Podcasts are something we have become accustomed to over the past few years. Whether it be listening to Tommy and Hector giggling about school life antics or something more serious like an episode from Doc on One, podcasts have become mainstream entertainment for many people. The big question is: can we use podcasts in our classroom and if so what is the best way to do it?

Let’s start by looking at how we might use podcasts to create content with our class.

Reasons to create a podcasts with your class;

  • Podcasts serve as a tool for students to create engaging, fun and informative presentations;
  • Language curriculum links:
    Students practice oral language skills. You can focus on fluency, tone and emphasis with the oral delivery with students;
  • Students order their information and create clear presentations for them to read aloud;
  • Assessment: Teachers can use podcasts as a means of assessing what the students have learned.
  • Students must summarise and detail the key information that they learned in order to create the podcast;
  • Podcasts provide the students with an opportunity to publish their work to a wider audience.

Using Anchor FM

There are lots of free software platforms for making podcasts available but I have found that Anchor FM is the most accessible for the classroom. It is an all-inclusive platform where you can create and share your podcast for free. It has a web and app platform and so it is suitable for classroom laptops, tablets or iPads.

It is simple to use Anchor Fm, These steps outline how to get it set up.
Once you have downloaded the app or gone to the webpage you just sign up using your email and begin recording.

Ideas for the classroom:

Make an audiobook: Students read a story aloud.
Students summarise a project: Students talk about a project they are doing in class.
Weekly review: Students revise what was learned this week.
Local history interviews: Students interview people from the locality on different topics.
Our favourite ______: Students discuss their favourite, food/music, subjects with each other.
Science report: Students discuss a science experiment they are working on.
News and Weather: Students create a daily news podcast for another class.
The principal’s news: Students interview teachers and principals on what is happening in the school.
Career interview: Students interview someone from their locality about their career.
Comedy show: Students make jokes for other students to listen to.

Using pre-made podcasts in the classroom:

There are lots of podcasts that have already been created with education in mind. Why not use some of these podcasts in your classroom. Here are some examples:

Ecolution is a brand new podcast from RTÉ Jr Radio, for kids who want to make a difference in the fight against Climate Change. James Dunne, a 16 year old Climate activist takes a trip into the cloudy waters of the environment to see young people doing their bit to combat the crisis.

We Love books:
We Love Books’ is a journey through the pages of some of the best-loved children’s books of all time.

The RTE Jr Podcast:

Take a trip through some of the very best kids shows from RTÉjr, Ireland’s only children’s radio station. They’re perfect for children and parents to listen to at home or in car!

Bígí ag Ceol:
A music show for kids, featuring all types of music from rock to rap to pop! Listen and sing along!

Wow in the World:
A Podcast for children about topics such as science, technology, and innovation. Stories that give kids hope, agency and make us all say “WOW”!

But Why?:
A podcast series for curious children. It is led by children asking questions and scientists answering them. Lots of topical episodes on sustainability and climate change.

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