By Teachers, For Teachers
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just switch on your radio and hear from education experts around the world each day? While your typical radio stations won’t be airing such content any time soon, you can create your own customized technology in the classroom radio experiences via podcasts. A podcast is simply a downloadable audio show available to listen to whenever and wherever it conveniences you. So if you’re an educator looking to make the most out of your commute, your down time, your personal use of technology in the classroom, or your professional development time without paging through a book or scrolling through site after site, you should consider subscribing to some of these impactful education podcasts!
I’ve been a fan of Jennifer Gonzalez’s blog for a long time, but she has hosted her own podcast for several years, offering her insights on a variety of topics from teacher self-care to the problems of timed testing, to how teachers can support students of color. Gonzalez’s episodes range in length from the short tidbit to the longer explorations of topics, each offering loads of practical, research-based advice. The Cult of Pedagogy won’t overwhelm your feed, as Gonzalez tends to publish episodes about twice a month, but her shows are worth the wait and a great addition to your professional development regimen.
Brian Sztabnik’s podcast features thoughtful, inspirational dialogues with fellow educators and educational leaders. Here you’ll find an inquisitive English teacher spending quality time engaging with many influential names in education, including Penny Kittle, Angela Watson, and Terry Heick. Yes, this podcast does talk primarily about Language Arts and issues associated with literacy instruction, so your ELA teachers are the ones most likely to benefit from it. However, the range of personalities and topics make this an advantageous podcast for any teacher to listen to.
Don’t have time to engage with teachers on the popular #EdChat educational hashtag on Twitter? No worries – the #EdChat Radio team has you covered. This podcast is a short, easily digestible summary of the tweets from educators who conversed over the #EdChat hashtag the previous week. A range of moderators reviews the variety of insights posted by educators and share some of their own insights and experiences on each week’s topic. Each episode is about 10 minutes and is perfect for the teacher who is unable to regularly engage on Twitter, or is just looking for quick insights into a range of educational topics teachers are talking about.
No educational podcast list would be complete without at least one podcast dedicated to ed-tech, and this is it. EdSurge features interviews with the innovators, leaders, and thinkers in today’s ed-tech environment. This podcast doesn’t necessarily focus on the “How-tos” for one tech tool or another, so much as it does on the bigger questions related to ed-tech’s influence on learning today and in the future. With new episodes typically published weekly, you will benefit from hearing these thought-provoking conversations.
Cool Cat teacher Vicki Davis hosts a podcast bringing all the charm and dynamism from her blog to the airwaves. Davis has her own thriving blog and regularly delivers influential information to throngs of teachers. Her podcast, likewise, approaches a variety of educational topics with her classic combination of inquisitiveness and insight. She has been publishing episodes for years, offering her own thoughts on issues as well as interviewing other influential educational leaders. Each episode is roughly 10 minutes long, too, making it easy for any teacher to get a quick dose of solid recommendations to boost her craft.
Do you love TED Talks as much as I do? If you can’t get enough of TED’s dynamic speakers, then you might want to tune in to TED’s education-specific podcast. Here, TED rebroadcasts presentations about education from TED conferences and TEDx events, bringing you experts from around the world. Some episodes focus specifically on big-issue educational topics, such as poverty’s impact on learning and fixing what’s broken with the educational system. Other topics, however, delve into subject-specific content such as the joy of prime numbers and the magic of the natural world.
This podcast delivers on its name and brings you many of the “Best ideas in education.” This podcast does not produce original content, but rather compiles and rebroadcasts popular and compelling segments from the entire education community. Each episode offers a bite-sized chunk of thought regarding issues you may or may not have considered, but will definitely benefit from hearing about. This is another podcast produced by the BAM Radio Network and brings experts, authors, and experienced professionals straight to your ear.
These podcasts represent a small sampling of what’s available in the podcast universe that might directly benefit you and your students. I selected these podcasts because they tend to talk about education in general and are applicable to the majority of teachers. But you might find other topics more directly related to where your skills and interests lie. Perhaps you want to learn more about human psychology, growth mindset, poverty, childhood, or culture. There are podcasts available on all those topics with well-researched information and articulate hosts! Or perhaps you want to learn information more specific to your field and would benefit from focusing on history podcasts or science podcasts – dive into those!
The more you learn, the more valuable experiences you can bring to your students. There’s no secret formula for using podcasts. Just find the topics that relate to and interest you, download, and listen!
What podcasts do you love that other educators might benefit from? Give us your technology in the classroom recommendations in the comments below!
Jordan Catapano is a high school English teacher in a Chicago suburb. In addition to being National Board Certificated and head of his school’s Instructional Development Committee, he also has worked with the Illinois Association of Teachers of English and has experience as a school board member for a private school. You can follow him on Twitter at @BuffEnglish, or visit his website www.jordancatapano.us.