Listen up: the top digital learning podcasts for your daily commute

It was back in the good ol’ days of the wild wild midwest, where seatbelts were optional and the stack of audiobooks in the front seat was a mile high. While the destination was the adventure I was after, it was all about the 15 hour journey for my single mother of three.  There she could escape our antics with a sci-fi galactic adventure with us in the back trying to drown out the sound to the tune of Mario Brothers on our Game Boy. Back then I’d never guess audiobooks, or heck, even podcasts would become such a big thing – and a thing I’d freely and willingly listen to in my spare time. But audiobooks and podcasts are enjoying their heyday far beyond the Kansas plains of my childhood road trips.

Not your mother’s book on tape

Perhaps the most surprising rising star of the digital revolution is that of the spoken voice. Before TVs became common living room fixtures, radio dramas had us at the edge of our seats and talk radio was often blaring in the background. Who would have guessed they’d make such a comeback and evolve into our modern day podcast and audiobook – or better known as a commuter’s best friend. The episodic podcast, Serial—which we’ve written about here—has been given a pat on the back for its part in this modern day renaissance. But in all honesty, it’s just an indication of the times and trends that are shaping the way we digest information and indulge in some entertainment whilst on the go. The fastest-growing format in publishing is audiobooks and with companies like Audible producing original works as audio-only, it’s clear that the boom we’ve seen with iTunes reaching 10 billion podcast downloads in 2016 is all just part of bigger picture. 

6 digital learning podcasts to shake up your day and the industry

So with all this hoo-ha around podcast, what’s uptake like in the digital learning world? As a sector, it’s slightly behind, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few trailblazers. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. The Elearning Coach Podcast

    With 40 episodes at the time of pushing this post live, The Elearning Coach Podcast is a collection of interviews with designers, developers, authors and professors that will give you some great ideas for taking your learning to the next level.

  2. Trends & Issues

    If you always want to know what’s hot, Trends & Issues in Instructional Design, Educational Technology, & Learning Sciences should do the trick. Averaging about 10 minutes in length, these twice-monthly podcasts are perfect for even the quickest commute. Each episode explores recent articles with great commentary and predictions for the learning industry.

  3. Kineo’s Stream of Thought

    With two episodes under our belt and the third on its way, Kineo’s Stream of Thought (also available on SoundCloud) is our monthly podcast on learning and development that’s quickly gaining in popularity. Sharing has always been in our DNA, and these informal chats offer the latest thinking that’s happening inside of Kineo HQ.

  4. Dear Instructional Designer

    Targeted at those new to the world of learning and design, Dear Instructional Designer is a great listen to get you up and running. From actionable insights, interviews and reviews to teardown episodes exploring course modules, make sure you give this one a listen!

  5. Sponge UK Elearning Podcast

    With great industry interviews, ideas and tips for anyone in L&D, our friends over at Sponge UK have hit the ground running with their podcast series. Recently celebrating one year of podcasting, their interviews with industry experts are well worth a listen.

  6. CIPD Podcast

    As the lines blur between HR and L&D, CIPD Podcast is an interesting and varied series. Mixing a combination of topical workplace, HR and L&D issues, CIPD Podcast has been running for a few years now and has amassed over 120 podcasts that will surely delight your ears.

  7. BONUS #7 UIE Brain Sparks

    Albeit not directly related to learning and development, Brain Sparks is a great resource for all things UX – a crucial component of any great course or LMS. Other great UX podcasts to check out include: UX Podcast, What is Wrong with UX (NSFW, or so I’m told!), and UX Pod.
 
 
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