As we try to improve instruction with technology, podcasts are one tool that we might not think of. These can be used in flipped classrooms or mixed learning models in the same way that you can use videos: to deliver content, to provide enrichment or to explain topics differently for students who do not get a concept for the first time. A podcast is very much like a radio show. It has chapters, as would a TV show, and is usually in audio-only mode, although there are video podcasts. A podcast episode’s duration can vary dramatically, from two minutes to two hours anywhere, and they are created on a schedule ranging from regular to whenever.
Children’s best podcasts will spark imaginations, or teach new ideas, or make children laugh so hard that they snort apple juice from their nose. Audio content listening is a perfect way to stimulate other senses and dive into a new way of learning and entertainment. This not only provides a new way of consuming content, but it is also more likely that your kids will start a conversation about what they have learned, as each episode opens up a whole new world of discussion and interesting facts to share with their friends and family. Also, podcasts are great for bedtime stories, long road trips, or even just after school spending some quiet time.
Children also respond well to this form of entertainment. A recent survey by Kids Listens found that more than once 80% of kids listen to a podcast and 75% start discussions based on what they’ve learned after they’ve done listening. In addition, as children listen, they know better. According to the Audio Publishing Association, comprehension, vocabulary, studying speed, even motivation are all undoubtedly impacted with the aid of auditory learning.
Here are some educational podcasts you and your kids will enjoy listening to:
Wow in the World
The goofball science podcast Wow in the World is full of as much comedy as information. Hosted by Mindy, a time machine klutz, and Guy, her uptight foil, Wow in the World is taking on serious scientific inquiries and making learning fun for parents, even. The expanding cast of dumb characters, led by Reggie the pigeon carrier, keeps the episodes exciting. This series will help children learn about material things, how things work, why things are the way they are, and so on.
In this podcast, which tells stories about scientific discoveries with the aid of actual scientists, research is brought to life. We answer questions as to why cats always seem to land on their feet to what would feel like a journey to the center of the world. It explores how science works as a process in fact. Tumble is co-hosted by a science journalist and a teacher, with stories ranging from reaching the deepest part of the ocean to hunting for black holes in distant galaxies. Experts start talking about their own work, uncovering phenomena and asking questions that inspire curious minds. This podcast is going to make your children fall in love with science.
What if World
For this storytelling podcast hosted by Mr. Eric O’Keefe, there is no question too stupid. What if the legs of sharks were there? What if your closet was home to a tiny dragon? What if Marshawn Lynch was given the ball by the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the Super Bowl XLIX? This innovative podcast is designed to ease the pressure on parents who are asked hard-hitting questions like, “What if cars could talk?”, “What if candy rained?” and “What if elephants were alive?” For a moment in time, What If World makes these questions reality and explains what these worlds would be like in vivid, creative detail.
But why answers questions from children who want experts to address all their questions about and everything under the sun, from why turtles have shells to how hurricanes form to what happens in fairy tales with different cultural beliefs. Themes such as how butterflies float, why the sea is salty, and why the sky is blue are all included in the universal issue. Wherever possible, they are often recorded locally, creating a great soundscape to associate with the episode theme, and the narrator often breaks into the recording to highlight interesting sections that may have been overlooked.
This is a music-themed podcast about teaching science to children as well. It’s not the most intelligent thing in the world, but if you want your children to learn stupid songs and at the same time learn one or two things, Noodle Loaf is popular for a reason.
Noodle Loaf is 10-minute episodes of interactive music creation and goofiness, hosted by a music-educated father and his two children. It’s unbearably adorable and well-designed— they even have a small chorus that kids can join by recording singing the theme song that has built up into an impressive number of children’s voices.
Stuff You Should Know (SYSK)
With topics such as “How Internships Work,” “How Police Body Cameras Work,” and “How Handwriting Analysis Works,” this “How Stuff Works” folk podcast will involve older children, teens, and parents alike. But while many of the podcasts are adult-oriented, they have plenty of kid-friendly subjects, including an animal category with podcasts like “How Frogs Work”.
Pants on Fire
The ability to identify untruths is a key skill in the age of digital access to information, tools that are only learned through practice. Pants on Fire is a podcast game show where a kid is wrestling with two adults, one of whom is an expert on the subject of the episode. It helps children learn how to ask questions and analyze the information they receive. And playing along with it is a lot of fun. It is most suitable for kids with age ranges of 6 to 12 years old.
This list was just a shortlist of many podcasts you can use to entertain and teach your kids different topics.