How can podcasts be applied in the classroom setting as a primary tool for delivering lessons?
A super way to incorporate podcasts is by assigning them for homework, and then discussing them the next day in class using graphic organizers that document their understanding of the topic.
For instance, if you are subscribed to the French Renaissance podcasts, you may want to have your questions already prepared to guide them, such as what you do in guided reading: pre-selected skills and info to track.
You can follow the podcast with a timeline for the students to write on it as they go, with a character trait map, with a KWL chart, and anything that they can actually make connections with.
As a once-user of podcasts, I have a small suggestion: Have a transcript of the podcast ready. This may be a requirement for some IEPs.
Assigning the podcast for homework prior to discussing is WAY better than introducing the pod in class. Part of the reason is that the youngsters often prefer visuals to audio. Second, there are the ELL and special needs populations in your class, who may find it very difficult to follow the first time.
Most students have smartphones, so they can all access free podcasts and share the listening with someone else in class. If you cannot assign it for homework, then play the podcast and assign “listening partners” that are able to help each other answer questions.