20 great podcasts for educators (and how to get them)

Podcasts are learning on the go: in the car, while working out or as you garden. Here are some great ones for educators. (Icons via TheNounProject.com)

 

Podcasts are my lifeblood for generating new ideas, processing the ideas I already have and entertainment.

They’re like radio shows on virtually any topic under the sun. Actually, they’re better than radio shows because you don’t have to tune in at a specific time. You download them and listen to them on your phone/tablet/device or you listen to them online.

In education, there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of podcasts.

  • In some, educators interview educators. In others, educators talk directly to you.
  • Some offer practical ideas you can use in the classroom. Others seek to inspire and encourage.
  • Some are serious. Others are lighthearted and funny.

The reality that many people don’t realize is that they’re very easy to access and listen to. And once you find some that you really like, you’ll feel like you have this quasi-relationship with the host and you’ll want to listen to every single episode.

Want to give it a shot? Here’s your essential educator’s guide to listening to podcasts. In this post, you’ll find:

  • Several ways to consume podcasts
  • 20 podcasts for educators to check out

How to get podcasts

There are two main ways to access podcasts: downloading them to a mobile device or playing them through an Internet browser.

Downloading to a mobile device

To download and play podcasts, all you really need to do is download a podcast app (also called a "podcatcher"). Here are some options:

For iOS (iPhone/iPad), Apple's Podcasts app is the easiest place to get started. Just search the App Store for "podcasts" and you'll find it. Other iOS podcast apps include:

For Android devices, I've used the BeyondPod app (app / website) for years. I invested the $4.99 for the full-featured version because I like the customizable playlists and its intuitive controls. There is a free lite version with a seven-day trial with all of the paid features.

But recently I've switched to Player FM. It does a great job gathering all of my podcasts in one place and letting me view them by show or by episode. Plus, the creators have made it as a tool for curating learning for people in education -- teachers and students. 

Other Android podcast apps include:

Pro tip for Android users: Want to earn free money to spend in the Play Store? Google Opinion Rewards pays you Play Store credits to take surveys. I get surveys every few days and earn anywhere from 10 cents to $1 for my responses. I currently have about $17 in credits sitting in my account. (Maybe I should buy a new podcatcher and test it out, huh?)

Playing podcasts in an Internet browser

Many podcasts have their own websites where you can find new episodes. Just click "play" on a given episode to play it in your browser without having to download apps or download audio files.

Adding a podcast to your shiny new podcatcher app is easy. Most have a search feature (often a magnifying glass icon). Simply search for the name of a specific podcast or a keyword (like "educational technology").

Finding podcasts

It seems to get easier and easier to create a quality podcast. Therefore, more and more educational shows are popping up.

Here's a list of podcasts I listen to or have been recommended to me by others. (You'll see the list has grown beyond 20 ... I keep thinking of others that need to make the list!)

  • Google Teacher Tribe (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Kasey Bell and I (Matt Miller) provide practical ideas for using Google in the classroom plus tips and tricks.
  • StartEdUp (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Don Wettrick interviews innovators and thought leaders from the business world to learn how education can improve and innovate to stay relevant.
  • Cult of Pedagogy (iTunes) (Android) (Website)-- Host Jennifer Gonzalez discusses the psychological and social dynamics of school, trade secrets and more.
  • Teaching Keating (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Weston and Molly Kieschnick look at education through the lens of popular movies and TV, pulling valuable lessons for the classroom.
  • House of EdTech (iTunes) (Android) (Website)-- Host Chris Nesi interviews educators and offers recommendations for technology in the classroom.
  • Check This Out (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Brian Briggs and Ryan O'Donnell run the gamut from technology to teaching to pop culture to entertaining banter. Anything's game in this show!
  • Wired Educator (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Host Kelly Croy focuses on education, technology and lifestyle in interviews with various educators.
  • TeacherCast (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Jeff Bradbury has been podcasting since 2011 and has amassed a huge library of video and audio content along with guest hosts on a variety of tech and teaching topics.
  • 10 Minute Teacher (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Vicki Davis interviews educators on a broad range of topics five days a week. These quick shows will give you motivation for the day.
  • Teachonomy Talks (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Chuck Poole records these quick weekly podcasts to inspire and empower teachers for their week. 
  • EduMatch Tweet & Talk (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- EduMatch is all about connecting likeminded educators. The podcast brings educators from around the world to discuss education issues.
  • Talks with Teachers (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Brian Sztabnik encourages English teachers (and teachers of other content areas) through insightful interviews with great educators.
  • The Dr. Will Show (iTunes) (Website) -- Dr. Will Deyamport, III, drives the conversation of what it means to go digital in this show. His guests go beyond educators to the business world.
  • Bedley Brothers (iTunes) (Website) -- Scott and Tim Bedley interview a wide range of educators and discuss issues that affect teachers every day.
  • EdTech Takeout (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Jonathan Wylie and Mindy Cairney serve up what they call "a buffet of bite-sized technology tips for teachers."
  • The EdTech Podcast (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Sophie Bailey hosts this show, which aims "to improve the dialogue between 'ed' and 'tech' through storytelling for better innovation."
  • My Bad (iTunes) (Website) -- Ever have a day in the classroom you wish you could take back? Jon Harper's guests dish on their worst days and what they learned from them.
  • The Creative Classroom (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- John Spencer equips and inspires teachers to explore the creative process in the classroom for 10-15 minutes each week.
  • Across the Hall (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- This show, created mainly for English teachers, gives suggestions for incorporating tech with a bent toward the ELA classroom.
  • Modern Learners (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Bruce Dixon and Will Richardson interview educational leaders "engaged in high bar change projects."
  • Leader of Learning (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Dan Kreiness interviews leaders from various walks of education about a variety of subjects.
  • The Learning Scientists (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- This show teaches teachers, students and parents about evidence-based practice and learning related to cognitive science and brain research.
  • TED Radio Hour (iTunes) (Android) (Website) -- Each episode includes highlights from TED Talks that connect with the episode's theme. Host Guy Raz interviews TED speakers and plays clips from their talks.

