Using Podcasts in the Classroom

Have you tried listening to podcasts in your middle school classroom? See what the #2ndaryELA community shared on this topic! #ideas #tips

Podcasting is not new, but the idea of bringing podcasts into the classroom in one form or another has been gaining in popularity. It's no wonder with the focus in education being on student choice and project based learning.  Choosing what to listen to in the classroom can really bring a classroom alive.

So how do you get started with listening and what do you do once you have finished listening?  The #2ndaryELA community has you covered with their recent discussion:

What is your favorite podcast to use in the classroom and what is its ELA merit?
A1: I have heard of the 6 minute podcast recently, but have not tried it.
I love using Serial for literacy nonfiction and bias. I think Hidden Brain is brilliant for humanity theme pairings. Good Night Rebel Girls is perfect for bio mentor texts!
I would love to get started with students making podcasts and not sure how to get started - easiest way to record etc.
I like This week I am going to use a snippet of a spooky story from This American Life! Here’s the read aloud link and transcript...
I started exploring podcasts via searching things I was personally interested in on the Podcast App on my phone. Then those same podcasts would have ads that led me@to even more!
How have podcasts improved your curriculum?
Podcasts have improved my curriculum by adding diverse, high-interest, and authentic voices (for FREE)!!
Q2: Podcasts are a fun way to incorporate background information or historical context in a new format 🌎
I use podcasts as a springboard for journal writing, building background on current events for classroom debate, as part of a text set on an overall theme and to reinforce reading standards (citing evidence, summary)
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Even though I haven't really tried them out, I know my students will definitely be engaged by them. They love the idea of them!
Where do you find inspiration for podcasts in the classroom?
I find inspiration by listening to lots of different genres of podcasts that I’m interested in! I never listen to find a lesson plan; I let the lessons come to me. If you don’t know where to start, this will help:
Q3: I listen to a LOT of so that’s where I get most of my podcast inspo! 😂
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I look for things that need new perspectives and ways for students to have an audience.
How do you keep students engaged while listening?
Students engagement goes up if they know they’ll be able to respond to what they listen to via writing or speaking. Sometimes I have them take notes on certain things I want them to attend to as we listen.
Give choices. Students decide how they can best actively listen. They can take notes, color, walk around, or anything else that doesn’t involve a phone or distraction! 🤣 Also, pause periodically for discussion!
I usually do whole class listening, but here’s a lovely idea of walking while listening! They used their own devices I believe!

Which free-choice podcasts are your students listening to?
This is a next step for me. I honestly haven’t done much to build my students’ personal podcast canon enough that they’ve even developed these free-choice preferences. I imagine giving a “cast chat” similar to a booktalk to build their awareness of what’s out there.
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We have not even discussed this yet - new idea for tomorrow! :)
I hope you found some new ideas for using podcasts in your classroom!  Maybe this will even inspire your students to make their own!

Thanks for stopping by!