When I was a teacher, I had a multimedia approach to gathering content for my students. I truly believed in creating learning experiences in different formats to help reach all learners. During my time in the classroom I used YouTube, websites, articles, music, pictures, books, etc. I used any free resource that I could get my hands on that reflected the content I was teaching to engage my students and make learning accessible.
Now that I am out of the classroom, I continue to see new ways to incorporate multimedia into teaching and learning. One big thing that has changed since I have been out of the classroom is the rise in popularity of podcasts. I remember learning about podcasts in my undergraduate studies, but at that time podcasts were still new and not as popular or as accessible as they are today. Now you can find a podcast on just about any topic and stream the content through various platforms. Not only do I enjoy listening to podcasts for pleasure, I have also started to use them as a form of professional learning. Podcasts are a FREE resource that can be utilized in the classroom. All you need is a device! Read on for tips on ways that you can incorporate podcasts in the classroom.
Ways to Incorporate Podcasts in the Classroom
I would recommend finding podcasts that are reviewed and have safe and relevant content that will meet your instructional needs. There are a lot of great podcasts that can be used to engage your students in the content they are learning. Podcasts only require a device for listening. Keep in mind that you may need to download a free podcast-playing app to listen.
Independent Listening: Have a podcast station or set aside time for students to listen to podcasts in the classroom. There are many podcasts for kids that are educational and engaging.
Whole Class Listening: Listen to a short podcast or part of a podcast as a whole class that aligns with your content standards. When listening as a whole class, keep the time of the podcast listening to a minimum. I would suggest 5 minutes or less.
Assigned Listening: Assign podcasts for homework or research. A podcast is a great way to mix up the homework routine and reinforce the content students are learning. Students can also use podcasts as a resource for deepening their comprehension of a subject.
Podcasts for Students:
- But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
- Smash Boom Best
- The Past & the Curious
- Story Pirates
- Flyest Fables
- Wow in the World
- Peace Out
- Dream Big Podcast
- Freakonomics Radio
*If you are looking for podcasts that are aligned to specific content standards, Mackin offers the Walking Classroom podcast program for purchase. Available content is aligned to History, Language Arts, Health, and Science standards.
Podcasts can also be useful for teachers! I have subscribed to many podcasts to learn more about education and pedagogy. I also listen to a few for fun from people who understand the life of a teacher. Podcasts can break up your professional learning routine, offer PLCs great information, or just help you grow as an educator. Below are some of my favorite education podcasts for entertainment and professional learning:
Podcasts for Teachers:
- Crying in My Car: A Podcast For Teachers
- Study Hall with Mr. D
- The Creative Classroom
- The Heinemann Podcast
- Truth for Teachers
- Cult of Pedagogy
- 10 Minute Teacher Podcast
- The Book Love Foundation Podcast
- Beyond The Letters