Many times, while leading IB DP professional development workshops, I have mentioned how geography teachers like to write in reports ‘it would be beneficial to ENTER STUDENT NAME HERE to read around the subject more’. What I usually go on to discuss is the use of Flipboard as somewhere where worthwhile digital articles can be curated and therefore student’s reading efforts directed.

Not all students (or teachers...) like to read. Are there some students you teach that would benefit from you writing on their reports: ‘it would benefit ENTER STUDENT NAME HERE to listen to a geographical themed podcast each week’?

Even though they have been around for years podcasts are enjoying a renaissance.. Although there are few podcasters producing content that is purely ‘geographical’, there are plenty producing content that touches upon the knowledge, understanding, themes and concepts that we teach.


Eight suggested sources of podcasts to keep an eye on:


50 Things That Made the Modern Economy - BBC World Service

No longer providing weekly updates, but with all 51 episodes on the BBC World Service webpage indefinitely, this series (from 2016-2017) is a goldmine of content with strong geographical links. All the episodes are under 10 minutes in duration. Try the following five suggestions for their links to the course: Plastic, Infant Formula, Contraceptive Pill, Billy Book case, Concrete.


Costing the Earth - BBC Radio 4

“Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts, questioning accepted truths, challenging those in charge and reporting on progress towards improving the world”. Try the following: Demolishing Dams, America's Climate Resistance, Where Does Our Waste Go? and Dare to Share.


The Inquiry - BBC World Service

“The Inquiry gets beyond the headlines to explore the trends, forces and ideas shaping the world.” Try the following: How Do You Close The Gender Pay Gap?, Why is Cape Town Running Out of Water? and How Did We Get Hooked on Plastic?


The Documentary - BBC World Service

Longer (and more detailed) than some of the other podcasts suggested earlier. Try the following: Japan: New Ways to Grow, China's Generation Gap: Beijing and Digital Migration.


Discovery - BBC World Service

“Explorations in the world of science” and around 27 minutes in length. Try the following: The Day the Earth Moved, Cheating the Atmosphere and Africa’s Great Green Wall


Under the Weather - BBC Radio

Two meteorologists joined by a range of experts as they answer some of weather’s most challenging questions. Although there is not a great deal of metrology in the IB DP Geography syllabus there is plenty of geography in this new series of podcasts. Try the following: How does it feel flying into a hurricane?, Whatever happened to acid rain? and Could climate modification save the planet?


And now stepping away from the BBC here are another two sources of geographical themed podcasts.

Global Development - The Guardian

Usually 15 minutes in length and updated weekly at the moment - these podcasts from the Guardian have some useful podcasts from alternative/personal perspectives. Try the following: Famine as mass atrocity and We need to talk about … Population and climate change (over an hour long).


In Depth, Out Loud – The Conversation

I really like the writing of ‘The Conversation’ with their byline of ‘academic rigour, journalistic flair’. Each week or two one of the long form stories is read out loud to form this podcast. Try the following: Why life expectancy in Britain has fallen so much that a million years of life could disappear by 2058 – podcast and Africa’s missing Ebola outbreaks – podcast.