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This post is part of our series on App Smashing with Listenwise.

We interviewed two of our Listenwise Advocates about how they use CommonLit with Listenwise to meet their teaching goals. Many teachers have found that the short, interactive texts on the CommonLit platform pair especially well with Listenwise audio stories, and the instructional supports on both platforms are pedagogically consistent and compatible.  


Carolyn Brown is a Middle School English Language Arts Teacher at Vista Heritage Global Academy, a charter school in Santa Ana, California. She says,

Listenwise and CommonLit have very similar visual styles, so students perceive them as being similar. They both give short texts that students need to analyze. The texts are already curated and have pre-written high-quality questions. Many of the topics even overlap well.”

As a teacher at a Global Academy, Carolyn’s teaching goals are aligned with the four Domains of Global Competency defined by the International Studies Schools Network: Investigate the World, Recognize Perspectives, Communicate Ideas, and Take Action. She finds that using Listenwise together with CommonLit is an especially good way to help students ‘Recognize Perspectives.’

For example, when teaching the attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent imprisonment of Japanese-Americans, Carolyn explained,

I wanted students to understand the point of view of Japanese-Americans in WWII internment camps, but also understand the fear that drove the US government to deny them their rights.”

She started by showing her students footage from the attack on Pearl Harbor, and had them listen to a Listenwise story from the perspective of a veteran who was at Pearl Harbor. They also read some of the contemporary government reports and opinion pieces about Japanese-American loyalty. Then, she asked her students to think of solutions.

“Someone invariably suggests moving Japanese-Americans away from other Americans. That’s when we dive into Japanese-American internment camps.”

To explore the perspective of Japanese-Americans who were imprisoned for the duration of WWII, Carolyn’s students listened to The Creative Art of Coping in Japanese Internment, a story about imprisoned Japanese-Americans who used art to cope with their circumstances. They then turned to CommonLit to read George Takei’s TED Talk about his experiences living in a Japanese internment camp as a child. His talk is titled “Why I Love a Country That Once Betrayed Me”.

For both the Listenwise and CommonLit lessons, the class worked through the discussion questions associated with each lesson.

“We talk and write about how otherwise reasonable people can be driven by fear to do unreasonable things, and how those who are treated unfairly can be resilient.”

Carolyn says this inevitably prompts a discussion about about people who are treated unfairly in America today.

“The very best moment in the mini-unit is always when that first student slaps his or her forehead and exclaims, ‘But it’s like how people are afraid of Muslims and try to keep them out!’  A lively discussion then ensues in which students discuss their own fears, politicians’ fears, and the nature of American-ness. I just stand back and watch the whole process flow organically.”


In Dr. Scott Petri’s high school history class, Scott uses Listenwise and CommonLit to build the knowledge base they need to engage in authentic project based learning (PBL). Scott teaches at John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, California, a medical magnet academy for gifted and high achieving students.

Scott’s class is set up to allow students flexibility in the types of resources they use to meet California’s content standards for history. Scott uses a playlist approach to helping his students improve their understanding of the California state history content standards. He explains that,

“Listenwise and CommonLit offer supplemental, shorter activities that students can do in class or for homework assignments while building the knowledge base they need” to complete their projects.

Because both Listenwise and CommonLit have auto-scored assessments associated with each lesson, Scott uses both resources to assess his students’ knowledge and identify gaps. He says,

“Listenwise and CommonLit stories become convenient formative assessments that let me know where I need to fill in learning deficits and help me differentiate instruction.”

Currently, Scott’s students are reading Hellhound on His Trail, a non-fiction thriller by Hampton Sides about the FBI manhunt for MLK’s killer.

“In order to address some knowledge gaps, I have assigned students several CommonLit close reads from their Civil Rights Movement text set, as well as Listenwise stories on James Baldwin and Comparing Black Lives Matter to the Civil Rights Movement. These activities expand the scope of my class and show students that the skills they practice in one class help them understand the content in another.”

Scott believes that breaking down the silos between content areas helps students make interdisciplinary connections, and that teachers can facilitate this process by coordinating with their colleagues.

