The Chalk Blog

Tips for Using Podcasts in Your Classroom

How to engage students in educational podcastspodcasts 2In Minnesota’s Land of 10,000 Lakes, we enjoy the time-honored tradition of leaving the sweltering summer heat behind and heading north to a cabin, a campground, or any where we can find water to swim, frolic, and cool off.

Last weekend, my 24 year old daughter and I packed up the car and took off in search of one of those 10,000 cool, blue lakes. As we traveled, we scrolled through staticky radio stations looking for something we could both enjoy. That’s when we exclaimed, “podcasts!”

Podcasts are stories or educational information to be listened to, much like a radio show. What makes podcasts unique and modern are their convenience, availability, and the breadth of topics.

Convenience: Listen to podcasts “on demand,” that is, whenever the mood strikes as they can be easily downloaded to your smartphone, iPad, or computer device. When driving, podcasts can be connected using Bluetooth and broadcast over the car’s speakers.

Availability: Most podcasts are free, and there are many podcast platforms: Google Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Apple Podcasts to name a few.

Topics: Podcasts can be found on all of these topics and more! Education, business, comedy, hobbies, games, music, politics, news, science, TV, health, government, medicine, culture, sports, religion, film, family, technology...you name it, there’s a podcast.

Using Podcasts in the Classroom

Let’s get started!

  • Choose a podcast platform, select the podcasts you are interested in, then download or subscribe to the podcast.
  • Before broadcasting the podcast to your students, be sure to listen to it first. Not all podcasts are suitable for students or school.
  • When you’re ready, broadcast the podcast from your computer, or distribute it to your students’ devices. Likely, many have listened to a podcast, so use their expertise to help guide other students.
  • Start building your library of podcasts to supplement and assist you in teaching.
  • When the podcast, or series of podcasts, comes to an end, seek your students’ opinions and feedback about the podcast--and make adjustments or modifications.

To learn more, click on the links below:

Keep in mind, listening to podcasts engages listeners’ imaginations, much like reading a book! And, in case you are curious, my daughter and I listened to two episodes from the Number 1 True Crime podcast My Favorite Murder--entertaining, educational, but definitely adult content.


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