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2 Minute Summary: Teachers Are Turning to Podcasts as an Instructional Tool

Today's summary, Teachers Are Turning to Podcasts as an Instructional Tool by Sasha Jones comes to us from Education Week, a news source for K-12 teachers.

What's the latest podcast you've been hooked on? Are you guilty of binging episode after episode of your favorite podcast like me? It seems like today there are tons of entertaining podcasts of all genres readily available at the click of a button.


Podcasts aren't just for pure entertainment though. Teachers are finding creative and valuable ways to leverage the use of podcasts in the classroom to help students develop a variety of skills. In her article, Teachers Are Turning to Podcasts as an Instructional Tool, Sasha Jones takes a look at several schools across the country and how K-12 teachers are using podcasts as an instructional tool with their kids.

Teachers are finding creative ways to leverage the use of podcasts in the classroom.

First Things First

Before creating podcasts, teachers are helping students understand the structure and purpose of a podcast by simply listening to episodes together. For instance, students are listening to podcasts to analyze pros and cons of its content. They are also discussing characteristics of a successful verses an unsuccessful podcast.


Teachers also need to test and find the right app to use with students. There are many different applications that can be used to produce a podcast, such as Anchor, Audacity, GarageBand, and AdobeAudition. These apps allow you to record, edit, and even upload podcasts to various streaming services. Jones mentions that Anchor and Audacity are available at no cost. Regardless of app selected, it's more important that teachers are familiar with the technology before using it with students.


Podcasts and Literacy

Students aren't just listening to podcasts, they're creating them, too. Jones shares that when students make their own podcasts, they can simultaneously work on other academic skills. Podcasts are particularly helpful in building students' literacy and oral presentation abilities. Students need to write podcast content, which allows them to explore different writing styles. They also have to read over their material and practice speaking clearly and effectively so listeners can understand them and get interested in their content.


Beyond Literacy

Podcasts are helpful in other ways, too. Through podcasts, kids learn how to put together thoughtful material to attract a real audience. Jones points out that students are more motivated to present and create material that other people are actually going to listen to. The stakes are even higher when that content is going to be published online. Furthermore, by listening to other student podcasts, kids are pushed to actively listen and consider the perspectives of their peers. (Being able to empathize and take on other perspectives are key skills for 21st century learners in my opinion.)


Podcasts are a means to give students a voice, teach empathy, and practice academic skills. When implemented successfully, Jones shows readers that they can be very powerful in the classroom.


Final Thoughts

This article also made me think about audiobooks and if they also have a place in the classroom. Could we have students create audiobooks to foster literacy and presentation skills while somehow integrating theater and the arts?


Check out student podcasts and read the full article from Sasha Jones here. Happy innovating!