“In order to support this history unit, my ELA colleagues had our shared students analyze the rhetoric in MLK’s Birmingham Jail letter and deconstruct the historical references in Jesse Williams BET Humanitarian speech. The result was a deeper learning experience that spiraled multiple content standards and tapped into culturally relevant pedagogy to increase student understanding of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Scott finds Listenwise and CommonLit to be great complementary resources to facilitate this type of interdisciplinary learning.

“I believe Listenwise and CommonLit have helped me better support my students in reading and understanding college-level historical non-fiction.”


Today, we highlight an innovative podcasting lesson from Erik Eve’s 8th grade social studies class in Lindenhurst, NY, featuring their explorations of historic Washington D.C sites and reflections on their field trip experience.

For this project, Erik used podcasting as a medium to inspire student engagement and deepen learning, with the only requirement being that his students record audio about one of the D.C sites they visited. This blog post showcases an example of how students, equipped with a smartphone free voice recorder app, can deepen and document their learning experiences using the power of audio.


Setting up the Podcast Lesson


Erik’s field trip podcasting instructions were open-ended and allowed for a lot of student choice regarding who they worked with and what site they wanted to feature in their podcast. Students were given guiding questions to suggest a structure for the recording of factual information about the historic sites they were visiting, and for s their impressions of the experience. Students could reflect individually and/or interview other students about their reactions.

Listen to Erik Eve reflect on how his students responded to the assignment with excitement about collaborating and about exercising their creativity.  


Here are some sample guiding questions for the audio reflections & interviews:

Informational framing questions:

What is the historic site?  

When and why was it built?

What can visitors to the site expect to experience and/or learn?

Interview question ideas:

What is your impression of the site?

What’s one interesting thing you learned from your visit?

What would you recommend that other visitors make sure to notice?


D.C. Field Trip Audio Podcasts


Listen to hear some samples of students’ podcasts about the different Washington DC sites they visited, including Arlington Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, the Lincoln Memorial, Ford’s Theater, the U.S. Capitol, and the Vietnam Memorial:

Arlington Cemetery & Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


George Washington’s House in Mt Vernon


Ford’s Theater


The Peterson House – Where Abraham Lincoln Passed Away


The U.S. Capitol Building


Student Reflections & Podcasting Tips


Not only did the class podcast during the trip, but Erik went a step further and had his students grade themselves afterwards and reflect on the podcasting project and process and the trip as a whole. Listen to some of these reflections below.

Brooke reflects on her learning experience and offers some future tips, one of which is to make the podcast while you are at the site:


Vanessa says she loved podcasting, and it helped her deepen her learning while on the field trip:


Lauren loved the collaborative aspect of podcasting and shared how it helped her to be  more attentive on the field trip:


Jessica enjoyed listening to the class podcasts after the field trip to hear the different perspectives of her classmates on the same trip experience:


Thank you to Erik and his students for sharing with us!



Looking for more podcasting ideas? Download our Teacher’s Guide to Podcasting. To listen to another one of Erik’s podcasting lessons (his first ever classroom podcasting project) listen to episode 2 of the newly released Student Podcast PODCAST.

Podcasting Popularity is Increasing

When I started Listenwise 6 years ago, only a handful of teachers were having  their students show what they know with podcasts. Today, it’s much more common for teachers to tell me that they have tried a podcasting project or would like to try it with their students.

This increased amount of student podcasting corresponds with a huge increase in people listening to podcasts. More than half the people in the United States have listened to one, and nearly one out of three people listen to at least one podcast every month.

NPR’s Student Podcast contest garnered 6,000 entries earlier this year. 6,000! That shows an incredible amount of creativity, self-learning, and gumption around a medium that’s still very new to teaching.

And it means there are thousands of you out there making podcasts with your students but with almost no way to share what they’ve produced, what you’ve learned and what you’d like to share with other teachers eager to try this medium.

Now there is!


The Student Podcast PODCAST


We are excited to announce the Student Podcast PODCAST.

