Podcasts and teachers

A recent report published by the Edge Foundation and written by Anna Pedroza, founder of Pedroza Comms, has shed new light on educators’ use of podcasts. The social media habits of teachers report is based on a survey of 5000+ school-based educators and includes some interesting insights about podcasts.

Initially, it looks like podcast consumptions is pretty low (our first blog on the research did suggest this). But compared to the general public, educators appear to be more likely to listen to podcasts.

Respondents were asked if they listen to education-related podcasts and 57% said they didn’t listen to education related podcasts suggesting 43% do listen to them. In contrast, 22.8% of the general public listen to podcasts each week (RAJAR) – an increase of 12.6 percentage points since 2017 when it was 10.2%.

So, although the majority of educators don’t listen to podcasts, as a sector they are more likely than the general public to listen. Subject specific podcasts are most popular but interests are widely spread with research and theory, career development and PD, and resources and ideas all popular. More niche topics, such as education technology, are understandably less popular.

Seniority also impacts on whether you’re likely to listen to education related podcasts with a much smaller number of headteachers saying they don’t listen to podcasts than teachers (43% compared to 61%). It’s not a surprise that they listen to more podcasts about leadership and it’s also interesting to see they’re more likely to listen to news and current affairs.

But teachers and middle leaders are listening to podcasts with subject specific ones the most popular. The data also showed that more maths teachers listened to podcasts than the average with 35% listening to subject specific podcasts compared to the average of 20%. This may be influenced by the long running and popular Mr Barton Maths podcast.

More broadly, it’s really important to do your research. There are hundreds of education podcasts, a recent tweet from Laura McInerney about which education podcasts she should listen to led to more than 100 suggestions. So, audiences may be spread quite thinly over quite a few podcasts.

What does it mean for education marketing and comms professionals?

  • There are significant numbers of educators listening to podcasts even if they’re not in the majority. Securing a spot for your CEO or client on a popular education podcast could help you reach a lot of your audience.
  • If you want to target school leaders and have content that is relevant to them, then podcasts could be a good approach.
  • Broad consumption trends don’t provide all the information, make sure you understand your target audience.

For more interesting findings about teachers’ social media use download the report here.