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Podcasts in the Classroom

Kate Bishop-Williams, Doug Parsons, Sarah Hansen, Peter Chipman, Alicia Franke, Ali Versluis, and Curt Newton

Podcasts are episodic audio programs that share everything from stories to interviews to scholarly content, and everything in between. As a form of media, podcasts are growing steadily in popularity, and have been for more than a decade, to over 550,000 shows and 18.5 million episodes in 2018 (Podcast Insights, 2018). And this number seems to keep on rising.

Open education is a branch of the Open movement that focuses on removing financial and access barriers to educational materials, as well as their options for use and re-use (SPARC, 2018). These materials are called Open Educational Resources (OER) and can take the shape of textbooks, streaming video, simulations, podcasts, courseware, software, and much more. No matter their format, the important thing to remember about OER is that they are freely available, modifiable resources that can be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed (with attribution) for use in the context of formal education and self-learning.

However, the application of podcasts to the world of OER and education more broadly has been fairly limited. This presented a great opportunity for further use of these freely available materials, full of information and packed with interesting anecdotes to capture a student’s attention. In fact, scholarly evidence suggests that podcasts are a great way to engage students more deeply (Popova and Edirisingha, 2010). While there have been a few examples of podcasts being used in the classroom, they are sorely underused in educational settings.

That is where these tools can be useful! We aimed to fill a gap in the use of freely available, educational podcasts in classrooms in a wide array of contexts by providing discussion guides that will facilitate use and uptake of these materials. We believe that America Adapts: The Climate Change Podcast is a great jumping off point for integrating podcasts into classrooms of all sorts. And we hope that you will test and use these discussion guides and provide your feedback on how they worked and how they can be improved.

After a series of consultations, we believe we have a recipe for great podcast discussion guides for classrooms. Guides include questions for reflection or classroom dialogue, as well as other relevant OER that might help in course development.

Have an episode guide request? Email kbishop@uoguelph.ca to request a guide for another episode, and check back often for guides to new episodes!

The links to the Discussion Guides and Assignment Outline are available here:

General questions for any episode: Available here.

90. Keeping History Above Water – St. Augustine, Cultural Heritage and Sea Level Rise

Podcast episode available here.

Discussion guide and assignment outline.

89. Cli-Fi Research: Can Climate Fiction Influence Behavior + Interview with MIT’s Today I Learned: Climate Podcast

Podcast episode available here.

Discussion guide and assignment outline.


88. The Unbearable Lightness of Cultural Resources: An Adaptation Story with Dr. Marcy Rockman

Podcast episode available here.

Discussion guide and assignment outline.

87. Tribes, Indigenous People and the False Urgency of Climate Adaptation with Dr. Kyle Powys Whyte

Podcast episode available here.

Discussion guide and assignment outline.

86. Dr. Michael Mann: Return of the Climate Jedi

Podcast episode available here.

Discussion guide and assignment outline.

84. The State of Adaptation Finance with Harvard’s Jesse Keenan

Podcast episode available here.

Discussion guide and assignment outline.

83. To Sue or Not to Sue: Legal Liability and Climate Adaptation with Conservation Law Foundation

Podcast episode available here.

Discussion guide and assignment outline here.

82. New York, New York: The Big Apple Adapts to Climate Change

Podcast episode available here.

Discussion guide and assignment outline here.

70. Adaptation Checkup: Public Health and Climate Change - A Podcast with Dr. Natasha DeJarnett

Podcast episode available here.

Discussion guide and assignment outline here.

64. You Can’t Handle the Truth: Rising Sea Levels and the Law

Podcast episode available here.

Discussion guide and assignment outline here.

47. Deconstructing a Climate Skeptic: The Marc Morano Podcast

Podcast episode available here.

Discussion guide and assignment outline here.

Plus, check out these assignment guides and rubrics, which can be modified to fit any episode you choose:

Writing a reflection about a podcast: Assignment outline available here.

Creating a podcast episode: Assignment outline available here.


Interested in knowing more about what inspired this exciting journey we are on? You can read a blog post about it here, and listen to an episode of America Adapts that discusses the very beginning of our story here.

We believe in the value of this wealth of exciting, interesting, and broad and deep, source of knowledge. We are excited to share these exemplars with you and to use your feedback to improve future iterations and to create discussion guides for future episodes. Please direct any feedback to kbishop@uoguelph.ca or americaadapts@gmail.com.


Sources:

Podcast Insights, 2018. Available her: https://www.podcastinsights.com/podcast-statistics/

Popova,, and Edirisingha. "How can podcasts support engaging students in learning activities?." Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 2.2 (2010): 5034-5038. Available here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042810008566

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), 2018. Available here: https://sparcopen.org/open-education/


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License.