Are you new to podcasts? Jump in and try one today. Download a podcast app on your smartphone or just click through to one of the websites linked above. Start listening, and I think you'll be hooked -- just like me!

What are your favorite podcasts? Share them in the comments below!

For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links:

Interested in having Matt present at your event or school? Contact him by e-mail!

Matt is scheduled to present at the following upcoming events:

 DateEvent / Event DetailsCity / More Info
+ 05/19/2018
Texas Google Summit with Kasey BellAustin, TX
  Register to attend
+ 06/01/2018
MSD of MartinsvilleMartinsville, IN
+ 06/04/2018
Granbury ISDGranbury, TX
+ 06/05/2018
Columbus City SchoolsColumbus OH
+ 06/06/2018
School City of MishawakaMishawaka, IN
+ 06/07/2018
Lafayette eLearning ConferenceLafayette, IN
+ 06/12/2018
2nd Annual Learn, Explore, Adopt and Deliver (LEAD) ConferenceCleveland, OH
+ 06/13/2018
InnEdCoKeystone, CO
  Public Event
+ 06/19/2018
Tyler ISDTyler, TX
+ 06/20/2018
TransformED ConferenceWaco, TX
+ 06/21/2018
Barr-Reeve Jr/Sr High School- Washington Community SchoolsWashington, IN
  Public Event
+ 07/24/2018
Regional Math & Science ConferenceAmarillo, TX
+ 08/01/2018
Flipgrid Event + Evening Live StreamMinneapolis, MN
+ 08/02/2018
Virginia Beach SchoolsVirginia Beach, VA
+ 08/09/2018
St. Joseph Grade SchoolSouth Bend, IN
  • candee hurt says:

    Thank you so much for this information about podcasts. I’m actually signed up to get podcasts from some teacher gurus but because I have never learned how to properly download or find out what I needed to listen to them; I couldn’t use them the way they were intended. Thank you for making your explanations basic for those of us who needed it. Plus, offer apps for us to try and explain step by step on what to do. Even the advice on taking surveys is great because now I always won’t be Nicole and dimed from all these apps I’m always told to try. This helps us who want to learn but don’t have the time or knowledge to figure out how to do this. Thank you so much for all that you do.

  • […] For additional information on podcasting/podcatchers/podcast aggregators – as well as for additional resources on where education-related podcasts can be found – see the posting Learn on the Go: The Essential Educator’s Guide to Podcasts. […]

  • […] I listen to podcasts while I run, and podcasts always seem to inspire me.The circulatory and inspirational benefits didn’t disappoint! I now have today’s blog post idea (one I’m passionate about) and a couple more for coming posts.” To read further please click here:http://ditchthattextbook.com/2015/09/28/learn-on-the-go-the-essential-educators-guide-to-podcasts/ […]

  • Howdy Matt,
    Well, I am very grateful that you had an uninspired moment that led you to this blogpost! I am always on the lookout for new education podcast and was delighted to have your list. I immediately subscribed to all of these, adding them to a few of my actively listened to podcasts:

    •TeacherCast with Jeff Bradbury
    •Every Classroom Matters with Cool Cat Teacher
    •Tech Chick Tips

    I was looking for an updated podcast by Steve Hargadon, as he does fabulous education interviews, but I am not find one, any ideas?

    Also, you may have done this in the past (I need to look at your past posts), but if you get inspired by podcasts again, I would like your thoughts on Podcasts that are good for students. I have Fifth Graders. Our current favorites are:

    •60 Second Science (and all the companion 60 Second podcasts from Scientific American)
    •Minute Physics (Which is fascinating even if often over our heads!)
    •CNN Student News (A bit intense and we really miss the BBC news for kids)
    •Question of the Week, From the Naked Scientists
    •Grammar Girl (Most are a bit in depth for a 5th grade focus, but certain ones are good.)

  • I listen to quite a few podcasts regularly. In relation to education, my staple diet is 2RegularTeachers (2regularteachers.global2.vic.edu.au), Teachers Education Review (terpodcast.com) and Today in Digital Education (tidepodcast.org). However, there are also others which foster my interest, including Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qykl/episodes/downloads), The Guardian Tech Weekly (www.theguardian.com/technology/series/techweekly) and Future Tense (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/).
    I dip in and out of a few others to be honest, based on recommendations etc …

  • Chelsea Murphy says:

    Thanks for all this great information about podcasts! Not only are podcasts great for teacher PD, but they are great for teaching with. Educator Michael Godsey recently wrote in the Atlantic about how podcasts really encourage his students to read.

    A great resource to check out is Listen Current- where they curate common core aligned NPR podcasts for the classroom. More gauged towards 7th -12th grades. It’s really easy to use, and I’ve been able to search for relevant current events that get my students really engaged in conversation: listencurrent.com

  • Happy to have found this article – lots of useful information!! I love the BooksBetween podcast with Corinna Allen, the All the Wonders children’s book podcast, The Yarn, and The Nerdy Book Club podcasts. All fantastic for literacy/reading/finding books for every kid.

  • […] Miller’s blog post, Learn on the Go: The Essential Educator’s Guide to Podcasts ended up being an inspired entry on podcasts, which I find integral to staying inspired in […]