Lyceum Launches Educational Audio Platform and Studio Centered Around Learning Communities
PRESS RELEASE — March 31, 2020
Cambridge MA, USA—Lyceum announces the launch of its new platform to help revolutionize education through audio. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company will produce exclusive podcasts and audio courses and help existing educational podcasts build engaged learning communities.
At launch, Lyceum is also releasing its first two original shows: Writ Large, a podcast about the books that have changed the world, featuring Lyceum president Zachary Davis in conversation with leading scholars; and DECODE: Silicon Valley, a show about the personal journeys of entrepreneurs from startups like Twitch.
Lyceum aims to become a trusted source of high-quality educational podcasts and audio courses for its users. Lyceum will also empower content creators by providing a robust suite of monetization and learner engagement tools.
The monetization tools allow listeners to support creators either through a monthly subscription membership or a one-time purchase.
The engagement tools will allow individual educational audio creators to cultivate learning communities within the app through Lyceum’s multi-media, show-specific discussion rooms. Such features make it easy for creators to have conversations with their listeners, hold virtual office hours, and offer additional readings or resources to supplement an episode.
More than fifty creators have joined Lyceum to offer these enhanced learner engagement tools. Some of these early partner shows include Harvard’s Ministry of Ideas, MIT’s TeachLab, Notre Dame’s With a Side of Knowledge, and Google’s City of the Future.
While the appetite for high-quality audio content continues to grow, nearly one million podcasts available on every major platform can make content discovery an overwhelming challenge. Lyceum solves this problem by only offering content that has been curated by its editorial team. At launch, there are 700 podcasts in the Lyceum catalogue. Creators can submit their podcast for inclusion in the catalogue here.
In addition to working with existing podcasters, Lyceum is also launching a production house to work directly with creators to develop original content, both traditional podcasts, as well as Lyceum-exclusive podcourses—audio courses with podcast sensibilities.
Some of the groups who might benefit most from Lyceum are: educational podcasters interested in offering supplemental learning resources or engaging more deeply with their listeners; teachers or professors looking for a way to distribute their lectures and spark conversation; teachers of video-based online courses who want to begin to offer audio-first courses; and people looking for an engaging, mobile way to learn and a smart community to connect with.
Lyceum is founded by Zachary Davis, a founding member of HarvardX, the organizer of the educational audio conference Sound Education, and host of the podcast Ministry of Ideas; and Galen Beebe, an editor at the podcast publication Bello Collective and the former managing producer of Ministry of Ideas.
“Education gives us the tools to live more joyfully and find solutions to our shared social challenges,” explains Davis. “Our increasingly busy, screen-saturated lives make audio the perfect medium for life-long learning. We want to make it easy for anyone to learn from the world’s best teachers.”
Davis was inspired to create Lyceum after the success of the first Sound Education conference in 2018.
“I thought we might get 15 speakers and 100 attendees. Instead we ended up with 150 speakers and 500 attendees. I realized that something really exciting was happening with education and audio. All of us independent creators across the world who were making educational podcasts after our day jobs, in our make-shift studios in our closets, were unknowingly creating a revolutionary new audio university—a place you could easily learn anything from the palm of your hand. Lyceum is our effort to give this new university a home.”
Other members of the founding team include Ray Belli, Morgan Jaffe, Erik Jones, Adela Mizrachi, Jordan Petersen, Jenna Spinelle, Bob Xu, Jenny Zha, and Julia Zhang.
Lyceum is an initiative of Himalaya Media, a San Francisco-based audio platform.
Lyceum is currently in beta, and is available for download on the App Store and Google Play.
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By Zachary Davis