A lot of us left history back in the classrooms. For some it made for ponderous reading. Thanks to the many history podcasts available for free on the web, listening to it is both entertaining and educational. We have seen how podcasts can add value to our idle time. We have also noticed that the web and the many history related web apps have made the study of the past a more engaging one.
Now, with the help of these ten history podcasts we try to combine the best of both worlds.
This is a podcast blog that’s all about historical figures, events and places. The About page says that since 2005, the site has seen 3.2 million downloads of its more than 100 episodes. The site features podcasts which you can listen to first, and then go through the blog post which includes external links for more study. The study aids are helpful if you want to do more research on the event. There are videos too that are collected from around the web.
The well known podcast site by the American political commentator Dan Carlin takes an unconventional look at history with his own take on events past. Yes, you have to be in tune with his sense of humor as he rips into today’s society and relates it to historical churns. He covers topics on Roman history, the World Wars, and the Cold War to mention a few. The tag says it best – history like you have never heard before.
The BBC Radio 4 feature is hosted by Melvyn Bragg, the British broadcaster. Many podcasts have guests and follow a discussion format. Podcasts cover culture, religion, science, philosophy, along with history. You can listen to the podcast online via BBC’s iPlayer. Each podcast explores the ‘history of ideas’ and is usually broadcast live and unedited.
Professor Bob Packett takes his history class and his considerable teaching experience online in the form of free history podcasts. He explains historic events from the perspective of those people who were caught up in it. He has a light style as he goes from explaining Caesar to more close events like The Korean War.
We had gone back in history and taken a look at websites that tell us what happened in history on this day (or on a particular date). Matt’s website is an audio version of that. Each podcast is 5-10 minutes long and is narrated in a pleasant voice and casual story style by Matt Dattilo. The site seems to be dormant so it’s not actually ‘today in history’. But you can still listen to the podcasts because history is hardly current.
I loved the podcasts on The Battle of Britain on this blog which has a much smaller selection of podcasts. The only thing about Tony Cocks’ small site is that the history podcasts are infrequent and spaced out over months.
Subscribe free to this radio program which uses the trio of U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh to look at events that shaped our world. The podcasts are professionally produced and fun to listen to. For students of history, the links provided for further reading are a treasure trove of knowledge.
Another cool program from BBC which takes a look at the world with the help of 100 objects from the British Museum and hundreds more from museums and people across the UK. Use the beautifully designed timeline to explore the objects in the list and take a look at the history around it. The program has ended, but the MP3 are a ‘historical’ treasure.
This top notch website does a great job explaining how our world functions. They have a dedicated podcast page sub-divided into a few more “official” pages like the one on – Official Stuff of Genius Podcast Page which looks at inventions past and present. But the one history buffs should fall for is the page on – Official Stuff You Missed in History Class Podcast Page. The page is well supported by entertaining quizzes and puzzles.
Okay, we have had enough of serious history. Take a lighter look at it with these five podcasts on The Modern Day Pirates, a geek lifestyle magazine with a well developed funny bone.
These ten websites show that podcasts aren’t only about easy listening pleasures. When it comes to things like educating on history, they are a very important tool. Do contribute any other cool history podcasts that I might have missed here.
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