The Best Educational Podcasts for Students of Every Age

6 min to read
A student listens to an educational podcast through her headphones.

Americans love podcasts. A recent survey found that 31% of Americans 12 and older listened to a podcast in the last week on average. 

Podcasts are so popular because they offer a wide range of content and are convenient.  From current events, world news, history, sports, and investigative journalism to niche subjects like French cooking, anime, and auto mechanics, podcasts deliver the content people want, when they want it. 

While podcasts are entertaining, they are also educational. People learn something new from podcasts, making them great educational tools not only for adults, but for students of every age.

7 Benefits of Podcasts for Students

Podcasts can be used in many ways to help students learn. Teachers can use educational podcasts to supplement the content they are teaching. Students can listen to podcasts to learn more about subjects that interest them. Some learning podcasts are specifically designed to teach students new subjects in bite-sized increments, engaging students and helping them learn new things quickly.  

Here are seven benefits for using podcasts for kids and podcasts for young adults to supplement learning.  

1. Students Learn a Wide Range of Diverse and Contemporary Subject Matters

Because there are podcasts on so many different subjects, teachers can incorporate lessons on a wide range of diverse topics beyond the textbook curriculum and start conversations about contemporary subjects. Incorporating new topics through podcasts could lead students to find a new interest or passion, which could guide their path after they leave high school.

2. Students Hear from Different Perspectives

Podcasts can add different perspectives that textbooks can’t always provide, often bringing the content to life with personal stories.

3. Gives More Students Opportunities to Learn

All students learn differently. Some learn better by reading content. Others learn better when watching videos or listening to podcasts. By using podcasts in the classroom and incorporating them into lessons, teachers offer another way for students to learn, giving more students the opportunity to learn the subject matter.

4. Keeps Students Engaged

Today’s students are growing up in the digital age. They have never known a time without cell phones, tablets, and digital content. They often spend their free time online, playing video games, connecting with friends, watching videos, and even listening to podcasts.

Incorporating podcasts into lessons can help keep kids who are already accustomed to audio/visual content engaged with the lesson.

5. Helps Students Practice Listening Comprehension

Active listening is a critical communication soft skill that students will need to find success throughout their life. Podcasts can help students practice active listening – they must pay attention to what is being said to learn the subject. 

To encourage active listening, teachers and Learning Coaches should develop student follow-up activities, such as writing a paragraph summary of the podcast or having a group discussion about the topic.

6. Supports Students with Learning Challenges

Students who have learning challenges, including dyslexia, may find more success by listening to podcast sover reading.

7. Supports ESL Students Learning English

Podcasts offer a language immersion experience for ESL students, helping them learn the cadence and nuances of speaking English. They also expose ESL students to vocabulary, idioms, and slang phrases.

An online school student uses a tablet to find the best educational podcasts for students.

The Best Educational Podcasts for Students

There are great learning podcasts for students in pre-k through high school. For teachers and parents looking for podcast ideas for students, here is a list of the best educational podcast by age level.

Podcasts for Students in Pre-K and Kindergarten

  • Imagine This. Imagine This is a science podcast for young students ages 4+ that teaches them about the world around them. 

  • Quentin and Alfie’s ABC Adventures. Kids can follow Alfie and his babysitter, Quentin, on their adventures that are tied to learning the alphabet. 

  • Earth Rangers. In this podcast, Earth Ranger Emma travels the world to discover fun facts about animals. 

Podcasts for Students in 1st – 3rd Grade

  • Time Traveling Tonya. Kids can follow 8-year-old Tonya Infinity and her 186-year-old tortoise, Gertie, as they travel through time on Gertie’s magical shell, meeting historical figures on their journeys. 

  • But Why. Elementary school kids can feed their curiosity and learn the answers to questions like why flamingos stand on one leg or why people wear glasses.

  • Circle Round. Circle Round adapts folktales from around the world into plays that explore issues like kindness, persistence, and generosity.  

  • KidNuz. Kidnuz is a kid news podcast that engages kids in current events and is a catalyst to have age-appropriate conversations with kids about things happening in the world.  

Podcasts for Students in 4th and 5th Grade

  • The Big Fib. Students gain critical thinking skills listening to The Big Fib podcast, where they listen to two stories on the same subject told by different peoplethen get to decide which version is real and which one is fake. 

  • The Past and the Curious. Students explore little known stories and meet interesting characters from history. There is a quiz after each episode to support listening comprehension. 

  • Tumble. Build a love of science with the Tumble podcast, which is also available in Spanish. Teaching materials tied to each episode are available to extend learning.

Podcasts for Middle Schoolers

  • Book Club for Kids. Inspire tweens to read by listening to other middle schoolers talk about popular YA books and share book recommendations. Each episode features a passage from the book read by a celebrity guest. 

  • Radiolab. Through investigative journalism, the Radiolab podcast explores questions about science, math, ELA, and other subjects to prompt kids to explore possible answers.

  • 99% Invisible. This podcast explores the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world from highways to inflatable men outside car lots.

Podcasts for High Schoolers

  • Star Talk Radio. High school students can join renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson as he and his special weekly guests explore everything under the universe in a fun – and funny – way. 

  • How to Money. Financial literacy is critically important but woefully lacking in high school. This podcast explores different financial literacy topics to give students a base understanding of financial topics that will help them throughout their life. 

  • Stuff You Missed in History Class. This podcast explores the strangest things that aren’t always taught in history class. 

Podcasts for Parents

Because parents play such a crucial role in a child’s education, here are a few podcasts to help them navigate parenting today.

  • Raising Good Humans. This podcast explores the latest child development research in an accessible way. 

  • Good Inside. Parents can explore topics that range from forming stronger relationships with kids to handling bedtime battles.

Parents can find other resources to support their students on Connection Academy’s Resource Hub.

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