During a recent meeting with my district Social Studies Director, Ms. Jeanie Daily, I discovered that we are both avid podcast listeners on our long commutes. Of course, since we are both in the Social Studies/History field we are always on the lookout for good History podcasts and as we were giving each other our favorites she asked if podcasts would be an effective tool for helping students get content on our Distance Learning days. I’ve been pondering this question for awhile and see some pros and cons but I figured it should at least be field tested.

At the very least I hope that if I were to curate a list of History Podcasts then it could make good PD On Demand for our district History teachers.


  1. Podcasts are more portable. Students can listen on the bus or in the car to and from school.
  2. Podcasts usually are more of a “deep dive”. Students can hear some really intense history.
  3. There are many podcasts that feature experts in the field. In my case there are some awesome Historians that appear or host podcasts. Sometimes Major Universities and Archives host full lecture series!
  4. They are more interesting than a recorded lecture (often because of the deep dive element)
  5. It’s On Demand
  6. It’s what young folks know more than websites and email.


  1. The Deep Dives cover one topic in a lot of detail but don’t cover all of the content standards.
  2. Assessment cannot follow a traditional quiz like model because of #1.
  3. Curation can be difficult. There are time constraints and tech issues
  4. Not all podcasts are created equal. Some interesting pods may contain…. sensitive language. Others might hosts that are more or less trustworthy than others.

Pros over Cons

I am going to give podcasts a shot. I already allow students to pick their method of content acquisition as well as how they want to demonstrate their learning. Adding the podcasts will be another meaningful choice. I hope that it is also a way to ease their work load. Many of my students have fairly long bus rides or commutes.

Curating the Content

So far I have settled on using ListenNotes to curate the content. This site allows me to create playlists and then fairly easily search for podcasts and add them. It also allows me to embed the playlists into the classroom Google Site. Students can then play the videos there or “Subscribe” to my playlists through their own podcast player. I am still working on the technical aspects of the subscription.

My Message To Students – posted on the Google Site with a link to the Podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to deep dive into a particular topic. If you have chosen this option there are some special “expectations” that are different from the recordings and readings. 

  1. Listening Time – Total Podcast time needs to add up to at least 45 minutes. This can be one podcast or several small ones.
  2. Content Concerns – Podcasts don’t always follow our standards precisely or they might dive deep into one topic and not touch on everything. I’m ok with this but it makes notes and review IN CLASS more important.
  3. Demonstration of Learning – Podcasts are meant to be consumed on the go. This means that I don’t expect you to take detailed notes since you might be listening while you are traveling, walking, or riding the bus – I listen to podcasts on my commute.  I am going to give you more freedom in demonstrating your learning. You may continue to use the options on the previous page or you can develop your own system. Get creative if you would like – Sketchnotes might work for some. I used to leave myself audio messages on my cell phone voice recorder while I was running. Run it by me if you have concerns.
  4. Caution – While I have listened to many of these podcasts some have not been screened. I have curated podcasts that I know are run by or for Historians. If you are uncomfortable with an episode stop listening and try another. Please let me know which episode is a concern and I will give it a listen. You might hear a naughty word but I doubt it.

You can listen through the laptop by clicking the episode you would like to hear and then hitting the play button next to the Listen Later logo. You should also be able to subscribe through a podcast app player by hitting the subscribe button below. It will subscribe you to the entire playlist.

Example Playlists


History Ed – https://lnns.co/Ss9d-yne0EB

1.CO Colonial America – https://lnns.co/Xxo6J4_GKLp

1.CE Causes of American Revolution – https://lnns.co/RsGDl9LNrzb

1.P American Government Systems – https://lnns.co/Q3-Ugv69_xw

1.CX US Connection to the Atlantic World – https://lnns.co/vDS4rjTRF_E

1.CC From Washington to War of 1812 – https://lnns.co/W2YywmXD8Oz

2.CO Antebellum Sectionalism – https://lnns.co/MmNHqLT8W5e

2.CE Manifest Destiny and Antebellum Tensions – https://lnns.co/Qm3-Gfnhpgt

2.P Reforms and Backlash during Antebellum – https://lnns.co/4gBSmpD0XoK

2.CX Reconstruction Context – https://lnns.co/sIw6ZbEQM0D

2.CC Sectionalism and Re-Union- https://lnns.co/IiG-jKM3bFm

3.CO The Rise of Big Business in the Gilded Age – https://lnns.co/FMwImW8sRZL

3.CE Populists and Progressives – https://lnns.co/V-QXp4Th_An

3.P Conflicts on the Frontier – https://lnns.co/IomFhj4Z9Rs  

3.CX Demographic Changes in the Gilded Age – https://lnns.co/SE95xqTBJt_

3.CC Settling the Frontier – https://lnns.co/mAanNywQSPs

4.CO Foreign Policy from American Imperialism to WWII  – https://lnns.co/BmbNiLzOeZu

4.CE Economics of 1920s and 30s – https://lnns.co/tf3KVGnc49u

4.P Changing Government from WWI through WWII – https://lnns.co/VLZokz3fIP1

4.CX Societal Tensions of the 1920s and 30s – https://lnns.co/A2MTc0u9_bZ

4.CC The Homefront in WWI and WWII – https://lnns.co/irvILnAHPJy

5.CO Life in Cold War America – https://lnns.co/Tmno4I_BvCu

5.CE Cold War Crises – https://lnns.co/WFDRY5I2ltb

5.P Political Changes from 1945 to Today – https://lnns.co/_UZVQyPJcx7

5.CX Modern American Foreign and Domestic Policy – https://lnns.co/guXrxWtBYCk

5.CC Modern Civil Rights Issues – https://lnns.co/SK_D8ofd17l