TEACHERS: Current events podcasts for the classroom!

Learn More

Current Events

New current events added daily. Get Our Weekly Roundup.

MOST RECENT

March 8, 2018

7:20

24178544643 062c1809c6 o

Nellie Bly and Her Journalism Career

Nellie Bly was a female reporter from Pittsburgh, PA in the late 1800s. Bly became famous for her daring reporting methods, such as pretending to be mentally ill in order to be committed to an insane asylum so she could write about the treatment of patients. Tired of writing “women’s stories” early in her career, Bly learned that she could get more attention and opportunities when she inserted herself into her stories. Listen to learn more about female pioneer Nellie Bly and her highly modern approach to journalism.

Read More

March 7, 2018

5:07

30756309686 9dc5189a95 z

Smart Devices Are Listening

Voice-activated devices, such as Alexa and Google Home, always have their microphones on. They are passively listening until you say the “wake” word, but people are worried they are listening and recording every single thing that is said. The owners of the devices can go into the app to see a history of everything that is heard by the device. One concern is that this data could be used to look for evidence that could help to prosecute crimes, or be reviewed by the National Security Agency. Listen to this story to hear about the pros and cons of voice-activated devices and their impact on privacy.

Read More

March 6, 2018

4:04

1429787517 e08342ec89 z

Football Changes Kids' Brains

Research on former players of the National Football League shows that brain injury is linked to repeated blunt impact. But little is known about the connection between football, brain damage, and young players. A scientist in Texas studied football players between 8 and 18 year old and measured how their brains changed after one season. They used sensors in football helmets to tell how hard the players were getting hit. Listen to hear the results of this study and suggestions for preventing these injuries.

Read More

March 5, 2018

3:21

10722165254 6a8417e0aa z

China Considering Lifting Term Limits for President

In China, the president serves two five-year terms, according to its constitution. The Communist Party has now proposed changing the constitution and eliminating the term limits for presidents. China’s current leader, Xi Jinping may not retire after the standard 10 years in power. He also holds two other positions which outrank the presidency. He is the head of China’s Communist Party and the military. Listen to this story about the changes in term limits and discuss what this might mean for China.

Read More

March 2, 2018

4:18

4413618295 45a52e3602 z

Debate: Should All Kids Get a Trophy?

Many kids receive a trophy, medal or ribbon for participating in sports, science fairs, or other competitions. Some think it’s sending a dangerous message to kids, telling them that they will be rewarded regardless of their effort or success. Some think the trophies are an important marker of participation and they mean something to kids. Listen to experts, as well as the reporter, as they describe their thoughts on giving trophies for participation, and then debate: Should all kids get a trophy?

Read More

March 1, 2018

1:57

28425643009 469b1925e0 z

The Black Panther Movie

The movie about the superhero Black Panther is a phenomenon. The stars of the movie are black actors and it takes place in a fictitious African country that was never colonized by Europeans. The Black Panther has characters who are rulers of kingdoms, inventors, creators of advanced technology, and fierce women warriors who protect the king. Crowdfunders across the U.S. are raising money to take entire groups of kids to see this movie. Listen to this story to hear the reaction of fifth grade students after they saw the Black Panther.

Read More

February 28, 2018

2:52

14964142573 3113f27c0d z

What Students Understand about Slavery

A new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center finds that most high school seniors don’t fully understand many facts about slavery. The study also finds that educators aren’t provided with good materials, training, or standards for teaching students about slavery in the U.S. It’s an uncomfortable subject and most curriculum guides teachers to highlight heroes, such as Harriet Tubman, before teaching about slavery. Listen to this story to hear about the problems and possible solutions to understanding the history and reality of slavery.

Read More

February 27, 2018

3:56

25495940247 fbf1a05aa9 z

Student Activism Over Gun Violence

Students who witnessed the deadly school shooting in Florida are channeling their rage and grief into activism for gun reform. The classmates of the 17 people who were killed by a gunman in a Parkland, Florida high school are demanding state lawmakers ban assault rifles. There are protests and school walkouts planned across the country, in an effort to encourage lawmakers to rethink their positions on guns. Listen to one of the the high school students who survived the shooting as she talks about why she has become a gun control activist.