Our new podcast highlights student podcasts created as part of classroom work. The subject matter is diverse, with  podcasts about hurricane recovery, math, self-discovery, immigration, and more. There’s no subject that wouldn’t make a good podcast!


I am taking my 20 years of experience as a public radio reporter and producer and listening to these students podcasts, talking with the teachers who facilitated and asking them to share how they did it.  And I’m adding my commentary on what are the best ways to make an NPR-style podcast, what’s the best voice recording and editing software to use and how to structure a podcast project. All so that you can learn how to make podcasts in your class.

The Student Podcast PODCAST will demystify the podcasting process, giving you actionable tips and tricks. And we hope it will inspire you to try it with your students.

We are keeping each episode short, under 10 minutes, so that you can quickly acquire ways to get a podcasting lesson started in your class and explore new lesson ideas.


Whether you have never tried podcasting or are a podcasting pro with your class, you can find interesting content and new podcasting ideas in the show! Subscribe, listen and review the show on iTunes or Spotify


Submit Your Student Podcasting Lessons


If you are already podcasting with you students, you might be interested in submitting a student podcast for inclusion in a future episode. Whether it’s a full class project, or individual student work, we want to hear it! Complete this short submission form so we can learn more about your student podcast project.



Other Podcasting Resources


If you are looking for more podcasting project ideas and tools to get started, you can download our teachers guide to podcasting in the classroom.

We are so excited to get started sharing all the great podcasting students are doing across the country!

The arrival of May signals the end of the school year and often prompts thinking about summer vacation. While there is much to celebrate about summer break, one concern is that the extended period without school can hurt some students by causing learning setbacks. Teachers can help to combat this potential learning loss by giving their students fun summer learning activities that will not interfere with other vacation plans.

Check out our summer listening list below for 2019 and give your students something cool to listen to while practicing their literacy skills and building background knowledge. We decided to pull together some of our most popular stories in a few fun categories. Check them out and see which of them will make it onto your summer listening list. You may have other favorite stories that you would like to add to your list based on what you know about your students or your own interests.

We have also included some articles and resources on summer learning loss at the end of this post. Check those out for some more information about what you can do to help students keep learning over the summer. Explore these great topics:


Interesting News


Topics for Discussion


Thought-Provoking Stories


Stories to Explore for Back-to-School








Resources for Fighting Summer Learning Loss


These articles are full of information about summer learning loss and strategies for preventing it, which can be shared with parents. It is worth noting that, “Income-based gaps in reading grow larger over the summer, with lower-income students showing drops and middle class students actually showing gains in test scores between spring and fall. This finding led to wide acceptance of the conclusion that summer time contributes directly to academic inequality” (Kuhfeld, 2018). Thus, providing engaging summer learning resources to support ongoing literacy skill development among low-income students can be especially helpful.


If you have favorite stories you don’t see here, comment below or share with us on Twitter @listenwiselearn. Also if you have any audio stories or topics that you think are perfect for the classroom, please share them with us! We are always looking to diversify the topics on our platform.

One of the more difficult moments that educators often have to deal with is what to say to students after tragedy, especially as they may be coping with feelings/emotions as well. In this blog post, we will share a few ways that educators can provide support to students and equip them with good self-care practices.


On April 21st 2019, Easter Sunday, three churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka were bombed, leaving at least 500 people injured and over 200 dead. The perpetrators are believed to have committed these atrocities as acts of terrorism. While the perpetrators’ motivations are still being investigated, this attack fits into a larger pattern of recent attacks on places of worship. Recent terrorist attacks on worshippers at mosques in New Zealand and at a synagogue in Pittsburgh also fit the pattern.

In the days after this horrible tragedy, people have come together to show support for the people of Sri Lanka and the victims of these attacks. Unfortunately, however, more attacks quickly followed. In the U.S., there was a deadly shooting at a synagogue and an active shooter situation on a university campus that left at least two people dead. For students and educators, this can be a very heavy emotional load. Here are some ideas about how we can support each other and our students and create safe physical and emotional spaces.

