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Should Podcasts Be Part of Your Curriculum?

Posted by Joe Clarkin on Jul 8, 2015 4:00:00 AM
Topics: K-12, ed tech

Podcasts aren't just great for mowing the lawn and taking long drives - they can be a valuable educational tool. But which ones are appropriate for your classroom and cover the subjects that you want to cover? In this article from Edudemic they cover a brief list of suggestions, an excerpt from which you can find below. Be sure to give the article a full read to see if there's a podcast that would be perfect for you and your students!

4. StarTalk

Star Talk Radio

Chances are, you know — and love — the resurrected Cosmos. You should be just as familiar with Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk, which is really the best space talk show around. Each week features a different influential guest, from George Takei, who recently dropped by to discuss the legacy of Star Trek, to Elon Musk, who showed up to muse about the future of humanity. Part-interview show, part delving into philosophy, the universe, and the meaning of life, and ever a giant space nerd-a-thon (a term I can use as I am among their ranks!), this one is a must all of your kids who navigate through life with their heads craned permanently to the skies.

5. Invisibilia

It’s no secret that we here at Edudemic love our neuro- and cognitive science. In fact, one of our greatest goals is to help unpack the neuroscience and psychology of learning in a manner that is accessible, concrete, and easily applied to the classroom. The Invisibilia podcast, which is hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, shares similar goals, though their scope isn’t limited to the educational sphere. Over the course of its first season, Invisibilia covered such issues as: why we, as humans, tend to define ourselves in categories, and what these categories do for us; what it’s like to be a person with the world’s most true definition of empathy, in that she can really feel the pain of the people around her (a condition that has kept her mostly confined to her neighborhood and to her home); and oh, you know, only how some blind people can use echolocation to see (no big deal or anything!). In case it’s not clear, this podcast is big on the wow factor, and explanations of the science behind this phenomenon feel more like a detective story than facts laid out in a dry textbook.

6. Radiolab

Too often, we tend to think of art and science as separate entities, and never the twain shall meet. In truth, they make the perfect pair, as science is the pursuit of the world’s deeper truths, and art seeks to reveal, contextualize, and communicate those truths in a manner that will resonate with the human psychology.

And that, really, is what the excellent podcast Radiolab does on a regular basis. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, the program has covered topics ranging from: the CRISPR, a defense system that exists within bacteria that could completely change the way we modify DNA (and, really, the course of human evolution); the chemistry behind the human brain in love; a rare brain disorder that renders loved ones into strangers; the science of blinking; and so, so, so many parasites.

This is a definite “yes” to add to your list.

About Joe Clarkin

Joe Clarkin is a former copywriter at MBS. When he’s not working or studying, you’re most likely to find him reading a book or watching a game.

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