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How Listening to Podcasts Helps Students Read and Learn

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 (Flickr/Michael Newman)

High school English teacher Michael Godsey’s favorite work by William Shakespeare is Hamlet. But a few years ago, he stopped teaching his students about the centuries-old classic in favor of a story that was unfolding in the fall of 2014: Serial, the podcast.

Michael Godsey

The story of Adnan Syed, Hae Min Lee and the community at Woodlawn High School captivated podcast listeners around the world, including Godsey. The story was so engaging, he made listening to Serial in real time an assignment for his students and eventually made podcasts a regular part of his English class. He also teaches with episodes of This American Life, RadioLab and Serial Season 2 that cover subjects relevant to the lives of students.

When he first started teaching with podcasts, students were applying English Language Arts critical thinking skills to podcast episodes, much like they would after reading a book. However, the more he taught with podcasts, he began to discover that his students were learning in ways he hadn’t anticipated.

Godsey developed lesson plans for teaching with podcasts and started hearing from teachers around the country about how podcasts were getting students excited about learning again.

Hear from Michael Godsey and his students on the latest episode of the MindShift Podcast. Find out how he uses podcasts in the classroom and how his students were transformed by the experience. Find us on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayNPR One, SpotifyStitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.


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