Educational podcasts are exploding in popularity these days, and it’s no wonder why: just like radio programs of yore, they’re compelling to listen to (you just try to stop listening to a good podcast episode once you’re hooked).
But unlike those radio shows, podcasts are easily ported around with you, so you can listen while you’re out walking the dog, cooking dinner after a long day, or commuting to and from work. Because just about anyone can make a podcast, they can range the gamut from professionally polished episodes to those that are a little rougher around the edges — but this second kind of podcast still does an excellent job of connecting us listeners with a passionate community of educators with a thing or two to say.
Altogether, these features make podcasts on pedagogy some of the best professional development around. You get to choose what you listen to, how you listen to it, and when you listen to it, too. Plus, you can listen to them all year round, rather than waiting for a specific seminar to arise. How neat is that?
Let’s take a look at the best educational podcasts around to get you going.
01. Free Teacher PD
Put out by SimpleK12, an online professional development site for teachers, Free Teacher PD offers exactly what the title promises: a look into the latest, greatest ideas in teaching to broaden your thinking and get those creative juices flowing. Each week there’s a new guest leader from the world of education. And did we mention it’s free?
02. Talks With Teachers
Hosted by veteran English teacher, blogger, and Edutopia community facilitator, Brian Sztabnik, Talks With Teachers is a podcast that invites dedicated teachers to share their classroom stories. This year has focused specifically on teachers who run teacher blogs.
One of the most recent episodes includes an hour-long chat talk with Jodi Rice, an AP Language and Composition teacher, who offered her tips on incorporating nonfiction into the classroom. An earlier episode featured Erika Nielsen Andrew, the Chief Academic Officer at the Teaching Channel and a former Social Studies teacher. As you can see, while guests always have a teaching background, their current roles run the gamut, meaning you’ll always receive a fresh and interesting perspective on this show.
03. The Edupreneur Podcast
Are you a teacher with a great idea for a product or a new approach to pedagogy? Don’t let those great ideas fly away just because you’re so busy in your day-to-day. It’s time to show the world that teachers are some of the most innovative professionals around!
The Edupreneur Podcast seeks to do just that, featuring interviews with “Edupreneurs,” who are passionate teachers pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors within and outside the classroom. Listen for inspiration and tips.
04. Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers
You don’t need a podcast to tell you how hard the teaching profession can be; from lack of funding to out of touch administrators to a behaviorally difficult class, it’s no wonder the burnout rate for teachers can be so high.
On Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers, you’ll receive validation and an empathetic ear for these truths, as well as suggestions for overcoming them. Topics range from keeping your passion high to the lies teachers tell themselves to learning how to thrive — not just survive — in the classroom.
05. #EdChat Radio
Sometimes, all you need is ten good minutes of passionate discussion to fire you up for your teaching day. On #EdChat Radio, the hosts scan the popular #EdChat hashtag on Twitter for interesting discussion points, reaching out to the most influential Tweeters as well as movers and shakers in education for a lively discussion. Not only is this podcast great as a development tool, but it’s also sure to give you lots of educators to follow.
Says Betty Ray, the Director of Programming and Innovation at Edutopia, in a 2015 article, “This is a great show for those building their personal learning network (PLN) or who don’t have time to participate in the weekly chat.”
06. The EdSurge Podcast
EdSurge is a leading EdTech publication, focused on matching schools with the best educational technology and partners to meet their unique needs. Just as the publication itself features news, interviews, tips, and debates on the latest technologies and pedagogies, so, too, does the podcast.
For instance, a recent episode entitled, “What Do Students Think of Technology in the Classroom” brought student voices right to the audience, while another episode took an inside look at an innovative app program in Newark Schools. Always a stimulating and thought provoking discussion!
07. The Teacher’s Podcast
Hosted by Dr. Kathy King and Mark Gura, two veteran teachers, EdTech experts, authors and professors, you know you’re in for a heady talk with these two. Though focus is on the latest education news, views, and research, you can rest assured you’ll always walk away from these podcast episodes not only inspired but also with plenty of tips and ideas to implement in your classroom.
08. Conversation Currents from the NCTE
The National Council of English Teachers puts out an academic journal called Language Arts, which prints academic research into teaching practices and pedagogy. The Conversation Currents podcast is produced concurrently with the release of this journal as a way to break down the topics covered in the issue into practical language to help teachers implement these new findings in their classroom.
