcast School

Think back a decade or so.

How many kids did you see coding computers or hardware devices for fun?

Maybe you happened to be around a passionate engineering community, or instilled this curiosity in your own children at a young age, but chances are it was a pretty rare sight.

There were IT classes at school of course, but a lot of the focus was on learning how to use Microsoft Office, or perhaps writing some Perl or PHP script.

For the majority of young people, this was mandatory stuff to be done in their early teens. Something to tick off on the list of subjects to be studied and the grade to be acquired. Miles away from Final Fantasy and Football Manager.

And the barriers to owning your own computer were still pretty high.

Now it’s different.

There are dozens, probably hundreds of coding classes and summer camps helping children as young as 5 start understanding how computers work.

Companies like Roblox, Kano and Little Bits seek to do what Lego did for the generation before them: providing young people with small, colourful, intuitive kits to help fuel their imaginations.

It’s both learning and fun.

Engineering and entertainment.

Education hiding in plain sight.

And the whilst the technology is clearly visible, it’s there to facilitate and to enable.

The same is becoming true of podcasting.

Even a couple of years ago if you want to launch your own podcast you needed to know about hosting, RSS, how to edit audio. Or be able to find and pay someone who did. [1]

Now you don’t.

Ventures like Anchor, The Podcast Fellowship, Creative Live and Cast are making it easy to get started, or to level up. They’re very affordable, and often free.

Now the hosting, RSS, mixing, shipping, and even some of the marketing strategy, is made an order of magnitude easier. It can even be done for you.

You can still go and learn about those areas if you want to, and there’s plenty of demand for engineers working with audio, devops and software.[2]

But if you choose to go the other way, the time and energy that got freed up allows you to focus on other skills.

Researching with curiosity.

Asking questions that challenge and empower.

Speaking in public.

Listening actively.

Making a case.

Considering the other point of view.

Connecting dots.

Connecting with others.

 

These skills are useful for anyone to have, but they’re particularly important for young people who are growing up in a completely different world to the one of 10, yet alone 30 years ago.

Code is now high on the agenda in children’s education, and a new wave of tools and options have helped it stick.

Perhaps podcasting will go the same way.

 

 

[1] These can be two completely different challenges.

[2] An issue presented by the growth in these new highly intuitive options is that people may ignore skills that still have importance – a tricky challenge

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