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:
- Overcast (free, recommended by The Verge as the best podcast app for the iPhone)
- If you're looking for something other than Apple's Podcasts app or Overcast, here's a list of 10 podcatchers from Paste Magazine.
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:
- Pocket Casts ($3.99, recommended by The Verge as the best podcast app for Android)
- Here's a list of the top 10 Android podcast apps from Android Authority.
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").
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!
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