We are experiencing something of a golden age in podcasts at the moment. There are close to two million podcasts as of January 2021 and, while comedy might be the most popular podcasting genre, guess what is coming in hot on its heels in second place? That’s right, education podcasts. It seems educators can’t get enough of podcasts and with topics covering every aspect of the profession, it can be hard to know where to begin. This week on School Stream, we have curated a list of eight terrific podcasts that are a great starting point for principals, teachers and students. 

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Podcasts for Principals

It’s no secret that school principals are busy, so it makes sense that podcasts for school leaders are wildly popular. Podcasts are a convenient way to source content for self-directed professional development and, with travel off the agenda for now, principals can still access the best research around policy and practice with no planning or time away from school required. Here are three to get you started:

  • The Education Review

The Education Review has been published since 1997 and covers all aspects of education from K-12. They also host an informative and well-reviewed podcast which explores topics such as Soft skills key for the careers of tomorrow, Finnish education is coming to Australia, and just about any other topic you can think of.

  • Every Student Podcast

This podcast is produced by the NSW Government and hosted by Mark Scott, the Secretary NSW Department of Education. The series introduces listeners to education leaders doing things differently to drive positive change in our classrooms.

  • Habits of Leadership

Habits of Leadership takes a 360 view of educational leadership and covers everything principals need to thrive in their challenging roles. The podcast made its debut in March 2019 and has been well reviewed ever since. Each episode features experts on topics such as Why Change Fails, Positive Psychology in Leadership, Resilience in Challenging Times and so much more. You can find it on podcast players for both Apple and Android

  •  Podcasts for Teachers

We’re all using our phones for everything these days, so it should come as no surprise teachers are flocking to podcasts. Teachers are collegiate by nature, and podcasts are a great way to access support, community and professional development without impacting on an already heavy workload. These three teacher-approved podcasts are a good starting point.

  • Wine with Teacher

Teacher Wellbeing Advocate and podcast host Ceri describes Wine with Teacher as a bit of whinging and a lot of laughs. Reviews online describe it as “so relatable” and “insightful”. Ceri speaks to teachers, reviews resources and shares insights, all while being a cheerleader for teachers. 

  • The Early Education Show

The Early Education Show has produced 155 episodes to date and there is sure to be something for early childhood educators to wrap their ears around. The three hosts – all professionals and advocates with plenty of ‘on the ground’ experience – talk all things early childhood education in Australia.  

  • The Teacher Wellbeing Podcast

The Teacher Wellbeing Podcast is focused on a topic close to all our hearts: teacher wellbeing. This podcast gives a homegrown perspective on teacher self-care alongside achievable strategies, advice and support. The host Ellen is compassionate and committed to giving teachers permission to put themselves first so they can go on making a difference long into the future.

The benefits of audio texts for students

There are plenty of benefits for students when it comes to engaging with audio texts. Audio promotes literacy; hearing stories out loud increases reading accuracy by 52% and improves comprehension by 76%. The Audio Publishers Association (US) also reports that audio listening gives students an opportunity to hear a rich and varied vocabulary in context, provides models of skilful reading and expression, and the chance to listen to authentic voices that promote the value of cultural diversity.  

Podcasts for students

There is an almost overwhelming number of podcasts for younger students age 3-12. One of the best known is The Story Pirates, who are The Beatles of the kids and family podcast world. Locally, ABC Kids has also produced some fantastic and much-loved podcasts. In the meantime, here are two great jump-off points for podcasts teachers can use in class with students.

  • But Why? 

But Why? is described as a podcast for curious kids around the world. Questions are submitted by kids and then answered in a neat audio packet and, despite being produced in the US, there are still lots of opportunities to align content with the Australian curriculum. But Why? is suitable for students aged 7-8 years plus. 

  • Peace Out

Peace Out is a collection of relaxing short stories that help young students calm down and relax. The overall aim is to help kids understand what calm looks and feels like. There are breathing exercises and visualisations to help bring chilled vibes to any Friday afternoon classroom via stories about hangry snow leopards and pirates. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast feature. 

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