Using these podcasts: guidance for teachers

These podcasts are a series of interviews with leading academics on several areas which cut across Waterloo 200’s ‘Age of Revolutions’ theme and three A-level History units. They are of particular use to students taking Edexcel’s 'The British experience of warfare 1790 to 1918' unit and OCR’s 'The Changing Nature of Warfare 1792 to 1945'. There is also some coverage of AQA’s 'France in Revolution' unit.

They can be equally useful for playing inside or outside the classroom, either a resource for a consolidation task or for an introduction to a topic. Certainly the flexibility of podcasts makes them an excellent homework tool. Educational research has shown that dyslexic students will also benefit from accessing material in a different medium. Arguably students will often listen for longer than they’ll watch or read information as it can be done whilst doing routine tasks.

Students can be given the following activities which will encourage them to interact more with the information:

  • Listen, take notes and then create revision flashcards from each podcasts.
  • Read just the introductory sentence  for each podcast, predict ten things you think the historian will talk about. Listen and check.
  • Play two minutes of the podcast. Stop and predict what you will hear next. Continue listening. How well did you do? Repeat this at several different points in the podcast.
  • Listen to the whole podcast without pausing it or making notes. Write a short summary of what you heard, or record your own audio summary of it. Listen again and see if you can add any extra information.
  • As a revision exercise, the class is divided into pairs who each listen to one of the podcasts. Each pair then sets ten comprehension questions to test their peers on. In turn they will listen to and answer the student set questions to each podcast. Students can introduce their podcast to the class and give a brief summary of its contents. 

In creating some overlap between podcasts, we have intended to represent the variety of historians’ views. Throughout these activities, students should be encouraged to consider the different interpretations presented by each historian, and to compare them to one another as well as any texts they may have read.

Next page