This is a great post for teacher who simply love learning!  Podcasts are readily available to us and Melissa Miller showcases three great places to find some inspiration.  ~EMP

Educational tools are thriving across so many different technological mediums; it’s hard not to be excited about it. Tablets and smartphones are making detailed and information-rich content accessible for countless teachers and students, while the apps on them offer educational material in any conceivable academic discipline. The web has simplified access to information, and online education services have taken advantage of that fact to build amazing supplementary courses and programs.

I could talk all day about great online programs and education-based apps, but that’s not what I want to share with you for this post. No, I want to talk about the audible learning tool that has revolutionized the way we listen to information.

Of course, I’m talking about the podcast. Not since books on tape has so much information been readily available for millions who want to listen to lectures and informative discussions while they’re on the go. But unlike books on tape, most podcasts are free and contain a wide array of knowledge.

Let’s take a look at three astounding podcasts meant to educate their listeners.

TEDTalks Education

You might recognize TEDTalks as the revolutionary lecture serious featuring prominent intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and industry experts who talk about all sorts of topics shaping today’s world. Some of the most popular topics include science, design, technology, and environmental issues. The lecturers in every TEDTalk are given roughly fifteen minutes to deliver a compelling speech on their topic, as it’s a rare chance to reach out to millions of devoted listeners.

You can be part of the listening audience with the TEDTalks Education podcast. The podcast collects some of the best lectures in the area of general education, from teachers and professors talking about the education system to innovators who want to reshape technology to better the next generation of students. For some seriously thought provoking material on the future of education, there’s no better podcast.

Coffee Break Spanish

Have you ever wanted to streamline the process of learning another foreign language, preferably without spending an arm and a leg on expensive educational software? If so, you might want to check out the suite of podcasts offered by the Radio Lingua Network, an organization devoted to teaching new languages to the people who want to learn them. I mentioned the Spanish version of their “Coffee Break” series simply because it’s the most popular podcast, but they also have educational foreign language podcasts in French, German, Italian, and English.

The episodes of the Coffee Break podcasts take your through all phases of learning another language, from grammar and vocab basics to advanced techniques designed to make your speaking sound conversational and natural. It might not serve as a complete substitute to a traditional education in speaking Spanish or French, but it will certainly set you on the right path to fluency.

This American Life

There is no concrete educational purpose to listening to This American Life, but that should not dissuade you from listening to it. To be clear, the show is journalistic in nature and covers a wide array of topics that document the human experience in American, but it doesn’t have the explicit goal of teaching it’s listeners anything. Rather, the show reveals the aspects of living in this country that are seldom talked about and even more seldom talked about.

Hosted by the journalist turned master radio personality Ira Glass, This American Life makes for a great listen during periods of downtime. You’ll learn more about themes of love, loss, experience, and what it means to be human in a few episodes than you’ll ever get in most current movies or TV series. It’s a brainy show, no doubt, but one that shouldn’t be missed, especially for people committed to educating others.

Melissa Miller is a cheerleader for online associate degree programs. Not literally, of course (since online schools don’t have varsity football), but in the sense that her writings will encourage you to “B-E aggressive” about your education. Throw your questions to melissamiller831@gmail.com.

 

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