Using Podcasts in the History Classroom

Using Podcasts in the History Classroom

Podcasts and Podcasting in the History Classroom

A podcast is an audio digital file, which is normally part of a series.  It is like an episode of a radio programme, however, instead of having to listen to the radio at a particular time to hear it, you can download it onto a smartphone or computer and listen to the podcast at any time. 

You can also subscribe to a podcast series, which means that new episodes of the podcast will automatically download onto your computer, smartphone or media device.

You can find podcasts on internet applications such as iTunes or Stitcher. Many broadcasting and cultural institutions feature podcasts on their own websites. 

Podcasts have been around since 2003, but their popularity has grown exponentially in the last few years with the most popular attracting millions of listeners. Many History podcasts are available, covering a wide range of topics and periods. They can be a useful supplement to your classroom resources.

One of the reasons for their popularity is that they are relatively easy and cheap to produce and share with the rest of the world. This also means they are an exciting way for pupils to present their work.  Making podcasts as part of a History unit of work, helps pupils to engage in historical inquiry, while also developing their skills of Communication and Using ICT. Pupils can then share their podcasts with others, the rest of the school and their families.

This resource gives advice on how your pupils can create podcasts and highlights some of the best History podcasts available.

Curriculum Links

The ideas for podcasting activities in this resource are generic. You could use them for an investigation of any historical topic. The activities give pupils an opportunity to develop their Using ICT and Communication skills. They also help meet many of the Learning Outcomes as specified in the statutory requirements for Key Stage 3 History as shown below.

The learning outcomes require pupils to demonstrate skills and apply knowledge and understanding of History and its impact on the present.

Pupils should be able to:

  • research and manage information effectively to investigate historical issues, using Mathematics and ICT where appropriate;
  • show deeper historical understanding by thinking critically and flexibly, solving problems and making informed decisions, using Mathematics and ICT where appropriate;
  • demonstrate creativity and initiative when developing ideas and following them through;
  • work effectively with others; and
  • communicate effectively in oral, visual, written, mathematical and ICT formats, showing clear awareness of audience and purpose.