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How-To Strengthen Student Listening Skills with Podcasts

November 26, 2016

Podcasts are a great way to help strengthen student listening skills. Podcasts are audio (and sometimes video) recordings similar to a radio program or television episode. A wide range of organizations and individuals host podcasts and share their thinking around a topic through this medium. You can access podcasts through iTunes and the Podcast app on iOS devices or through web-based tools. Most individual podcasts have their own site where you can stream each episode directly from their webpage.

There are a wide range of podcasts to choose from and I share some of my favorite kid-friendly podcasts in this post. If you are teaching a specific subject area, like American History or Ocean Ecosystems, you can search for a related podcast to find a clip to share with your students. The search feature in iTunes lets you find episodes as well as podcasts that focus on a topic related to the keyword you enter.

Teachers can use podcasts to help students build listening skills. By listening to a narrator tell a story or an expert discuss a topic, podcasts can help students strengthen their ability to gather information through multimedia.

Student Listening Skills

strengthen student listening skillsHelp strengthen student listening skills with podcasts

  1. Listening in partners gives students another person to share a story with. Just like students might sit and read side-by-side, children can listen to an audio podcast in pairs to gather information or experience a new story.
  1. Talking about topics helps students set a purpose for listening. In the same way you’d expect students to share their thinking about a text, students can respond to the information or story presented in a podcast.
  1. Teaching students to replay is a strategy similar to rereading. Students are using a wide range of media to learn new information. It’s certainly important to help students understand how pressing rewind can boost their comprehension.
  1. Using podcasts at home is a great way to extend a learning activity. Pick a few kid-friendly podcasts or episodes to share with families. Place these in a class newsletter to help connect learning in the classroom to activities at home.

Do you also have a favorite podcast or classroom activity? Share it in the comments below!

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Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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