A great place to begin is by letting students know how important it is that they feel comfortable in the classroom. In a March 15th 2019 article, our friends at Facing History and Ourselves offered great discussion resources to help students start working through their emotions. The piece offers helpful guidance:  

“As a teacher, let your classroom be a place where students can stop and think, be present with their minds and their hearts, and ask questions—even those that may not have answers—within a supportive community of learners.”


One way to encourage your students to be honest with themselves and each other is to be honest with them. Try to write or think about the prompt yourself so that you can share your feelings with your students. Provide time for quiet reflection and then provide your students with a simple writing prompt to help them interrogate and identify their own feelings. You might find a prompt like this one useful:

Dealing with pain and tragedy is hard. It can be useful to write down the questions that arise for you. (Do not worry about answering them.) Think about how the ways that hearing about these events makes you feel, and write about those feelings.

Having students share these with a peer is a good way to help them make sense of the ways that they feel and the questions that they have.

Another way to help students is to make sure that they know that, regardless of the tragedy, humanity will always persevere. Show them the efforts of people around the world as the healing process begins. Check out a few of these Listenwise stories to offer your students stories of healing and growth after tragedy and sadness.

Dealing with the effects of tragedy in a classroom can be challenging for everyone. Misinformation can amplify the effects of tragedy. Students may come into the classroom with information from a variety of sources, some of which may be inaccurate. You can use a Fact-Question-Response chart  (which you can find with some of our lessons) to help your students identify facts, questions they have, and responses to those questions as they discover them.

Listenwise sends our best wishes to all who have been affected by recent acts of violence directly or indirectly. We hope for a world where violent acts like these are the extreme anomaly.   In the meantime, we hope that we can aid teachers in helping students understand these events, their own responses to them, and how their communities can support them.

Here are more resources that you may find helpful as you navigate tragic news events in the classroom:


The release of the Mueller report has clarified the threat to American democracy posed by foreign interference in the U.S. election process, including manipulation of the public through social media. As we look ahead to the next election cycle, the urgency of teaching media literacy continues to grow. In honor of National Media Literacy Week last November, we launched a Media Literacy Contest. Because we had such great engagement with the contest, we decided to make the scavenger hunt available as a regular classroom activity for those who did not have a chance to participate. (No prizes this time–sorry.) Now teachers can use this quiz activity any time to teach critical listening skills through engaging stories about the importance of media literacy with a fun web-sleuthing spin.

Remember, In order to use the media literacy quiz activity, make sure you have a Listenwise Premium account or are signed up for our free 30-day trial  so you can assign and submit student quizzes.

This scavenger hunt game invites you to apply your media literacy skills to identify facts and fakes.

To participate: Simply assign the quiz on the current event to your students and let them search and explore Listenwise stories to hunt down the answers.

As students take the quiz attached to the current event, they will be given clues to find Listenwise stories related to the theme of media literacy. The quiz will guide students through everything, so they can participate individually, in small groups, or as a whole class.

Once students have found the right stories, they should listen to them carefully and hunt down the answers to the related questions. (Scavenger hunt stories will have a special icon so that they know they found the right one.) We recommend working with two tabs or windows open at once–one for the quiz, and one for the stories.

We hope your students enjoy exploring Listenwise in a different way while learning about media literacy!



Please leave us comments on how things went!


Listenwise Advocate Sebastian Byers teaches middle and high school students in the Union County Public School district in Monroe, North Carolina. He teaches in a blended online program called Union County Virtual, where he is the program’s Science Teacher in Residence. We sat down with Sebastian to learn about his approach to teaching science in an online program. Listen to the audio clips below to hear about Sebastian’s approach in his own words.

Currently, Sebastian is teaching AP Environmental Science to high school students and Earth & Environment, which can be taken in any grade from 8th grade to senior year. The blended classroom model means Sebastian spends each day visiting his students in various schools across Union County. But because Sebastian does not see each student every day, it’s important that his online curriculum is engaging and relevant to a range of students.

“That’s one of the limitations of an online course–it’s the same, all the time, if you let it be.” For this reason Sebastian says he started incorporating Listenwise podcasts into his classes. “I wanted to change modalities on them.”


