Do you struggle with incorporating podcasts into your classroom? I’ve compiled my favorite tips for using podcasts with students. You don’t have to be a podcasting expert, but you can use this information to get started with a successful podcasting lesson, today!
In this blog post (and corresponding episode of the Easy EdTech Podcast) you’ll find a variety of ways that you can incorporate podcasts into your teaching practice. Whether you’re looking for podcast recommendations or want some ideas about how to involve families in the learning process, I hope these suggestions will help make it easy for you.
Want to listen to this in audio format? Press play before or head to this page to find it on your favorite podcast app.
Engaging Readers with Different Texts
In our new quick reference guide on Engaging Students in Reading of All Text Types, Pam Allyn and I share strategies for working with readers of all ages — in both digital and print environments. Here is an excerpt from the guide along with tips for sharing podcasts with students.
“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 and at the same time helps them learn literacy skills such as comprehension building. Listening in partners gives students another person to share a story with. Just as students may sit and read side by side, they can also listen to an audio podcast in pairs to gather information or experience a new story.“
Tips for Your Next Podcasting Lesson
Here are six quick tips for using podcasts with students. Let’s dive into the list!
Find the link
The link for a podcast episode can come from a podcast app (like Apple Podcast or Spotify) or directly from a podcast’s homepage. Sharing the homepage link is usually the best way to share with students and families because they won’t need an account or email to access the episode. Here’s the homepage link for an episode of the Circle Round podcast.
Pick a time stamp
If you find a podcast episode that is very long, or there is just one notable part of the podcast you want to share with students, pick a time stamp in the episode. You might share a link with students and say, “skip ahead to the five minute mark.” Or you might use a tool like Overcast to share a clip at a specific time.
Establish an action item
When sharing a link with students, include an action item. This might be something you’d like them to listen for or a discussion question you plan on posing to a group of students when meeting together. Giving an action item sets a purpose for listening.
Share replay strategies
Encourage students to listen, rewind or replay a section of a podcast. You might model this for students or share this strategy before giving students a podcast episode or clip to listen to on their own. Remind students that just like reading, where we might read a page and realize we were distracted and need to reread, the same thing can happen when listening to a podcast.
Find the transcript
Many podcasts have a transcript so students can read along with the text as they listen to the episode. This isn’t true of every podcast, but many include a link to a transcript on their website. This link takes you to an episode of Wow in the World where you can find the full transcript for the episode.
If you decide to ask students to listen to a podcast episode at home, you might want to share some listening strategies with families. Alternatively, you might share a list of favorite podcasts with families. This might come in handy for families who commute together to school on a bus or train, or with families who sit in a car rider line at the start of their school day.
If you are new to using podcasts with students, here is a list of favorites to get you started. Do you have a podcast tip, a podcasting lesson idea, or favorite podcast for kids? Share in the comments below!