We're Listening To

Mon 26 2008

Podcasts in the classroom can bring the voices, sound, and even the documents and material culture of history alive. For the educator, they can provide a new look at the presentation and interpretation of history. We offer some ideas here.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute, features podcasts from prominent historians including Jill Lepore, David Kennedy, Joseph Ellis, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Podcasts on the Monticello website cover topics ranging from the music of Monticello and a look at key documents and letters among the papers of Thomas Jefferson to discussion of the historic site and material culture. Monticello podcasts range from four to 35 minutes.

The National Archives presents monthly broadcasts of clips from the Presidential Libraries. Hear President Lyndon Johnson speak with Martin Luther King. Listen to excerpts from President Franklin Roosevelt's Day of Infamy speech asking Congress to declare a state of war between Japan and the United States.

The National Museum of American History (NMAH) presents hour-long programs of music drawn from Smithsonian collections. The podcasts emphasize how music is integral to everything from politics to play. Other NMAH podcasts include talks on the history of inventions and inventors, and a special section on How to Podcast with Your Students.

University of California Television (UCTV) offers a multitude of podcasts (and videos) under the topic Conversations with History. The searchable database of over 400 unedited interviews with prominent scholars and leaders includes discussions on history, politics, economics, foreign relations, and law. Podcasts are available on iTunes; videos, through YouTube.

On this website, the searchable database of Online History Lectures leads to further resources.

About the Author

Lee Ann Ghajar is a digital history associate in Public Projects at CHNM and a PhD candidate in American history at George Mason University.