How Sebastian Teaches with Listenwise

Sebastian adds Listenwise lessons into a module on Canvas (an online Learning Management System), where students log in and work through the lessons, quizzes, and discussion questions at their own pace. Students can listen to the audio stories as many times as needed and read along in the interactive transcript. In addition to the quizzes and discussion questions that accompany the Listenwise stories, he also likes to ask students to generate questions for themselves as they are listening. He will ask students “What questions weren’t there?” or “What questions would you like to ask?” or “What are two burning questions you might have?” to help students engage more deeply with the story.

As he started to use Listenwise lessons, he found that his students really enjoyed listening to the audio stories.


The Listenwise platform includes supportive tools that students can use as needed, such as interactive transcripts, listening organizers, and TextHelp toolbar, which can help students delve deeper into the story and build their comprehension skills. These tools are especially useful for English Learners who may be challenged by the language in the story.


Sebastian also mentioned PBS LearningMedia as another resource that has helped him engage some of his reluctant students. For example, he’s found that the lesson Newton’s Triple Play has been popular with his students. The lesson uses baseball examples to teach Newton’s three laws of motion. He says, “I had a young man who was just not feeling the science class, he just wasn’t feeling it and he didn’t like how much work Mr. Byers was making him do. This lesson he absolutely liked. This is the lesson that, when it kicked on, I had a science student.”

High interest Listenwise science stories such as Earth’s Greatest Threats, Gravity and the Curveball, and Rising Oceans Put Island Nations in Peril can help teachers get all of their students interested in science by connecting what they are learning to the world beyond the classroom. Check out our science lessons and current events for more ideas.


Using Listenwise to Personalize Learning

This touches on one advantage of online learning–it can help to level the playing field and personalize learning. “For a student who might be gifted, or a student who might be struggling, the fact that they can control their own pace is the fantastic thing about being able to learn online,” Sebastian says.

Sebastian adds that online learning can allow students with differing social-emotional needs the space they need to learn.


Sebastian believes that a space for individual work is something all students need in the classroom. “Students in my opinion need that private space to think, to process information, and I think Listenwise allows them to be in that moment with themselves.”

Many thanks to Sebastian for talking with us about how he uses Listenwise, and for being a valued member of our Listenwise Advocate Program. You can learn more and apply to be an advocate here.




First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day serves as an annual reminder to appreciate and protect our planet and all that it provides for us. Earth Day (April 22) offers a good opportunity to dedicate classroom time to some of the critical issues facing the planet. Students can develop informed views on the issues through multimedia resource sets, much like popular text sets, including other media besides print. This blog post features sample podcast sets addressing various aspects of climate change, which can be used in tandem with print and video resources on similar topics.  


Teaching About Climate Change

One of the most discussed issues on planet Earth right now, climate change is a big deal. Listenwise stories on the topic can fuel student discussions about this pressing contemporary issue. The podcasts highlighted below can be used in a variety of ways. One approach is to use one specific story to drive class discussion. For example, students might listen to “Urgent Climate Change Warning,” answer the listening comprehension questions online or in small groups, and then discuss the question, “What can you do to slow down the negative effects of climate change?” They might then pursue research on policies and practices that can help reduce the negative effects of climate change through additional stories. Alternatively, they might outline the different positions that people/companies/governments take on a particular policy related to climate change.

One way to take advantage of the diversity of stories in the Listenwise collection is to use a group of podcasts that will help students understand the complexity of climate change. For example, small groups of students might choose a particular result of climate change, such as extreme weather or endangered wildlife, listen to relevant stories answer associated questions, and then research the topic further.

There are many different ways teachers might group Listenwise stories into podcast sets, potentially complementing them with other resources. Check out the sample podcast sets below for some great stories about climate change.


Catching Snowflakes for Science

Personal Experiences with Climate Change


Stories like these convey personal experiences of the effects of climate change on individuals. They can help students understand the impact of a global issue on a small scale. Students doing research projects can use anecdotes from these stories to bolster their theses with supporting details drawn from people’s lived experiences of climate change.


