Leah Singer is a freelance writer and marketing strategist. She writes for The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Red Tricycle (San Diego editor), Millionaire Girls’ Movement, and other publications. Leah blogs at Leah’s Thoughts, where she writes about motherhood and the everyday nuances of life.
Learning in college often consists of reading textbooks and listening to classroom lectures.
But podcasts have become one of the best ways to find smart, new information and entertainment, many of them in short 30 - 60 minute bursts. To help you update your learning portfolio, here is a list eight entertaining and educational podcasts for young adults and college students.
- The College Info Geek Podcast: Want to build a freelance career as a student? Or learn how to study abroad, or how to turn your life into a video game? This podcast helps listeners become more effective students and improve in several areas of life. The host, Thomas Frank, interviews tons of interesting people, including scientists who study the brain to the U.S. Secretary of Education. Episodes are a little longer than one hour and are released approximately each week.
- How To Do Everything: In this podcast, hosts Mike Danforth and Ian Chilag of NPR discuss and answer listeners’ questions about topics that relate to, well, everything. People are invited to ask the hosts questions via their website. With the help of experts - and accompanied by humor and laughs - those questions are answered in each episode. Podcast topics have ranged from differentiating the presidential candidates to how to clean a ceiling fan. New podcast episodes are released approximately once a week.
- The Sound of Young America: This program started as a college radio station in 2000 and became a podcast in 2004. The show is hosted by Jesse Thorn, who interviews dozens of pop culture and art personalities. Previous guests include Ira Glass and Art Spiegelman, and topics range from beyond the fringe, rebirth and baseball. The episodes are not released as frequently as in months’ past, but there are plenty in the archives to keep you listening.
- The Podcast History of Our World: Need a crash course to help you succeed in your world history class? This podcast presents the history of the world from the Big Bang to the Modern Age, all in 15 - 30 minute increments. Topics range from Israel, ancient China and Rome, just to name a few. The host, Rob Monaco, started the podcast when he was about to embark on a career as a history teacher, but hadn’t quite landed a job yet. In order to teach outside a classroom, he started “The Podcast History of Our World” as a way to make history enjoyable to the masses.
- Keith and the Girl Comedy Talk Show: This one of the most popular comedy podcasts you’ll find. The show is hosted by Keith Malley and his singer girlfriend, Chemda Khalili. The two talk about their daily adventures and current events. While the premise may not sound riveting, the show continues to increase in popularity with more than 50,000 listeners and is ranked in the Top Ten Podcasts by Podcast Alley. The shows are one hour and released each weekday.
- Stuff You Should Know: Who names a continent? What is El Nino? How is silly putty made? These are some of the topics covered in the “Stuff You Should Know” podcast. This show is a great way to learn small bits of information that will make you smarter and feed your curiosity. The show notes for each episode contains lots o reference links and additional reading if you want to learn even more information about a given topic. Each episode is about 45 minutes and released weekly.
- Rooster Teeth: This show features the Rooster Teeth crew talking about comedy, gaming, films and projects they’re currently doing. The podcast’s origins were rooted in Rooster Teeth’s long-running YouTube series, Red vs. Blue, as well as live action shorts and comedy gameplays. The popularity of the videos led to the weekly podcast, which is extremely popular among 15-25-year-old males.
- Good Job, Brain!: This is the podcast you should listen to if you want to succeed on Jeopardy one day. The weekly show is part quiz show and part offbeat news. The hosts are Karen, Colin, Dana, and Chris, who love pub trivia, breakfast cereal, portmanteau words, and animal facts. “Good Job, Brain!” was born from their love of sharing trivia and a successful Kickstarter campaign. One episode features “sticky words,” a sticky quiz about desserts and glues, and the story of a bizarre (yet true!) wave of molasses that destroyed the city of Boston.
Take your learning beyond the classroom, books and the Internet. With these eight podcasts, you’ll feel smarter and have some pretty entertaining listening at the same time.