Saturday, June 8, 2013

8 Podcasts That Can Bring Life Into Classrooms

Think about podcasts and the first thing that will turn in your mind is music. But there is more to podcast than you may have imagined. Podcasts these days are used for education in schools and colleges to make classroom learning interesting. Podcasts register well in the minds of students, though they are not substitutes for classroom instructions. Podcasts are easy to use. Video cast of course will add an extra punch, and teachers must consider using them.

All that you need to bring podcast and video cast into the classroom is a computer (and a public display system, if you prefer) and a fast internet connection. Most schools and college have this equipment already, and therefore do not entail any fresh expenditure.


Here are some excellent resources where teachers can find the right podcasts and video casts. Some are free to use and even if you have to pay for some, they are worth every cent spent on them.

National Geographic Channel


National Geographic is something that your classroom should not miss. It is the right place for everything that is to animal life, plants and nature. Though the contents here should be particularly appealing to pupils in grade 3 through 8, others will also find it interesting, and help spring your class into liveliness.

National Geographic Channel is not just about animals, there several other topics your pupils will find interesting – photography, travel, environment, adventure, television and video are worth exploring. The other attractions include the latest news, a magazine, maps, games, events, movies, explorers and trips, and various topics on science. You can also download apps from here.

ESL Teacher Talk


If you are an English language teacher, then the resources you will find here should help your students in a really big way. It is ideal for kids whose native tongue is not English and hope to achieve considerable competence in English language usage. You should particularly consider using Teach Kids English Show. Besides the lessons, there are also several tips and tricks that teachers will find immensely helpful. Each lesson runs 3-4 minutes, and ideal to use.

There is no dearth to content or resources and they are free to use. They are very ideal for use in classrooms. There is almost no day on which the website does not come up with fresh content for students and other learners of English language.

Book Wink


Book Wink is a great place for locating ideal audio books for kids. There is virtually no subject that they don’t touch upon – adventures, animals, countries and cultures, disabilities, families, fantasy, friendship, funny, high school, sports, science fiction, scary, problems in society, natural disasters, mysteries, love and history are some of the interesting subjects you will see here.

Resources at Book Wink are graded – grade 3, 4, 5, and 6, and so on up to grade 8. You will particularly find it useful when you are at loggerheads over deciding what is best for your pupils or kids at home. You can also search for resources based on a chosen topic, author, or a title if you know beforehand.

My German Class

Teaching your students an additional language will help them take up profitable employment when they begin with a new career. It also helps them find employment in places where competence in a foreign language can greatly enhance their earning capacity in their later life. There are numerous podcasts as well as videos you should explore to teach German language.

There are many categories of lessons that range in intensity and depth. Many individuals have benefitted from the resource and My German Class is an ideal place for learning German through the use of podcasts. You can consider downloading the app from iTunes.

Science Show for Kids


The Science Show – Full program for podcast is owned by ABC Radio National of Australia. The podcast can be downloaded at iTunes, and it seeks to give answers in a very simple and easy to understand style. In the podcast you and your students will be able to find answers for things considered even as childish. Want to know why humans have five fingers? You will find answer even for this question.

All podcasts are in English and free to use. The app for using this resource is free. It can be installed on your iPad and iPhone. You can also install the app in a computer. It is a wonderful resource for classrooms. You should not miss it. We recommend that you try it.

Astronomy Cast


Astronomy is too important a subject to be ignored in classrooms. They help students to understand the origin of The Earth, The Solar system as we know and The Universe at large. Astronomy Cast brings all this and more – space stations, observatories and many other related topics in the form of podcasts. Astronomy Cast podcasts go even beyond astronomy and include topics on chemistry, history, space missions, physics and space flights. There is so much to explore here, all neatly arraigned in the form episodes.

Teachers who will want to use Astronomy Cast podcasts in their class room should consider reading the aggregator page at the website. It will help them keep track of the latest podcasts, and for picking out the most appropriate shows commensurate with the class grade.

How Stuff Works


It is not uncommon for students and learners to miss couple classes at school and their learning curve getting derailed. This can to a large extent be set right by using podcasts. There are enough podcasts to help learners recoup lost classes on a variety of topics – history, astronomy, chemistry, physics and more to explore, though teacher’s assistance may be required in some cases. Learners and teachers can explore “stuff mom never told you,” “coolest stuff on the planet” and “stuff to blow your mind”. They are worth exploring to locate podcast resources.

To use podcasts on iPhone you will have to download and install an app. You should also consider subscribing to RSS to keep you abreast of new stuff that come in frequently.



BBC is an excellent place to get podcasts for any age group or learners. There is absolute no topic that they don’t touch upon. You can select your podcasts by radio stations or genre, or even simply by using the search feature. Popular genres are children’s, comedy, drama, entertainment, factual, learning, music, news…and religion. For faster searches you can use the sort feature and locate the right sub-genre. Learning sub-genre include podcasts for kids in 5-11 age groups, adults and pre-school.

You can also subscribe for podcasts, and the advantage is you get notified the moment something new is available. Subscription is usually through iTunes, Zune, Google Reader or My Yahoo. Remember that all BBC podcasts are free.

Photo credit: Old radio by BigStockPhoto

This article is contributed by Kathryn Smith, a tech and entertainment blogger who works for a reputed online publication. She also identifies various phone locate website and helps common people improve their safety standards.


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