My Podcast Playlist

I love a good podcast. I listen while I cook dinner. I listen while doing chores I’m less interested in like vacuuming or folding laundry. I listen on my 50 minute commute to school & back each way. I listen to talk radio almost exclusively & I do like tuning in to CBC Radio 1 live to hear the latest news & issues from my area. But I also love listening to podcasts; many of which are live radio shows that I listen to on demand via podcast at a time that suits me best.

I posted last month about how I discovered that the audiobook format is my way to engage with non-fiction. And podcasts are very similar in that I learn so much from them! The podcasts I listen to are not fictional stories. They are long-form investigative journalism, they are science made understandable for the masses, they are news comedy shows, . . . they are varied! Often there are tidbits in them that spur an idea for a lesson plan for my own classes or that I can pass along to other teachers.

For example, the episode of Under the Influence titled Selling Yourself discussed some great issues around what your email address says about you, what your profile photo says about you, what your resume says about you, etc. That content then found its way into my lessons for my leadership and business classes.

Are you new to podcasts? The first thing you’ll need is a podcast player app. This will allow you to subscribe to podcasts so that your phone automatically downloads a new episode each time it’s released. There are many apps to choose from. Your phone may even have a native app that it comes with – so have a look. I use one called Podcast Addict that works well for me.

Once you have an app downloaded then you can start to look up & subscribe to podcasts. You can simply search for topics that interest you, but I often find I hear about good ones via word of mouth from friends and colleagues. So let me share with you some great podcasts that you might enjoy & might even inspire some lessons for your classroom:

  • Under the Influence: Take an unprecedented ride through the hallways of the ad industry. Host and adman Terry O’Reilly explores why we make the shopping decisions we make, and how we are influenced by words, colours and images. He tells stories of the remarkable creativity found at the higher realms of marketing, and analyzes the ads we love to hate. Under The Influence is not a show about advertising. It’s a show about life through the lens of advertising.
  • Because News: Canada’s funniest news quiz. Host and award-winning comedian Gavin Crawford makes games out of the headlines, along with a panel of comedians and celebrities.
  • Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me: NPR’s weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what’s real news and what’s made up.
  • Committed: Join host Jo Piazza as she delves into the hilarious, heartbreaking and inspiring stories of couples of all kinds who’ve soldiered through unimaginable circumstances, and after the longest of days, still want to wake up next to one another in the morning.
  • This American Life: Each week we choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme. Primarily a journalistic non-fiction program, we also feature essays, memoirs, field recordings, short fiction, and found footage.
  • The Minimalists: Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus discuss living a meaningful life with less.
  • Podcast Playlist: Podcast Playlist curates the best content and stories from the podcast world. Each week, your hosts sample some of the most intriguing of what the internet has to offer.
  • Reply All: ‘A podcast about the internet’ that is actually an unfailingly original exploration of modern life and how to survive it.
  • We Regret to Inform You: The fascinating stories of successful people who triumphed over debilitating career rejection. And the insights those rejections provide.
  • Freakonomics Radio: Discover the hidden side of everything. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything.
  • The Debaters: The hit show where comedians go toe-to-toe in a battle of laughs and logic. The program is a combustible combination of sharply crafted comedic rants and hilarious ad libs. The engaging format is part stand-up, part quiz show and part comedy competition, with the live audience picking the winners.
  • Stuff You Should Know: If you’ve ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.
  • Laugh Out Loud: Every week host Ali Hassan features the best and funniest comics in the business. Recorded at festivals and comedy clubs across the country, LOL is the show to hear to stay on top of the Canadian comedy scene. From the famous to the found, LOL will bring you the funny every week.
  • Unreserved: Intelligent, Insightful, Indigenous. Stories, music, culture. Unreserved is the true voice of Indigenous Canada.
  • Someone Knows Something: Host David Ridgen joins victims’ family members as they investigate cold cases, tracking down leads, speaking to suspects and searching for answers.

I’m always keen to hear about great new podcasts so if you have a favourite that you don’t see on the list here, leave a comment below to tell me about it!

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @mslwheeler Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

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