Do you listen to podcasts with your children? There are lots of great family-friendly podcasts that are free and available to listen to right away. We often think of podcasts as something you play on your phone using an app like Spotify or Overcast. In this blog post, I want to share with you a few places you can access and then listen to podcasts as a family… other than an app on your phone.
Before we jump in, if you are looking for a podcast recommendation, here is an episode of my podcast, the Easy EdTech Podcast with lots of kid-friendly favorites.
I’m a big fan of podcasts and there are several I check out every week. I love the format so much that after a few years of talking about starting one myself, I actually did start one. Launched in March 2019, the Easy EdTech Podcast is quickly approaching 100 episodes.
So when I was tagged in this tweet last year, my wheels started spinning. There are lots of places to listen to a podcast, but like many people, a podcast app on my phone is where I typically go to listen to new episodes of my favorite podcasts. I even have the Luminary and Spotify apps on my phone, so I have plenty of options at the ready on most days.
Let’s take a look at three unexpected ways to listen to a podcast with your children. You can build these ideas in your daily or weekly routine.
Listen on a Smart TV
Depending on the type of TV you have access to, listening in on a smart TV is definitely an option. I recently purchased a TV from Amazon that has the same capabilities as having a fire stick plugged into the back. It lets me access a handful of different apps where I can stream podcast episodes. You can stream a podcast episode from apps on a smart TV.
Just like you might download Spotify on your phone, you can install Podcast apps on most smart TVs. This makes it easy to switch from a television show to a listening activity. You might suggest your child listen while coloring or even helping out with a household task like folding laundry.
Any Web Browser
On any device that accesses a web browser, you can access most podcast episodes straight from the website of the creator. For example, I post my podcast episodes to Libsyn each week so that they pop up in popular podcast apps. I also place an embed code straight on my website, making a new blog post for each new episode. This is a popular strategy and you'll find that many podcast creators have a corresponding website that goes along with their episodes.
Your children can play straight from a web browser on a laptop, smartphone or any computer where you're opening up a website. They don’t need to download an app or borrow your phone. Instead you can open up a web browser and sit together and listen as it plays from the device.
Finally, the last one on the list are smart home devices. Whether Alexa is listening in waiting for your next command, or you have a device from Google or Apple in your home, many of these can connect to podcast streaming services. I have my Amazon Echo setup, so I can say a command to Alexa like “Alexa play the Easy EdTech Podcast.” You can do this by setting up Any Podcast as an Alexa skill.
There are lots of places to listen to a podcast. You might stick with your favorite podcast app or try out one of these other options next time you’re ready to listen to your favorite podcast. Remember, when you’re listening together as a family you can choose any topic your children are interested in, or introduce them to something you’re passionate about. The possibilities are endless!
Monica Burns, Ed.D. is a curriculum and educational technology consultant, and founder of ClassTechTips.com. She hosts the Easy EdTech Podcast and is author of Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom. Dr. Burns has worked with some of the EdTech companies referenced in this article. Follow her on Twitter here.