When the term ‘podcast’ made its debut in 2004, I don’t think anyone anticipated there would be close to 2.5 million podcasts at this stage of 2022. And while comedy and true crime are eternal favourites, 74% of listeners say they tune into podcasts to learn new things. When it comes to education, there is a veritable treasure trove of practical, inspiring and engaging podcasts on offer. As podcasts evolve and the list of options grows ever-longer, it can be hard to know where to start. This week on School Stream, we have visited all corners of the podcast eco-system to bring you a curated list of podcast episodes that we hope you will find helpful.
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A podcast for everyone
Whether you want to listen to an expert talk about how Minecraft can be used to demonstrate a variety of cross-discipline ideas, find a relaxing podcast for your Year 10 class for Friday afternoon, listen to experts discuss the latest education research or find new strategies to use in the classroom, you’ll find all this and more in our list.
Is it even a podcast listicle without mentioning TED Talks? We think not. While TED is not strictly a podcast, it shares a similar ethos to podcasts – one that prizes audio, a commitment to storytelling and showcasing unique voices, all while being portable. As the kids say: TED walked so that podcasts could fly.
- Listen to inspiring and uplifting talks from scientists, musicians and more – all delivered by brilliant kids and teens.
- Or try fun, informative and captivating talks you can listen to with kids.
- Best of all, TED is also home to an entire collection dedicated to education – with supporting resources for teachers. We’re talking episodes about math in real life, how to choose your news, health, coding, creativity. It’s all there. Of course, it’s worth noting that as a US-centric site, the class materials don’t directly align with the Australian curriculum.
This Teenage Life (TTL)
- In their own words: “This Teenage Life (TTL) is a podcast about the ideas, stories, and unique perspectives of teenagers in the middle of their own growth as humans.” TTL began life as a school project and continues under the watchful and experienced eye of project-based educator, Molly Josephs. The blog has been featured in Teen Vogue (so you know it’s teen approved) and can be heard on all the usual platforms.
Cult of Pedagogy
- The Beatles of education podcasts, Cult of Pedagogy has racked up 189 episodes and 9 million downloads. As a mission statement, you can’t get much better than “making you more awesome in the classroom.” Recent episodes include ‘8 Principles for Supporting Students with ADHD’ and ‘Contrasting Cases: A Simple Strategy for Deep Understanding’.
10 Minute Teacher
So many episodes, where to start? We suggest these two favourites from the 10 Minute Teacher back catalogue.
Jeff Geargardt uses Minecraft EDU to teach students lessons as he works with cross-disciplinary teaching. He shares a science lesson how he had students “living on Mars” in Minecraft and shares some of his tips, tricks and how to get started.
Nancy Barile has an incredible story of how she uses the popular TV series The Walking Dead to engage learners in writing skills and more.
- Podcasting is a big part of Teacher Magazine and they do it very well. We’ve linked to all the podcasts here but as a shortcut for the time-poor, Teacher Staffroom episodes come in at under 15 minutes. It’s an efficient way to catch up on all the issues Teacher Magazine is covering, alongside some practical strategies for different classroom contexts or education-adjacent issues.
AI in Education
- Relatively new to the world of podcasting, the knowledgeable hosts of this Australian-based pod chat all things AI in education in a way that is conversational without being too serious or technical. If you’ve ever wondered exactly what the “metaverse” is (*raises hand*) this podcast is a good place to start.
The Leaders Lounge
- If it’s of interest to school leadership teams, chances are there will be a related podcast on The Leaders Lounge. The podcast is produced by The Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL), a not-for-profit company that actively supports the development of educational leadership capabilities across Australia.
- Seven seasons in and award-winning podcast Fierce Girls is still going strong. This kid-friendly celebration of ‘Girls with guts and spirit. Girls who stand up and say, “watch out world, here I come!”’ is one of the most popular podcasts in Australia with good reason. It’s kid-approved history and culture in a fun and age-appropriate way, without being self-conscious or condescending. A winner.
- Older, deep-thinking teens (and the teachers of older, deep-thinking teens!) will find plenty to keep them going on this podcast with ‘top philosophers being interviewed on bite-sized topics.’ Everyone loves a podcast that makes them feel cleverer.
Podcasts to sleep to
There is no replacement for sleep. And there is not a teacher alive who has not spent a sleepless night worrying about the next day’s to-do list. Enter the sleep podcast.
- The much-loved Snoozecast pod utlises a huge library of classic public domain works, including a large number of children’s stories, that are all read in soothing tones to lull you in a state of relaxation.
- From the Borders of Sleep enjoys a somewhat sporadic publishing schedule but is very well worth the wait. “A semi-regular podcast since March 2011, featuring original stories, fantastic fables and curious tales written and read by your host, Seymour Jacklin. Aimed at adults, but very suitable for children too”. Lush, gorgeous and very relaxing.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast round-up. Happy listening!
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