For the past 10 years, tech geeks have loved listening to podcasts due to their convenience, niche content, and lack of advertising. But with the release of Serial last fall, podcasts have now gone mainstream and are more popular than ever! With so many podcasts to choose from (iTunes currently has over 250,000 available to download) it can be hard to choose the cream of the crop, especially educational podcasts.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve done our research, read reviews, and listened to educational podcasts across the web. The result? 10 amazing podcasts that will educate both teachers and students. Play an episode in the classroom, assign listening for homework, or listen on your own to spark an idea for your next lesson!
The Top 10
1. Stuff You Missed in History Class
Hosts Tracy Wilson and Holly Frey examine people, places, and events you may have heard of, but don’t remember studying in history class. Our favorite episodes chronical the life of Ethan Allen (hint: he has nothing to do with furniture) and dive into the Night Witches of WWII.
2. StarTalk Radio
Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson explores the solar system through interviews with astronauts, celebrities, and science geeks. A nice audio-companion for Tyson’s COSMOS television series, Tyson and his guests make space interesting for all ages. Cosmos and Queries with Bill Nye is a great introductory episode for 6-12 students.
3. Quirks and Quarks
This weekly show is a recap of the week’s top science news. Host Bob McDonald not only gives the backstory of each piece of scientific news, but also interviews the scientist(s) behind the findings. While each episode is worth listening to, we were particularly enthralled with CSI Paleo: Murder Most Ancient.
4. Stuff to Blow Your Mind
From the same people that brought you Stuff You Missed in History Class comes Stuff to Blow Your Mind, a scientific podcast that explores phenomenons that seem too good to be true. From the modern-day detective story to the science of coincidence, hosts Robert Lamb and Christian Sager will truly blow your mind.
5. A History of the World in 100 Objects
The BBC brings us this oddly specific and yet completely fascinating podcast. Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, dedicates 1 episode per object and in doing so, is able to retell human history. Objects range from a credit card to the Rosetta Stone.
Nicholas Provenzano hosts this unexpectedly funny podcast about modern-day education. He focuses on the effect technology and pop culture have on K-12 education.
7. Math Mutation
There are so many mathematical concepts for students to learn during their time in school, the most complicated and obscure concepts aren’t covered in the classroom. Host Erik Seligman explores math topics ranging from Psychochronometry to the lottery. The show is intended for listeners of all ages, making this podcast easy listening for teachers and students alike!
8. Smart People Podcast
Ever meet a smart, successful person and want to ask them, “How do you do it?” This podcast does exactly that. Hosts Chris Stemp and Jon Rojas talk to experts in all fields of work, from MDs to athletes, and asks them how they succeed and what their advice is for those that want to follow a similar path. Don’t miss guest Till Roenneberg discuss the science of sleeping patterns in episode 195.
9. Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Do you teach English Language Arts? Do you expect your students to use proper grammar? Then brush up on your skills with Grammar Girl. Each week, host Mignon Fogarty explores a common question about grammar. The episodes are short and helpful, great for teachers with limited time between class and grading papers.
10. Practical Money Matters
Your students will soon be adults responsible for bills, mortgages, and paying taxes. Why not instill some practical money management skills into their lives with host Jason Alderman? Teachers might also want to refresh their financial knowledge by listening too.
Did we miss your favorite educational podcast? Let us know in the comments below!