Changing Ecosystem Threatens Florida’s Manatees

The Effects of Climate Change on Flora and Fauna


These audio stories offer accounts of the effects of climate change on the animals and plants in various ecosystems. They illustrate how climate change forces the natural world to adapt, for better or for worse. In addition to providing materials for class lessons, these stories can help students choose a focus for independent research. For example, after listening to the story Changing Ecosystem Threatens Florida’s Manatees, students might look up the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge in Florida to find more information about manatees and their habitat.


Debate: Which is More Important – Development or Preventing Pollution?

Climate Change and Policy


Another facet of climate change is public/corporate policy and governmental systems that influence its impact. Students can use the stories listed above to learn about some of the policy issues that climate change has spawned. Stories like these can provide students with an overview of a variety of policy issues and potentially guide additional inquiry.


Climate change is an issue that students will continue to encounter in their academic lives and their everyday experiences. The Listenwise collection includes the stories mentioned above and many others on the topic. Using Listenwise podcast sets can help to engage students with digital resources while increasing their knowledge about climate change and its impact on the earth and those who inhabit it.

Check out our 2017 Earth Day and our 2016 Earth Day blog posts for more stories for one of the greenest holidays of the year.

Did you know that twenty-two states now assess listening on their annual English Language Arts assessment? Notably, in Indiana, listening skills are now being tested on ILEARN, and this spring, listening is being tested as part of the English I and II assessments in Missouri. In Texas, the English Learner assessment, the TELPAS, is now bringing their listening component online, which changes the listening experience for students.

California tests listening comprehension on the CAASPP and the ELPAC, and many schools we are working with are seeing that listening is a skill that still needs a heavy instructional focus in the classroom. Just 43% of 8th and 11th graders met listening standards last year across California.

The shift we are seeing toward teaching and assessing listening makes sense because it is in line with the research on listening and learning – better listeners are better learners.

Listening skills are increasingly important to being successful in college and careers. A 2017 survey of 1,000 employers indicated that listening is the 2nd highest skill employers want from new hires. All of this means more schools and districts are looking for tools to support development of their students’ listening comprehension skills. Listenwise can help to increase performance on your state listening assessments. Read how educators use Listenwise to engage their students in building listening comprehension skills…


“Listenwise has been an invaluable tool to prepare students for Listening and Speaking testing. In addition, expanding students’ knowledge of current events in such an interactive way has created both anticipation and motivation in the classroom; my students can’t wait for a Listenwise lesson.”

-High School ELA and ESL teacher in California

“I love using Listenwise. I think it’s really valuable. Our kids never get to practice for the listening section of the CAASPP and I think this helps it so much.” 

-Middle School ELA and Social Studies teacher in California

“I would like for everyone in our department to have access to Listenwise. I believe it is a great way to support learning across the content areas as well as provide good practice in the listening and speaking strand of our state’s learning standards. I am impressed with the higher level questions offered in some of the quizzes as well as the organizers and options for students at different levels.”

-Middle School ELA teacher in Missouri

“Listenwise has become an integral part of my curriculum. Not only does it prepare students for the listening portions of the end-of-year standardized test, but it engages students to create real learning.”

-Middle School ELA teacher in California

“As a regular podcast listener, Listenwise does what my mind and my time cannot: curating educational and interesting segments from excellent radio programs. For ELA , Listenwise is the ideal support program for teaching the Speaking & Listening Standards here in New Jersey. While Speaking is often completed, Listening is trickier, and Listenwise — and I’m not exaggerating this — is absolutely perfect for aiding students in developing their ability to distill information from another’s voice.”

-High School ELA teacher in California

“We have found Listenwise to be an excellent tool to prepare EL students for the Listening section of the English Language Proficiency Assessment of California (ELPAC). The test requires students to listen to long passages only once and then recall information. Listenwise gives teachers the opportunity to have students practice in a group setting and individually at home. Additionally, at the high school level, students do not take the CAASPP in 9th or 10th grade, so using Listenwise at those grade levels gives students a chance to continue to interact with and attempt materials and questions similar to the test, so that they do not lose the prerequisite skill sets they need when they take the test again as juniors. Active listening is an incredibly important life skill, and Listenwise lets students practice in a way that is engaging and fun.”

