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Podcasts to support learning

Do you listen to podcasts? Have you thought about incorporating podcasts into your classroom instruction? Increasing in popularity since 2004, podcasts are now a mainstream resource and when integrated into classroom expectations, they can help students build background knowledge in a variety of areas. Podcasts are a simple way to integrate technology in the classroom and help students really learn ‘on the go.’

The list of 50 best podcasts includes some of 2016’s best podcasts. The list includes the best of art, entertainment, and news. I hope you enjoy some of the following selections for adult education.

  • More Perfect explores the how the United States Supreme Court and the justices shape our everyday life. (Civics Education)
  • Reply All keeps us up to date with all the newest Internet trends. (Technology and Professional Development)
  • Criminal, unlike other crime stories, Criminal has fresh reporting about interesting stories. For example, spend 20 minutes learning about a tiger that lives in a truck stop and be guided into a larger conversation about activists versus small businesses. (Sociology, Anthropology, and History.)
  • Reveal is some of the best in-depth news reporting in podcasting, including stories from small rural areas and large metropolises. (Current Events)
  • How to be a Girl is a genuine, heartfelt discussion between a mother and her trans daughter. It’s one of the best podcasts of 2016, exploring the mother’s journey to acceptance of her daughter’s identity. (Diversity)
  • This American Life is narrative storytelling at it’s best, featuring stories about the everyday life of citizens. We can all connect to the people and the stories. (Current Events)
  • Us & Them challenges us to talk to people we disagree with and to come to a respectful middle ground. (Current Events)
  • Hidden Brain Imagine combining everything you know about human behavior and science in order to interpret why in the world we do the things that we do—like how people plan vacations to relax, but instead end up exhausting themselves. (Sociology, Psychology, and Human Behavior)
  • Embedded More stories about today’s life. (Current Events)
  • This is Actually Happening First person storytelling that is engaging and relevant to our everyday lives. (Story Telling, Current Events)
  • Still Processing is a discussion of today’s trending topics, giving background information and unique perspectives on widely discussed events. (Current Events) 
  • Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History What can we say, if you’re a fan of Gladwell, these podcasts won’t disappoint. Introduce students to an alternative, or revisionist’s, version of history. (History.)
  • And for a list of great podcasts for Science instruction, check out:
    • How will you use these in your classroom?
    • Which podcasts do you listen to, if any? 
    • Which podcasts would you add to this list? 



Leecy's picture
One hundred

Thanks for the great resources and ideas, Kathy. I'm sharing this post with members in my groups. I hope we get more great ideas on how to use podcasts. I think that they can really enhance literacy skills. Leecy