As a teacher and lifelong learner, I absolutely love podcasts. You can find limitless inspiration and terrific resources via the talks, videos, and conversations broadcast with teachers in mind. Rita Pierson’s Talk is one of my favorites and something I believe every teacher should watch. I subscribe to a bunch of really good ones including the ones at Teacher Cast and NPR Education and Ted Talks Education.
We also use podcasts in our American Studies Class as well for example: Studio 360’s American Icons episode on Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and The History Guys episode on the War of 1812. Most of our students love the podcasts although some of them have stated that they would prefer a reading as they have a hard time concentrating for long stretches of time and are afraid they are missing key points. I am a huge fan of audio books as with 4 children it is often the only way to satisfy my appetite for books and keep up with our crazy, busy life, so I don’t necessarily understand how hard listening or viewing at home is for some of our kids.
I think one of the problems is that they are often listening on their phones while simultaneously being bombarded by texts,notifications, phone calls and who knows what else. We try to circumvent distraction by giving our students listening guides and viewing guides so they have a purpose. Learning to watch and listen with a purpose is a vital academic and life skill, and one sometimes I fear we are losing as we become more and more screen driven. This year we will be using VideoNot.es when our kids are assigned videos to watch like episodes of Eyes on the Prize during our Civil Rights Unit. VideoNot.es is an incredible tool that allows you to take real time notes on videos from Youtube, Vimeo, Udacity, and Khan Academy that are automatically synchronized with the video and saved directly into your google drive. Here is a terrific tutorial on how to use Videonot.es
Again as with everything on the web the resources and available material is overwhelming. In addition to the links above here are a few other great indexes and resources if you are looking for great podcasts:
For great resources from the New York Times including podcasts visit the education blog.
Edudemic’s 10 Best Podcasts for Teachers
TeachThought’s 51 Education Podcasts for the 21st Century Teacher