21st Century Learning
The Best Edtech Podcasts to Help Kickstart Your Professional Learning Network

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I have to drive to school everyday. Now, this could be a real drag as commuting to work can be a mind-numbing and frustrating experience. However, a few years ago I discovered that I could use the 25 mins or so of driving time to listen to podcasts, which are like radio shows that you can subscribe to and download onto your iPod or other device. Throughout the week, I listen to about 4 or 5 different shows on tech and education. It certainly makes the daily drive go faster and I can connect with other professionals  and hear their views and opinions on the various edtech topics and resources being used. The topics are relevant and timely, and I don’t have to listen to the actual radio (is it just me or has radio gotten worse?). It’s time I can use to help keep myself up-to-date on useful tools and resources I can bring to my own teaching practice.

But where do you start?

The iTunes store has a whole section on podcasts divided up into various categories. However, even if you narrow it down to just the Education section, there are still an overwhelming number of podcasts to sort through. Luckily, there are a couple of sites that have culled through the mass of education podcasts and listed some of the best education podcasts to listen to.

Teachthought has a list of 51 Education Podcasts For The 21st Century Teacher on a variety of educational topics for professionals. Their top 10 includes:

1. NPR: National Public Radio has an entire section of education podcasts that highlight current education news and events that happen around the world.

2. TED Talks: I have yet to listen to a TED talk that didn’t inspire or ignite new energy for an idea or topic. Subscribe to TED’s education podcasts to hear from some of the brightest minds in academia today.

3. A History of the World in 100 Objects: The British News Company has a great podcast for anyone teaching history or a related discipline.

4. ISTE: The International Society for Technology Education is a trusted source for podcasts on how technology is changing the classroom. Podcasts cover various topics from blogging to mobile learning.

5. Steve Hargadon: A leader in education technology with an impressive resume of experience hosts an ed-tech podcast on the future of education.

6. The State of Tech: These podcasts focus on education technology in the state of Ohio, but the podcasts can benefit any educator. Topics include new software, platforms, and innovative ideas for tech in the classroom.

7. The Ed Tech Crew Podcast: A weekly podcast about technology and digital advances in education, hosted by Darrel Branston and Tony Richards. Topics are varied.

8. The Compendium Blog of the A.T. Tipscast: This podcast focuses on Tools in Public Schools; giving students and teachers ways to use technology to further educational goals. Each podcast has a practical take-away tip for the classroom.

9. Classroom 2.0 LIVE: This website hosts a weekly webinar specifically designed for beginners who have never used the webinar technology before. Each episode is then offered as an archived podcast that is available for download.

10. EdReach: The focus of EdReach’s podcasts are on innovative apps and different web tools for teachers. Episodes focus on technology as a tool for students of all ages and abilities.

  1. Winner: A.T.TIPSCAST (184 votes)
  2. Runner UpInfinite Thinking Machine (171 votes)
  3. Runner UpTed Talks – Education ( 163 votes)
  4. Runner UpNerdy Cast (139 votes)
  5. Runner UpGeek SLP (98 votes)

Edudemic has their top 10 which includes:

The Education Podcast Network: This site attempts to bring together a wide variety of podcasts helpful to teachers—including podcasts by students and classes as well as subject-specific podcasts in such diverse areas as mathematics, music education, English language arts, dance education, and computer/technology skills.  A huge amount of information is contained on the site, making it sometimes difficult to sort through, but the categories are clearly delineated and the site easy to maneuver.

Learning Matters: This podcast, hosted by John Merrow, includes episodes that are generally 5 to 10 minutes long and address current events in education.  Evaluating teachers, challenges in New Orleans, Race to the Top funds, and global competence among American teachers and students are regular topics of discussion.

New Teacher Hotline: Presented by Dr. Glen Moulton and Michael Kelley, this podcast is designed to help new teachers learn from the experiences of others.  Typically 20 to 30 minutes long, the episodes address questions sent in by teachers as well as more general topics.  Past episodes have included discussions of teacher evaluations, maternity leave, and new technology.

NPR Education: NPR podcasts on education provide information on current events in education around the world.  Casts often include reporting on computer literacy, grants, school district budget issues, and legislation that affects schools.

Speaking of History: Eric Langhorst, an 8th grade history teacher in Missouri, maintains this podcast (interspersed with written blog posts) to describe the activities undertaken by his students and to discuss which projects work well and which might need adjustment.  Also included in the episodes are book reviews, suggestions on incorporating technology into the classroom, and postings of opportunities for teachers, such as conferences and events.

Teacher Created Materials: Teacher Created Materials exists to create research and standards-based resources for K-12 classrooms.  Their podcasts address topics such as building vocabulary, applying differentiation strategies, and fluency comprehension.  The site also includes webinars, sample handouts, and other resources.

Teachers Network – Podcasts on Education: This podcast focuses mostly on posting recordings of keynote speeches on education.  It includes speeches from curriculum conferences and others, with topics such as incorporating business strategies into teaching and presentations of research regarding students in the first year of high school.

The Teachers’ Podcast: Dr. Kathy King and Mark Gura host The Teachers’ Podcast, addressing such issues as technology, multimedia presentations, testing, e-books, and including interviews with authors.  Each entry includes a discussion with links to articles and products mentioned in the episode.

Teaching With Technology Podcast: The Teaching With Technology Podcast features an easy to use format hosting episodes on topics like “Google for Educators” and “Blogs in the Classroom.”  The site also includes a user-friendly “categories” section that makes finding episodes regarding a particular topic (such as: foreign language, curriculum, or middle school) easy.

The Tech Teachers: Hosted by Ray (a physics teacher) and Hollye (a Spanish teacher), this podcast focuses mostly on technology issues—including evaluations of the iPad, google docs, twitter lists, etc. Below each episode is included a list of links to products mentioned in the episode for easy reference.

EdTechTalk has a great series of podcasts. It is actually a network of collaborative podcast creators with a variety of podcasts to choose from. Great for if you are into listening and learning more about bringing technology into the classroom.

I also listen to a few shows from the CBC being from Canada, including Sparks, which is a show about technology and our society, and The Vinyl Cafe, which is just a guilty pleasure. The host tells wonderful stories which are a lot of fun to listen to.

Whatever you are interested in learning about, there will be a podcast dedicated to it. Why listen to the same old music, ads and annoying disc jockeys when you can be learning something new and growing as a professional. Subscribing to educational podcasts is quick and an easy way to begin growing your own professional learning network.

What are your favorite podcasts?