I am in the car A LOT.  Every weekend I spend 4 hours traveling to and from Wisconsin; we drive our daughter to a school an hour from our house (1 way) every day, and my doctor’s office (Baby Algrim is due in less than 4 weeks) is 45 minutes from my house and I am doing weekly doctor appointments now.  All in, I am probably in the car between 11-15 hours a week!  Needless to say I am always trying to find ways to make the time more enjoyable.  I’ve done audio books, radio, and talking to friends on the phone, but I keep going back to listening to Podcasts as my preferred car activity.

There are so many podcasts available for me to listen to.  I can zone out and enjoy a podcast that feels like a nice chat with friends, or I can challenge my beliefs and educational practices through an educational podcast, the possibilities are endless.  Don’t believe me, in June of 2022 there were over 2.4 million different podcasts with over 66 million episodes between them.  But this got me thinking, how can you implement Podcasts in the classroom in a MEANINGFUL way?

Podcasts are great for learners of all ages and across all content areas.  Here are a few quick and easy way to get started implementing podcasts in your classroom:

  • Use podcasts to extend your lessons and/or provide frontloading/background information for your students.  For example, if you are learning about famous historical figures/biographies.  You could have students listen to a podcast on historical figures.  After about a one minute search, I was able to find countless podcasts that fit this topic or unit of study such as the Who Was? Podcast you can check out here.
  • You can also use podcasts as a way for students to synthesize their learning.  Students can create their own podcast as a way to share their learning with others.  It really isn’t as hard as it sounds to put students in the host seat.  Here is a great blog to help you get started.
  • Don’t forget, you too can create a podcast for your students.  You could utilize your podcast as a center, create them for students to listen to if they are having trouble with their homework (remember students can access podcasts any time, anywhere), or you can even create a podcast for them to listen to if you need to be out of the classroom and have a substitute teacher.  Don’t forget, podcasts come in many different forms, some are interviews others are just the host talking, there is no right or wrong way to create your podcasts you get to do what works best for you and your students.

Now that you have a few ideas on how to utilize podcasts, you might be thinking why?  Why implement podcasts into your classroom and/or routine with students?  There are countless benefits to utilizing this form a media in your classroom:

  • Having students create and listen to podcasts gives them a real-world application of the speaking and listening standards found throughout the Illinois Priority Learning Standards.  Students are actively practicing their interview skills, questioning abilities, active speaking and reflective listening capabilities by creating and listening to podcasts.  While these skills are important for all learners, our multilingual learners can really benefit from utilizing podcasts to practice their language  acquisition and application skills.
  • Podcasts don’t require students to be viewing a screen like many YouTube tutorials/videos would require.  By utilizing podcasts instead of videos you free up where and when students are able to access your content so they can be learning in the car, while they clean their bedrooms, etc..
  • Podcasts are fun and engaging for people of all ages!! 

Okay, we know how to implement podcasts in your classroom and why they are great educational tools to use in your classroom, here are just a few of my favorite resources to get you started on your journey:

  • Current events are a great way to get started with podcasts, here are a few great podcasts for kids all about current events:

I hope you enjoy implementing podcasts in your classroom and find the how, why and resources in this blog beneficial in your podcast journey!  Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or need further support.  I’d love to help you on your podcasting journey!

Don’t believe me, in June of 2022 there were over 2.4 million different podcasts with over 66 million episodes between them. – 1 “39+ Podcast Statistics 2022 (Latest Trends & Numbers).” 21 Nov. 2022, https://www.demandsage.com/podcast-statistics/. Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

Katie Algrim – Director of Innovative Professional Learning

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