Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Podcasts as a Classroom Resource

I Love Podcasts.

I listen to them all the time.  I have a podcast app on my phone (Podcast Addict), and I have "subscriptions" to about 20 different shows.  Most of them are weekly, some of them only run for 10 episode "seasons" and then they disappear for a year.

But they are all FREE.  I don't pay a dime, and I have hours and hours of free entertainment and education that I download straight to my phone, and push straight to my ears.

Many of the podcasts I listen to are for entertainment (I really enjoy Sports and True Crime Stories), so I listen to those a lot, but there are also some that are very educational (if not entirely FOR Education).

So, I thought I would share a blog post with some ideas for Podcasts that would/could be helpful or beneficial for teachers.  Because, if I was just starting out in the world of podcasts, and didn't know what I was doing... It would definitely be overwhelming.

There are so many to choose from, where to start?

I just went to "PodcastOne.com" and clicked on podcasts, and took this screen shot.
There are currently 294 podcasts listed on Podcast One.
And just for clarification... Podcast One, is perhaps the largest Podcast network, but it's not the ONLY one.  There are several.  So How Many Podcasts Are There?  Thousands.  Thousands and Thousands.

If you would like to do your own investigating, here is a list of The 51 Best Education Podcasts. I cannot verify the list, but there are some good ones on there, for sure.

You can also do some searches by subject matter.  Here are a few lists I found:
HERE are some suggestions of some podcasts that I am familiar with.

Cross-Curriculum - These Podcasts really cover just about any subject matter, it just depends on the week.  It could be history, it could be science, it could deal with the Arts, it just depends on the subject...but some excellent shows. I'm just going to copy and paste the descriptions from the show's webpage.
  1.  Radiolab - Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.
  2. This American Life - There's a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. Most of the stories are journalism, with an occasional comedy routine or essay. There's lots more to the show, but it's sort of hard to describe.

Social Studies has a lot of really good ones.
Revisionist History - really interesting and well done by Malcolm Gladwell.
Dan Carlin's Hardcore History - this is a phenomenal podcast, but only for true History junkies.  And the episodes are REALLY LONG.
Stuff You Missed in History Class
Freakonomics Radio - interesting and fun show on economics.

Science Vs - This one is one of my personal favorites.  Just great stuff.
How Stuff Works
Star Talk Radio - hosted by Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Language Arts? - I am putting down here a few "fictional  podcasts", that use story telling.
-You can think of these as like Old Time Radio Programs.
Welcome to Nightvale - Very well done, and really creative.
The Black Tapes  - Kind of like an "X-files" sort of mystery and supernatural podcast.
Homecoming -self described as a "Psychological Thriller"
The Truth -describes itself as "movies for your ears".

Podcasts for Educators - here is a list of podcasts that are "Education based" by and for Educators.

And just for fun, because I love them, here is a list of some excellent "True Crime" Podcasts.
(these are just really good stories, that I have listened to.  Not sure how they could be used in an educational setting at all... I just like them.  More for personal enjoyment.)

Serial - Season One,  which focused on the murder of a High School girl in 1999, is amazing.
In The Dark - this podcast focused on the Jacob Wetterling case. 
Phoebe's Fall - An investigative podcast in the death of a young Australian woman.
Up and Vanished - a podcast that explores the unexplained disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a young teacher in a small town in Georgia.

There are podcasts for everything you can think of:  Gardening, Religion, Politics, Music, Health/Fitness, you name it...

There is just SO MUCH free content out there that can be used either as a resource, or as something that can be assigned... (like, listen to this podcast and write a reaction paper?) or things of that nature.

A quick warning.  As podcasts are simply audio files that are uploaded to the internet, they are NOT monitored by the FCC.  This will require you to listen to it, and verify that they are appropriate for use in the classroom.  I just don't want someone to attempt to play a podcast, and then have inappropriate language or something like that to pop up, out of the blue.  (Some of them are "radio friendly" some are not)

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