The Top 5 Education Podcasts And Why They Are Important
Podcasts have become a great resource for learning about current trends and research in education: they are neatly packaged, widely available, and highly engaging.
Among our current favorite podcasts is a series by TED Talks: Education, which covers education from multiple angles and points of view. These include new ways of teaching, morals, technology and its impact, cultural shifts and how these areas will affect education’s trajectory.
TED Talks: Education podcasts cover important aspects of education such as accessibility, technology, cultural difference and offer insight into the future of education technology. The recordings of TED conferences, TEDx events and partner events around the world bring to light some of the world’s greatest educators, researchers, and community leaders to share their stories and visions for education in the twenty-first century.
Our Top 5 Education Podcasts
The following podcasts are our top 5 picks of the TED Talks: Education. They vary in length from 10-20 minutes and are all available for free on iTunes.
Amel Karboul is a Tunisian politician, speaker, author and business leader.
The learning crisis she describes is the result of a lack of educational opportunity, accessibility, and poor educational outcomes for students who are enrolled. However, Amel believes we can do something about this by making courses more accessible.
However, as Amel points out, accessibility is just one part of an overall “learning crisis”.
Having the ability to track what students are learning and see their progress is also an important part of the solution as it ensures they are getting as much from their education as possible.
Roger Antonsen is a logician, mathematician, computer scientist, researcher, inventor, author, lecturer, science communicator, and public speaker. He teaches logical methods as an associate professor at the Department of Informatics in the research group Logic and Intelligent Data at the University of Oslo.
He proposes that the process of understanding relies on having the ability to see something from a different perspective. He suggests that mathematics is all about finding patterns, rules, and structures. It describes the world around us and presents multiple approaches to solving particular problems.
Michael Bodekaer opens his talk by describing many of the major challenges we face today: global warming, climate change, world hunger, and the energy crisis. These are some of the challenges that the next generation of young scientists will be tasked with solving.
Bodekaer discusses his belief that to create a motivated, inspired, and creative new generation will require a huge commitment to improving the quality of science education. It will also hinge on educators’ ability to keep students engaged.
For Bodekaer, virtual reality (VR) offers one solution. He makes a compelling case for educators going a step beyond digitizing books, lectures, and assessments by actually using the new medium to change not only how content is delivered, but the methods they use to teach it.
Daphne Koller is an Israeli-American Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University.
She believes that the skyrocketing costs of education over the last twenty years in the US has made higher education impossible for many. And for those who can afford it, only half are working in jobs that actually relate to their qualifications.
Koller suggests that education needs to scale so it can reach more learners without compromising quality. One way of doing so is to take the best courses and instructors from the best universities and bring them together on an online platform, for free. This is why Daphne was involved in the development of Coursera, an online education platform.
Anant Agarwal is an Indian computer architecture researcher working as a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
He speaks about the invention of massive open online courses (MOOC), which have given many organizations the chance to offer online courses to students around the world, making learning accessible at a global level.
The conversation then turns to the idea of the classroom. Essentially, education has not changed in the last 500 years. Anant uses MIT as an example by comparing classrooms 50 years apart. The set up remains largely the same.
Anant believes that this lack of progress is ultimately an issue of access but that we can transform education through technology. He suggests this is possible by changing the educational infrastructure from lecture halls to MOOCs – interactive online classes that with allow grade tracking and monitored student progression. By embracing the newer generations and their relationships with technology, educators will be able to make education more engaging, as well as accessible.
Common Education Podcast Themes
The podcasts above all reveal similar concerns regarding the pressing need for educational materials and assessments that are more accessible and engaging to learners.
Each of the speakers aimed to tackle a particular piece of the overall educational puzzle. The solutions they offer are also similar, outlining some of the myriad innovations and possibilities that technology is enabling in learning.