Podcasts and radio shows to inspire learning
Radio shows and podcasts are a great way to continue down a path of lifelong education.
Many of the best programmes bring together a panel of experts in their respective fields to teach, inspire and inform listeners.
If you love to learn, why not tune in to one of these great radio shows or podcasts to spark your curiosity. From language skills to current events, there’s something here for everyone.
There are thousands of different podcasts available online, with subjects ranging from the news and how-to guides to plays and comedy. Find out how you can listen to podcasts, and discover the best podcasts out there just now.
How to Listen to Podcasts
You can listen to podcasts on your computer, tablet, smart phone and MP3 players.
On computers, iTunes is by far the most popular and easiest way to find and download Podcast programmes. When you open iTunes, you’ll see that there’s a button on the top menu for ‘iTunes Store’. Just click on this to be taken to a digital storefront for thousands of podcasts. Here you can search for podcasts you’ve heard about, get recommendations, and find new things to listen to.
If you have an iPad or iPhone you can get podcasts in the ‘Podcasts’ app which will already be installed on your device. If you have another tablet, use the app stores like the Amazon App Store and Google Play to search for a podcast app.
To subscribe to a podcast just click the name of the podcast and then click ‘Subscribe’. You’ll find that your podcast program automatically downloads new episodes of any podcasts you’ve subscribed to, and you can just press play to enjoy.
If you’re not sure how to download iTunes take a look here for help.
Once you are ready to listen to a podcast, the big question is – what should you listen to? Here are a few suggestions to get you going.
BBC World’s 6 Minute Vocabulary podcast
Tune in every Monday for a bite-sized podcast all about language. From nouns and verbs to understanding adjectives and suffixes, this is a great podcast to help you brush up on your spelling and grammar skills, add some new words to your vocabulary and learn why the words we use every day are the way they are. Find it on the BBC.
Music and Culture of WWI
To mark the centenary of World War I, the BBC put together an education programme filled with classical music, art, literature, film, popular songs and cultural life that was influenced and inspired by the First World War. Find it on the BBC.
TED Talks Podcast
TED Talks are famous around the world for spreading ideas from leading thinkers in every field. The TED Talks podcast is no less enlightening; tune in every week to hear from experts discuss new and interesting ideas that push the envelope and broaden the scope of human knowledge. Find it on iTunes.
Dubbed a ‘show about curiosity’, RadioLab is one of the most popular podcasts in the world. Tackling everything from brain injuries to historic events, the show’s hosts bring together an exciting panel of experts and interviewees to bring their subjects to life. Find it on the RadioLab website.
What Makes Us Human with Jeremy Vine
Jeremy Vine explores what makes us human in this landmark BBC Radio 2 series. Guests deliver their thoughts on the essence of human existence, reflecting on their own lives. Find it on the BBC Radio 2 website
What are your favourite radio shows and podcasts? Will you tune into any from our list? Let us know in the comments below!