How to build a profitable podcast.
Let us welcome our guest writer Lauren Groff!
Keeping students engaged in the classroom has been a challenge throughout the years. Sometimes the classic teaching format doesn’t cut it, and with so many new technological advances, teaching may be developing towards a new direction.
Podcasts are nothing new, but they’ve recently seen a surge in interest from the public. People plug in their favorite podcasts to drive to work, to go for a run or simply as background noise while they’re cooking. So, how can we incorporate these tools to the classroom?
Read on to find out ways to use podcasts in the classroom to really level up and spark your student engagement!
1. Ask your students to listen to an episode at home
You can upload the podcast to your virtual learning platform and create some comprehension questions to go with it, to make sure your students stay engaged throughout. You can also have your students listen individually on their smartphones or tablets in class and have a group discussion about it later.
Lena Lancaster, a writer at Paperfellows and Boomessays shares her opinion on children’s podcasts- “ There are many children podcasts that are age appropriate and easy to follow for them, a few examples are Six Minutes, But Why?, Stories Podcast and Tumble Science Podcast for Kids”.
2. Listen in class as a group
To go with it, it’s a good idea to project or print out a transcript of the podcasts to make sure your students are able to follow! Once again, you can have a class discussion afterwards about the content of the podcast.
Leroy Jones, an educator at OXEssays and Essayroo suggests- “ StoryCorps, This American Life and Serial are all great educational podcasts that have their transcripts available to download online so half the work is done for you”.
3. Ask a student to create their own podcast
This could be done as an individual task or as a group activity. The idea is that students pick a subtopic from whatever it is you’re teaching in class at the moment and create a podcast discussing that topic. They can take a more factual informative approach, or they can choose to give it their own spin with a touch of humor, a story time podcast, or a debate. This is a fantastic task that departs from the more traditional group projects in that students are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination as well as engaging with current day technology. Apps that can be used to create a podcast include garageband or audacity (the latter operating on Windows and Linux as well).
4. Incorporate stories through your podcasts
There are plenty of educational podcasts that will cover topics in great detail, but these aren’t the only ones you should use. There are a multitude of podcasts that can also be great learning resources even if they don’t intend to be. Podcasts that tell stories about certain events or situations can be used in the classroom as discussion points that you can relate to curriculum topics, without them necessarily directly linking together. Students enjoy stories, so these kinds of podcasts can be surprisingly effective at keeping them engaged throughout. Encouraging them to draw lines and parallels between separate topics and issues relating to the stories is also a great learning point as it develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
5. Create your own informational podcast
Informational podcasts are podcasts that the teacher creates. Similar to recording your lessons, an informational podcast is a way to record critical curriculum information to be relayed to the student. The good thing about this method is that students have access to these recordings from anywhere anytime. They can use it to revise for exams or to help them with their homework. This is also a good habit to get into so if you’re ever absent you can record things to relay to your students and make the substitute teacher’s life a lot easier. Students can also listen back to your podcast and ask questions about things they may not have understood at first glance or questions that have sparked up when revisiting the topic.