Written by Caregiving Team member Alicia Cassels, MA, Military Families Learning Network Program Development and Evaluation Specialist
Full disclosure, I love podcasts. As a self-confessed edutainment junkie, podcasts provide me with a great option for learning and enjoyment on the go. I drive, cook, clean or just relax while exploring my love of travel, cooking, seeing life from new perspectives, and exploring content in human science, neurology and wellness totally hands-free. Pair a great podcast episode with wireless headphones or a Bluetooth speaker and it’s pure magic!
It seems I am not alone. More than 44% of Americans have listened to a podcast, with 49% of that listening taking place in the home and 22% in the car. According to Podcast Insights, most of those listeners tune in to multiple podcasts each week (2018).
Podcasts come in a variety of lengths and formats with average run times ranging from twenty to sixty minutes. Content and topics cover the spectrum of human interests, from educational to recreational, and everything in between. With more than 550,000 active podcasts on Apple Podcasts according to Variety, and 18 million episodes available in over 100 languages, selecting a podcast for your listening list may seem daunting (2018).
Have You Considered Educational Podcasts?
With podcasts introducing new perspectives, providing opportunities for listener reflection, and guiding activities in skill building, the possibilities for learning through podcasts are numerous. Want to learn about the newest discoveries in science? There is a podcast for that! Want to learn a new language? Podcasts have you covered!
Three Things to Consider When Selecting Podcasts:
- Consider the source. With more than 500,000 podcasts available, content and quality will vary. Many universities, research organizations and non-profits offer excellent free podcasts.
- Consider format. Popular formats include the long form interview, panel discussion, narrative storytelling, and hybrid, with run times ranging from 20 minutes to 45 minutes or longer. Select one with the type of format that appeals most to you.
- You may be pleasantly surprised. With a little research you may find podcasts from familiar sources. If it has been a while since you visited the web page of an organization with which are affiliated, you may want to check in. The organization may now be hosting podcasts. I have been pleasantly surprised to find several podcasts this way.
A Few of My Personal Favorites
Three of my favorite podcasts include, The Knowledge Project Podcast, hosted by Shane Parrish of Farnam Street, Hidden Brain from NPR, hosted by Shankar Vedantam , The Splendid Table, hosted by Francis Lam.
I also invite you to listen to try our podcast, Show Up Inspired. The monthly podcast is dedicated to exploring what keeps professionals engaged and thriving at work. The format is non-fiction, narrative storytelling. Each episode highlights stories of professionals in the field and incorporates interviews with subject matter experts in medical, social, and management sciences to examine lessons we can draw from research and practice. 0.5 free CE’s are available. Subscribe to iTunes to listen.
Military Families Learning Network teams have been involved in the development of a growing number of educational podcasts. We have ongoing and archived content in a number of areas. I invite you to explore via our Military Families Learning Network team home pages. Subscribe to those you enjoy and check back periodically for updates.
Happy listening and learning!
Lopez, Riardo. Talent Agencies Turn to Popular Podcasts for New IP, Developing Fil, TV Projects and More. Variety. 2018.
2018 Podcast Stats & Facts. Podcast Insights. 2018.