By and For Educators: “Coach Jeffery” Kicks Off Flipboard EDU Podcast

Kirstie Wang / April 24, 2020

Photo credit: Erin Cleaves

While others may binge on true crime podcasts, here at Flipboard we’ve been craving William Jeffery’s new podcast, “Flipboard EDU Podcast,” a show about all aspects of digital learning and how Flipboard can be used as an educational tool. On the platform since 2015, the assistant high school principal in southeast Texas has been on the bleeding edge of using Flipboard for specialized learning and his own personal development. 

“As soon as I started using it, I fell in love with it,” he said. “I started curating magazines for everything; Flipboard made everything look great and easy to digest.” He said once it even helped him to “save his job” thanks to quick access to almost any topic he’s had to become an expert in and the ability to share insights with peers and students.

In this interview, “Coach Jeffery,” as we love to call him, talked to us about how the idea for the podcast came to be and what he’s excited to explore in education.  

Let’s get into the details of how you use Flipboard, both personally and professionally.
Flipboard is a Swiss Army knife; it can do so many things. I subscribe to education blogs and have it all in one place to digest new research and information. I organize all the information into magazines and use it to implement the research in my classroom. I love that I have access to information from a community of education experts that can cut through the noise and find the most relevant, reliable, and interesting topics. 

What do you think is unique about Flipboard?
I appreciate that it’s for everyone. You don’t have to be a top publisher to be active in the Flipboard community. It’s a place where everyone can be engaged and come in to receive and share. You can curate magazines to specifically address topics or generically help and inspire people. Plus, anything you want to find information about, it’s there; there’s a breadth of topics on Flipboard. Once in my career, I had to become a subject knowledge expert on aquaponics (growing vegetation in the absence of dirt), of all things — and I found some great articles on Flipboard that I referenced as I was learning!

How did you come up with the idea for the podcast?
This podcast is simply an extension of what I’m already doing: sharing resources through magazines with fellow educators. We’re always asking each other the question, “What can we do to become better teachers?” As we had these discussions about the research we were sharing, I thought to myself, “There’s gotta be more people on earth that can learn from what we’re talking about.” This podcast mirrors what we’re doing on Flipboard: looking for ways to connect with people.

What’s a topic you’re excited to explore on the podcast?
Social emotional learning is a big topic in education right now. The goal of social emotional learning is to give students the ability to make informed decisions as they grow. With topics as vast as these, we want to answer: If  educators are hoping to grow in this topic, what are the core topics they need to understand and implement in their classrooms? Where can they find valid articles to help and inspire their learning process?

What do you hope to accomplish with this podcast?
I just want to help people. When I was beginning my career, I was surrounded by people who shared resources and encouraged me to not be complacent and always grow as an educator, and I want to share that with the world now. If just 10 people listen to the podcast and one person implements something we talk about or from one of our magazines, I’ve achieved my goal.

How can Flipboard support educators during the pandemic?
When COVID-19 came in, educators were flooded with resources and tools that got buried and lost in emails. It’s easy to find great resources but forget them later. With Flipboard, I can easily take great articles and save them to reference later in my magazines. I can categorize into subjects, such as teaching tools, special education, and specific learning topics. Since I’m home more often, I’m seeing this as a time to sharpen my skills and ask how I can become a better educator. My magazines focus on inspiring and building the education community by sharing resources with as many people as I can. 

Learn more about episode one of “Flipboard EDU Podcast” right here.

— Kirstie is curating “People Are Fascinating