-High School Teacher Specialist in California

“Listenwise allows for my ELD students to learn to listen to recordings that align with the theme we are focused on during the quarter. It reinforces content and pushes them to make connections, all while practicing listening and thus preparing for the ELPAC.”

-Middle/High School ESL and Reading instructor in California

“I use it 2-3 times each week to help build my English learners’ listening comprehension. It’s nice that the transcript is available. I use the Current Events most of all. I have seen the students’ listening on their TELPAS jump up significantly, which helped my principal approve my request to continue with our subscription. I love Listenwise and my students do, too.”

-Middle School ESL and Career & Tech instructor in Texas



It’s conference season! Late February and March 2019 have been as busy as last year (see our blog recap last year.) Here’s what we did and learned in the last month…



In late February Monica attended the California Association of Teachers of English (CATE) conference. This year it was held in San Francisco, CA with the theme “Voices of Literacy in Pursuit of Human Rights.” It was exciting to meet so many devoted Listenwise teachers at our booth. One group of teachers from Iron Horse Middle School even told her they all left their substitute teachers with Listenwise lessons to use in class that day. What a great application for pre-made quizzes or differentiated assignments!

If you missed Monica’s presentation or are interested, check out the slides on “Reimagining Literacy with World Class Podcasts: Why and How.” In her presentation she played a clip from one of our ELA teachers. Listen to Carolyn Brown share how she uses audio stories to address a wide variety of learning goals.



To kick off our March conference month, Adam and Chelsea went to the Computer Using Educators (CUE) conference in Palm Springs, CA. This year’s theme was “Positive Effect of Education Technology on Student Achievement” and we exhibited and presented “Teach Your Students to Listen Critically.

It was great to run into lots of customers and free teacher users, including our friends in Santa Maria Bonita, Bonita USD, LAUSD, and San Marcos.

We were fortunate to be able to visit Tara Baldwin’s class at James Workman Middle School in PSUSD. She integrated Listenwise into her instruction to address all modalities of literacy: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. She also incorporated thinking maps into the lesson, which are great tools for synthesis and analysis of written and oral texts. In her station rotation model, she implemented StudySync, MY! Access, Flocabulary, and Rezzly. It was also great to connect with California partners at KQED and Facing History and Ourselves LA.

We also got to spend time with teacher advocates Benton Lewis and Scott Petri. It was great to hear feedback about their classroom use of Listenwise and share some time away from work, just hanging out! We have heard the need for adding younger audio content and are thinking about how we can do that! Find pictures from CUE on our Facebook page.



Our Listenwise Advocate, middle school social studies teacher Andrew Garnett Cook, was at California Council for Social Studies (CCSS) Conference exhibiting and presenting on “Engaging Students as Citizens of the World.”  The focus of the presentation was using current events as a way to help foster an awareness of our global connection among students.  Scott Petri, another Listenwise teacher advocate presented on “50 Minute Inquiry,” and you can find his slides here.



Finally, we exhibited and presented at the (California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) conference in Long Beach, CA. The topic of our presentation was “SEL for EL Students Through Listening.

We also were able to connect with customers and free teacher users. We loved geeking out over our favorite Listenwise stories (e.g., Whale Saves Woman from Shark) and hearing feedback on how students are engaged by Listenwise. One teacher does a silent journal activity with Listenwise to incorporate listening and writing skills together, which we thought was a great idea. We heard your feedback about adding quizzes to current events. (Stay tuned for an announcement about that soon!)

It was great to meet our partners from Birmingham Community Charter School, Sanger, Santa Maria Bonita, Bonita USD, LAUSD, San Marcos and so many more!

It is always a pleasure to see teachers in person and learn about how they use Listenwise! We are energized and committed to support our multilingual students! Find more pictures on our Facebook page.


Stay tuned for more in-depth stories that we can share about how teachers use Listenwise in different ways in the classroom! Also, please feel free to share cool links and resources in comments from great PD, webinars, or conferences you have attended recently!