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Reflections on Podcasting

Last week I published the 10th episode of the Real Education Podcast, meeting my long-time goal of publishing 10 original audio or video episodes online. Now I’m asking myself: What’s working, what’s not, and should I keep going?

(If you’re not familiar, the Real Education Podcast is a weekly show in which I interview one person—or a small group/team—for 45 minutes. New episodes are released on Tuesdays on iTunes and Soundcloud. I launched it on March 10th, 2015.)

What I Like About Podcasting

Conversations: I love taking with people who have dedicated their lives to alternative education, outdoor/experiential education, or unschooling. The podcast has given me an excuse to have deep conversations with interesting people I already know and, more significantly, and an excuse to meet and interview new people. The interviews themselves are always fun and rewarding.

Positive feedback: A few people have taken the time to e-mail me, write a Facebook comment, or leave an iTunes review with some positive comments about the show. One guy—a fellow alternative educator—even sent me $100 (completely unsolicited) in gratitude for the Carsie Blanton episode, which deeply inspired his 18-year-old daughter. That felt nice!

Patronage: Also inspired by Carsie, I created a Patreon page where listeners who enjoy my show could set up a recurring donation (as low as $1)  for every episode I produced. Around episode #3 I jumped up to $15 in weekly patronage—$10 of which was thanks to one family member—and then it leveled off, sitting at $18 now. People are paying me to do this: that feels nice, too! Continue Reading

Misha Golfman on Wilderness Semesters

On episode #11 of the Real Education Podcast, I interview a fascinating “old-school” outdoor educator: Misha Golfman, the co-founder (with his wife) of the company Kroka Expeditions.

I discovered Kroka through one of my mentees who signed up for Kroka’s Vermont Semester, a “600-mile circumnavigation of Vermont by backcountry ski, white water canoe, rowboat and mountain bike.” I’d heard rumors of this program while working at Not Back to School Camp in Vermont, and when I learned it was all true, I knew I had to interview the brain behind the operations.

Misha has led a fascinating life that will inspire teachers, outdoor educators, and anyone who loves the wilderness. Enjoy the conversation.

Listen on Soundcloud / Listen on iTunes

[Note: I just started writing individual blog posts for my podcast episodes. Episodes #1-10 don’t have their own posts.]

Ask John Taylor Gatto a Question

My all-time favorite education author, John Taylor Gatto, is soliciting reader questions which he can answer publicly on his blog.

This is an awesome opportunity! The two times that I saw John speak at a conference, he was mobbed by listeners with questions after every session.

If you’d like to ask John a question, follow the guidelines below.


Since his boyhood, John has had eclectic interests; from earliest his recollections he is interested in everything under the sun, but does not claim expertise in everything (if anything!); however, he is interested and willing to render candid opinions in any area one prefers (except medical advice), as long as one agrees to take his response to a question as merely a personal opinion, rendered free of charge or hidden agenda.

Questions must adhere to these four rules:

1. Don’t ask more than one question
2. Don’t ask if you already know the answer
3. Don’t ask him to predict the future
4. Don’t ask rhetorical questions, or use a question to state a position or to be silly; otherwise, ask anything

Send your question, one at a time, to: askjohn@johntaylorgatto.com

To read the response, as well as responses to all questions replied to, visit www.JohnTaylorGatto.com/blog, where you may also sign up to receive direct emails from John.

Patrick Farenga, the former publisher of Growing Without Schooling magazine, author of multiple books and articles about unschooling, and the long-time promoter of John Holt’s works, has written a great review of my latest book, The Art of Self-Directed Learning. Check it out.

What I’m Doing With My Life (April ’15)

Welcome to the April 2015 edition of What I’m Doing With My Life, where I share personal details of my life for your entertainment and my future recollection!

Where I Am

Boulder, Colorado.

IMG_450661370Illustration by Becky Clough

How I’m Feeling

  • Noticeably better than the winter, thanks to long, warm, sunny days that get me outside
  • Excited for my teen programs and workshops later this year
  • Enthusiastically looking forward to spending the summer in my beloved Sierra Nevada mountains
    Continue Reading