09. Ed Got Game
Games aren’t just for home-based play anymore. Game-based learning (GBL) has come into the classroom in a big way, and there’s much to discuss! On Ed Got Game, teachers discuss the evolving role of games in education, including latest trends and techniques. Recent episodes looked at digital badges and why they matter, how to differentiate and extend learning with games, and teaching using alternate reality. Sign us up!
10. The IDRA Classnotes Podcast
If you’re interested in equity in education, then the Classnotes Podcast, put out by the Intercultural Development Research Association, is the podcast for you. Each episode delves into the most pressing issues facing US educators and students today and proposes strategies for fixing them. There is a particular focus on serving minority students and English Language Learners.
11. The Cult of Pedagogy
If it has to do with education, Jennifer Gonzalez of the Cult of Pedagogy is game for talking about it. Topics range from EdTech to the latest and greatest in educational reform to the best in classroom management strategies. Unlike other podcasts, Gonzalez includes not only educators but also parents, students, and administrators in the discussions.
12. The Wired Educator Podcast
On the Wired Educator Podcast, Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Teacher, Kelly Croy, discusses content delivery approaches that unlock teaching talent. With over 24 years of teaching experience, Croy shares his teaching tips and techniques and those he’s gathered from colleagues around the globe. These range from the basic — “How to Use Skype” — to more complex topics and interviews with leading educational figures.
13. K-12’s Greatest Hits: The Best Ideas in Education
There’s a lot of chatter in educational circles these days about innovation in pedagogy and transformation of content delivery and approach. But what actually works? In this podcast, leaders from some of education’s biggest organizations, including the National Parent Teacher Association, the National Association of Education Principals, and the National Association of Childcare Professionals, take a deep look into what really does — and what really does not — work.
14. Every Classroom Matters
If you’ve never heard of influential teacher, Vicki Davis’ blog, Cool Cat Teacher, or her podcast, Every Classroom Matters, it’s time to change that. Davis is concerned with two main things: using technology effectively to teach students and building better relationships with students. Her podcast covers these issues, including such recent topics as ways to incorporate more creative STEM into the classroom and how to teach coding when you’re just not a coding kind of person. Davis has also been ranked by Mashable as a top teacher on Twitter, so you’ll probably want to follow her, too.
15. Teacher’s Aid
For this podcast, host Rae Pica and leading educators discuss some of the most pressing problems teachers face. There is a heavy emphasis on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). For instance, recent episodes have included strategies for giving feedback in a sensitive manner, as well as one that looked into how a teacher can give to his or her students when feeling emotionally unavailable.
16. The Bedley Brothers
The Bedley Brothers are two veteran educators — in fact, they have 45 years of teaching experience between them. Their podcast features educators of all stripes, from other veterans to younger teachers who engage their students in hip hop battles. Tune in for the latest pedagogies and content delivery approaches.
17. Pushing the Edge
As the title implies, Educational consultant and PhD, Greg Curran, is concerned with the far edges of educational innovation. What works and what doesn’t in this education revolution, and how do we ensure all students have access to the latest innovations? Curran explores these topics in his podcast and more with guests who are also working “on the edge.”
18. The SHAPE America Podcast
How can we get America moving? Physical fitness is the key. In the SHAPE America Podcast, which is designed specifically with physical educators in mind, hosts Matt and Collin interview health and fitness educators and leaders. They explore the biggest training issues educators face today and hunt down remedies.
19. Middle School Matters
For middle school teachers, Middle School Matters is the place to go to bond over what it’s like teaching this age group, to exchange tips, and to gather relevant news. As music teacher, Nick Jaworski, writes, listening to Middle School Matters “really is like hanging out in the teacher’s lounge after school — equal parts ‘shop talk’ and hanging out.”
20. The Learn 4 Life Podcast
For UK educators, the Learn 4 Life Podcast is a must-listen. The show covers the latest UK education news — and how to deal with it — and with new government-imposed regulations. Put another way, it looks at how to keep teaching fresh and innovative, no matter what the conditions. Conveniently, show notes are provided, which makes it easy for listeners to review what’s been said.
21. Inside the Minds of Teens & Tweens
What exactly is going on inside the minds of teens and tweens? Sometimes it can seem like a mystery, but not with the help of this handy podcast. Recent topics have ranged from a deep look inside the developing minds of teenagers to an interview with an expert on issues faced specifically by black teens. There’s even been an episode on teaching teenagers financial literacy. Can they teach that to us, too?
