If you’re not familiar with the term, a podcast is basically an audio or video series that you can listen to or watch online. Podcasts are often created by independent media companies, but they can also be made by individuals or schools. They come in many different formats and genres, from comedy to history lessons to food reviews. Currently, there are over two million podcasts available on iTunes alone. Kids are listening to them more than ever before: A 2017 study found that American teens spend about six hours each day consuming digital media—and podcasts account for nearly half of that time!
Podcasts are everywhere
If your school doesn’t already have a podcast, it’s time to get on board. Podcasts are everywhere, and they’re not going away anytime soon! Here are just a few reasons why:
- They’re a great way to keep up with current events. You can listen while you’re making dinner or walking the dog—there’s no need to carve out time in your schedule to watch that news show or read the paper when you’ve got podcasts available at all times.
- They’re a great way to learn more about your interests. Whether it’s comedy, science fiction or history—there are podcasts out there covering every topic imaginable! You don’t even have to subscribe; just search “podcast” on Google or iTunes and see what comes up!
Kids are already listening
Students are already listening to podcasts, and they’re doing so for longer than you might think. The average American listens to radio for around 15 hours per week—but students spend an average of 24 hours a week listening to media in general, according to recent research from The National Endowment for the Arts’ “Reading on the Rise” report. And although audiobooks have been around since the dawn of time (or at least since cassette tapes), it’s only recently that we’ve begun seeing significant growth in podcast consumption among young people: A 2018 survey by Edison Research found that 13% of Americans ages 12-24 had listened to a podcast in the previous month, up from 8% just two years earlier.*
If your school has been hesitant about launching its own podcast because you don’t know how many listeners you’ll get or how hard it will be to make one, consider this: Kids are already listening—so even if you don’t reach out directly with your own show, with enough content produced across schools and libraries nationwide there will soon be plenty of new options available for your kids who want more than doodle comics about their weekends.
Podcasts are more engaging than books and blogs
Listening to a podcast is an active, immersive experience that can be done anywhere and at any time. Unlike a book or blog post, you don’t have to read anything during your commute, while cooking dinner or during your workout—podcasts are available when you want them! You don’t even have to be in front of your computer screen; podcasts can be listened to on smartphones, tablets and dedicated devices like the Apple Watch or Google Home speakers.
Because podcasts are so convenient (and often free), they’re perfect for busy people who want information on demand—like students! In fact, many schools already offer online courses through iTunes U where students can watch lectures from their favourite professors or learn about topics like financial literacy. So why not expand these resources by podcasting?
Students are more likely to listen to something they created
When students have a stake in the content of a podcast, they will be more likely to listen. A podcast about student interests has the best chance at being listened to by students. Students are also more likely to listen if it’s about their school or community.
Podcasts have a low barrier to entry
Podcasting is an easy and accessible medium to start with. You don’t need much equipment, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time learning how to use it—and even if you do, there is plenty of free software out there that will help you edit and publish your podcast such as Sound Branch. All in all, the barrier for entry for podcasting is actually quite low!
You can get started with just a simple recording device: a smartphone or tablet will suffice. If you’re using your phone or tablet as your recording device, make sure it has enough space on its storage card so that you can record multiple episodes at once; if not, be sure to delete old recordings after each new episode is published. If you want better quality audio but still want something portable, consider getting an external microphone like this one from Blue Yeti .
Your students can create podcasts outside of school using SoundBranch.com
You can create podcasts for free using SoundBranch.com. Podcasts are a great way to connect with the world and share your voice and perspective with others, so it’s really important that you be able to share your podcast creations outside of school.
The site gives students a platform where they can upload their podcasts, share them with friends and family, listen to other people’s podcasts and more! You can even embed your SoundBranch content on web pages as an audio player. It’s an invaluable resource for any student interested in podcasting or anyone who wants an easy way to listen to them while at work or school (or anywhere else).
Starting a podcast is a great way to engage your students in learning and allow them to express themselves creatively
Starting (or having your students start) a podcast is a great way to engage your students in learning and allow them to express themselves creatively and meaningfully. Students can then share their work with others, showing what they learned in class.
It’s also a great way for students to show off their personalities and make friends with people who like the same things that they do. For example, if someone likes sports, they might make an episode about their favourite sport or team; if someone likes fashion, they might create an episode about what supermodel they think has the best style; if someone doesn’t know much about current events but wants to learn more about them before they graduate high school so that they will be more knowledgeable when looking for jobs after graduation—the possibilities are endless!
If you’ve been hesitating to start a podcast with your students, now is the time. Podcasts are more accessible than ever before, and they’re becoming more popular every day. We hope that this article has given you some ideas on how to get started with podcasts in your classroom. We also recommend checking out our website for more information about using SoundBranch for creating podcasts in school or at home!
Get started with a podcast with no fancy hardware needed, no editing and no scheduling: