Podcasts are to radio what blogs are to newspapers. The democratization of modern media has meant that the barriers to becoming a writer or radio host have been drastically lowered. As the members of this blog know, this medium allows participants to reach a wider audience than one classroom or even one institution.
This month, I would like to try an experiment to integrate these two not-so-new-anymore formats. Below you will find a collection of podcasts on science, language, and education. Choose one, or find your own, and write a response to it as your next post. Be sure to include a link to the episode you listened to, and perhaps a related picture to make the post relevant for a wider audience.
Some potential questions you could address in your post:
- What is the episode about? What was the gist? Can you highlight the main ideas?
- Are the creators trying to inform, entertain, or persuade you? How do you know?
- How does the episode incorporate arguments, reasons, and evidence to achieve its purpose(s)?
- Did you learn anything new? Would you recommend this episode to a friend?
- How do the ideas presented in the episode correspond with your own thoughts, experiences, or prior knowledge about the topic?
Each show name is followed by episode links and a couple words about the episode.
- Is Learning a Foreign Language Really Worth It? The economic costs and benefits of learning a foreign language.
- Who Needs Handwriting? The future of handwriting in the world of digital natives.
- Does “Early Education” Come Way Too Late? The important role of a child’s home learning environment in contributing to the achievement gap.
- The Harvard President Will See You Now. An interview with the first female president of Harvard University, highlighting the issue of gender in academia.
- Why Don’t We All Speak the Same Language? If we re-imagined the world using economic principles, would we want to have 7,000 different languages?
- What Would Be the Best Universal Language? Leading scientists and researchers debate a hypothetical question about the costs and benefits of different languages.
- Why Learn Esperanto? A special episode building off of the previous one.
- Truth Warriors The scientific method at work in the world.
- Words Three stories about a man learning language at 27 years old, the effect of losing language completely after suffering a stroke, and the recent creation of a completely new language.
- Fate and Fortune A story about choices and consequences, with a special section on the controversial practice of labeling certain children as “gifted” as early at 8 years old.
- Translation An investigation of the gap between experience and language, and how people try to bridge it.
This American Life
- The Problem We All Live With A story about how desegregation could be used to minimize the racial divide in American schools.
- Harper High School, Part I (Part II here) An in-depth story about one school with 29 recent deaths from gun violence.
- Is This Working? What are the best ways to deal with misbehaving school kids? An investigation of how punishments may further hurt kids instead of helping them in the long term.