Teachers love to learn new things, and are always working to grow as professionals and as individuals. One of my favorite ways to stay informed, learn new things, and challenge my perspectives is through podcasts. There are thousands of podcasts covering pretty much any topic you can think of, and thus the educational implications for both teachers and students are immense. If you are looking to get started with podcasts, or looking to diversify your listening base, here are my three favorite podcasts for educators:
1. Hidden Brain
The Hidden Brain podcast “helps curious people understand the world – and themselves. Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships.”
Hidden Brain is immensely practical, both inside and outside the classroom. For example, Episode 65 of Hidden Brain discusses the concept of tunnel vision, scarcity, and the resulting mindset. As multiple guests describe through candid personal stories, when one experiences scarcity it has profound effects on the brain, behavior, and so much more. I found this highly relevant to the classroom, as so many of our students deal with daily scarcity problems, which ultimately effect their ability to learn.
Hidden Brain can be used by teachers to explore new ideas and perspectives, as well as in the classroom with students as part of case studies, lessons, discussions, or other activities.
Education Talk Radio, hosted by veteran teacher and education professional Larry Jacobs, is my primary source to stay up to date on all things education. From new and exciting partnerships, innovative lesson ideas, current events, and leaders in the education space, Larry offers several diverse shows each day in easily digestible 30 minute talk shows. I like his candid and informal style, and I always learn interesting new things that help me grow as a professional and understand what’s going on in education around the nation. I like to listen to these while driving in the car – a simple and easy professional development tool!
Technology is an increasing part of the lives of both teachers and students, and thus it is imperative for teachers to stay abreast of the latest developments and educational implications of technology. Hosts Ricky Zager and Kristy Warren start each podcast with the technology news run down, which summarizes trending key topics in the realm of educational technology. Save yourself the time and hassle of reading through countless articles with their quick and easy to understand summaries and discussions. In the second part of the 20 minute weekly show, Ricky and Kristy take a deeper dive on one of the trending topics of the week. They discuss practical applications for teachers, important considerations, and new ideas. EdTech Weekly is short, to the point, and highly relevant to every K-12 teacher in America.
For Kids and Students
Looking for the coolest new tool to help kids learn? Look no further than podcasts. With their engaging conversations, kid-friendly focus, and exciting topics, podcasts can feed children’s curiosity and teach them new things. This is especially true with STEM, as podcasts explain its complexities in an approachable way. Here are our top choices for STEM podcasts to share with your kids or students.
This podcast focuses on how STEM professionals solve problems in their fields. Each episode contains a discussion with an expert, an introduction to their STEM careers, and an exploration activity for listeners. Using an engaging format, this podcast explains complex topics in a way kids can understand. Episodes of this podcast can reach 25 to 40 minutes.
An NPR podcast, Wow in the World makes science and technology accessible to kids and their families. Each episode lasts anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, engaging kids with music, stories, conversations, and new discoveries. The hosts also include comedy to make kids laugh and further engage with the lesson.
Brains On is a podcast that answers STEM questions with the help of kid co-hosts. They cover topics from tectonic plates to narwhals, and even tiny robots. The show lasts around 30 minutes and includes engaging and funny characters to keep kids listening.
The Tumble podcast explains scientific discoveries in a way that kids can understand. They partner with science experts to get the scoop on the latest news in science. Want to learn what math and making candy have in common? Tumble can help with that.
Hosted by 9-year-old Nate, The Show About Science introduces kids to unique scientific questions explained by experts. Nate interviews a different scientist every 10 minute episode, asking the questions that your kids wonder about. Nate’s young lens makes this podcast perfect for curious kids, and may even inspire them to start their own scientific explorations.
As you can see, podcasts take on a variety of forms from expert interviews to scientific storytelling. Want to learn more about how podcasts can be used to teach kids about STEM and STEM careers? Check out this podcast about turning students’ interests into careers.