22. Always a Lesson’s Empowering Educators
Teaching requires a whole lot of energy and passion. Get an injection of inspiration each Thursday morning with Empowering Educators, from Gretchen of Always a Lesson. The podcast is great at validating what teaching feels like while also proposing fun ways to keep things fresh and fun.
23. Transformative Principal
It’s not just teachers who seek inspiration: it’s principals, too. On the Transformative Principal podcast, listen in to hear coverage of the latest pedagogical and school management approaches as well as how leaders are transforming their schools — all through interviews with principals who are downright changemakers.
24. Teachers Talking Tech
Looking to hear all about the latest EdTech innovations, but don’t have an hour to spare? In this bite-sized 10-minute podcast, hosts Mike and Eric discuss technology usage in the classroom — including how you can actually use it effectively. Whether you’re feeling intimidated by technology or you’re simply looking for more thoughtful ways to implement it in your classroom, this podcast will set you up on a road to success.
25. Sheila Jane Teaching
The goal of host Sheila Jane is not only to communicate great teaching tips but also to do so in a way that actually makes teachers happy and excited about teaching again. She brings on fellow educators to discuss the latest hot topics, such as avoiding teacher burnout, becoming a teacherpreneur, and generally teaching from a happy place.
26. Principally Speaking
Another one for the principal set, host of Principally Speaking, principal Jason Bodnar, knows that a principal’s job is to inspire creativity in his or her teaching staff and to make all students feel welcome on campus. This podcast looks at ways to do just that through interviews with innovative educators and administrators.
27. Inside Education
For an Irish perspective on innovation in education, check out Inside Education, from Dublin City 103.2 FM. Recent topics have included innovations in university learning technology, interviews with leading educators, and a look at how we teach teachers.
28. House of #EdTech
Educator Chris Nesi produces the excellent podcast, House of #EdTech, upon which digitally literate teachers share their best techniques for teaching with the use of EdTech. You’ll find reviews of tools and roundups, as well as in-depth conversations about how to best use technology in classrooms in unique and meaningful ways.
(Image provided by Mr. Chris Nesi)
29. Classroom Questions
On this podcast, hosts A.J. Juliani and John Spencer address common teacher questions. These range from more traditional questions about student engagement and classroom management, to making the most of the latest trends in education, like project-based learning. They even discuss how to make it on a teacher’s salary. No question is out of bounds!
30. Tara Brabazon’s Podcast
As the Dean of Graduate Research and a Professor of Cultural Studies at Australia’s Flinders University, Tara Barbazon is a passionate, deep thinking educator. Together with her guests she discusses the intersection of popular culture and education in order to uncover the best approaches around.
31. 2 Coffee Teachers
The title for this podcast was inspired by a friend of the hosts, who was a passionate educator but who found himself unable to teach unless he’d had two cups of coffee. To remedy this situation, hosts Josh and Alex started their podcast to inspire other teachers with shared insights into the classrooms of the most creative teachers. With these guys on your team, one cup of coffee per day should suffice!
While not strictly about education, the discussions of creativity and creativity pedagogy here, specifically as it pertains to tech, will inspire classroom teachers. A recent episode took a look at a few techniques for creating something new every day. Other episodes have included an exploration of techniques that turned a failing rural school into a local innovator, and tips for teaching students how to get the most out of digital media.
34. Inspiration 4 Teachers
The hosts of Inspiration 4 Teachers take their jobs seriously. The goal of the podcast is not just to generally provide inspiration, but also to empower teachers with specific tips and tools. Featuring an impressive lineup of featured guests, recent podcast episodes have suggested ways to help teaching assistants thrive and concrete ways to build a positive classroom. Take a look at the site’s book club for more inspiring reads.
35. HookEd Captivating Students
Any educator worth their salt knows that you can’t do much for your students if they’re not engaged with the material. HookEd explores ways to do just that, inviting educators to spill their most creative secrets for fostering memorable learning experiences. It’s like your daily round table for creativity.
Twitter is a thriving hub for passionate educators. On TweetED, hosts Dr. Brad Gustafson and Ben Gilpin, comb through Twitter to locate the week’s most passionate, engaging, and relevant discussion happening amongst educators right now. News, views, and ideas lead the day.
This is just a small fraction of the educational podcasts available today, and there are more to come as more teachers venture into podcasting territory. Please let us know any you suggest in the comments below — and let us know, too, if you plan on starting your own soon!
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