Do you like to listen to podcasts? I have several that I listen to regularly, mostly dealing with blogging and online business. Have you ever thought about using them in your classroom? Using science podcasts can be a great way to add some variety to your lessons!
Some Ideas for using science podcasts
- Find one on a current topic that you’re studying and assign it as homework. Have students answer questions about it on a worksheet or online. Padlet would work well here as an online place to have a discussion.
- Listen to a podcast as a whole class. You can pause at certain points to have students discuss it in groups or pairs, or do some other type of activity around it. This is a fun way to teach listening skills!
- Have students do a one-pager based on a podcast.
- Use Edpuzzle to embed questions into a science podcast that students answer before they can move on. To do this, download the podcast and then run it through a program that will convert MP3 to MP4. Here’s a free one that works well. Then upload it into Edpuzzle and add questions as you would to a video.
Students tend to like to listen to podcasts over doing written homework because they can do it pretty much anywhere they have wifi. Just pop in the earbuds, click on the episode, and they’re good to go!
As an added bonus, many of the larger podcasters provide transcripts to go with their podcasts, making it beneficial for those students who still like to have something physical to read and highlight.
podcasts to try out
- 60-Second Science – this is an awesome science podcast produced by Scientific American. They literally are 60 seconds long and cover a variety of topics. Great if you have a little time left over at the end of class! Or have students pick one and present to the class. These come with transcripts.
- Nature – these podcasts also come with transcripts. They are longer and go more in-depth on the topics.
- The Wild – this one focuses on how nature survives alongside humans. Perfect for a unit on Human Impact.
- Science – this magazine produces a weekly podcast on various topics.
- Tumble – this is a fun podcast about “science for kids.” Lots of fun topics, covered with real scientists.
- StarTalk – hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, often co-hosted with comedians and celebrities. Or, as host Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “Everything under the sun; Or rather under the universe!” for an audience of “All the people who never knew how much they’d love learning about space and science.”
- Point of Discovery – stories of research in natural sciences. This one actually talks to the people “in the trenches” of scientific research and focuses on the process of science.
- People Behind the Science – interviews with scientists from all different fields share what it’s like to be a scientist and what led them into the research they do.
- Lab Out Loud – this podcast is for science educators! Hosted by two science teachers with discussions with leading scientists, researchers, educators, and other guests.
- Teaching Science in 3-D – this is another one for science educators. The hosts help you make sense of the NGSS. You’ll hear new strategies to teach the NGSS … it’s almost like professional development!
As a side-note … I’ve listened to many of these podcasts, but not all of them. It’s a good idea to preview any episodes that you’re going to ask your students to listen to.
Do you have any favorite science podcasts? Do you have one that’s a favorite? Please share with us in the comments.