Read More

February 26, 2018

4:19

29402709463 4d693aee71 z

Russian Indictments Over Election Interference

A grand jury indicted 13 Russians for carrying out "information warfare" in an elaborate effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential campaign. The indictments describe years of efforts in which hundreds of well-funded and sophisticated Russians accumulated social media followers, spread distrust, and divided Americans against each other. The indictment says Americans who worked with the groups didn’t know they were working with Russian operatives. Listen to hear more about what the indictments mean for these 13 Russians as well as for Americans.

Read More

February 23, 2018

2:22

Listening olympics 3

Listening Olympics: QUIZ

THE LISTENING OLYMPICS IS NOW CLOSED. WE WILL ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS SOON!


It’s time to go for the gold!

Click the assign quiz button in the top right corner to assign the Listening Olympics Quiz to your students!

The quiz will be open until Friday March 2nd. Remember, once students start the quiz they cannot pause it and can’t take it twice.

Good luck!

Read More

February 23, 2018

4:11

South india monkeys %2898369788%29

Debate: Should We Clone Monkeys?

The first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell was a sheep named Dolly in 1997. The Dolly clone proved that cells could be used to create an exact copy of the animal they came from. Since then, scientists have been trying to use the same technique to clone other animals. Dogs, pigs and other animals have been successfully cloned, but the first primate clones were recently born in China. Since monkeys are people’s closest relatives, this may allow scientists to study human diseases and develop cures. Listen to hear about the benefits and concerns of cloning primates and then debate: Should we clone monkeys?

Read More

February 22, 2018

3:41

Zvezda toilet

Recycling Poop In Space to Eat

Traveling in space for months at a time may be possible soon. Packing all of the food and water needed would take a lot of space and fuel. American crews on the International Space Station already recycle their own sweat and urine, and now scientists are finding ways to recycle other waste products including feces. Bacteria helps to break down human waste and at the end of the process make it into food that can supplement an astronaut’s diet. Listen to hear more about the next steps in making recycling poop in space a reality.

Read More

February 20, 2018

4:57

3442884369 2637a5709d z

Struck by Lightning and Reconnecting

Some events can deeply connect two people. In this story a 12 year old girl’s life was saved, and it took over 50 years for her to find the one who saved her. In 1967 two girls were at a camp and one was struck by lightning and fell unconscious. The boom of lightning made the other girls run from the cabin but when one girl realized she wasn’t with them, she went back to get her. That action saved her life. Listen as these two women reconnect for the first time since that event to say thank you and tell their stories.

Read More

February 19, 2018

3:52

8451552628 7c736f55cc z

Teenage Olympic Speed Skater

One of the biggest names from Team USA at the Winter Olympics is Maame Biney. She is only 18 and has explosive speed on the ice. She came to the United States from Ghana when she was 5 years old and became the first African-American woman ever to qualify for a U.S. Olympic speed skating team on the short track speed skating. Her father is with her in South Korea, where she is competing against the best speed skaters in the world. Listen to this story to hear Biney describe herself on the ice.

Read More

February 16, 2018

3:46

33192402562 138e6a6799 z

Debate: Are Deliveries by Robots a Good Idea?

Instead of going to a restaurant to pick up food, you can have it delivered to your home. That’s nothing new. But some restaurants are experimenting with using a robot to deliver orders. The robot is equipped with cameras that allow it to observe the street signs, lights, and roads around them to know how and when to cross streets. Some fear this invention may replace jobs held by people, but the company says they are not a replacement for humans. Listen to learn the capabilities of these delivery robots and then debate: Are deliveries by robots a good idea?

Read More

February 15, 2018

2:20

37458818812 7eb87aaf74 z

Blessing of Pets in Spain

In Spain, Catholics remember the patron saint of animals, San Anton, with a festival that celebrates pets. Dogs, cats, birds, and sheep are walked down the streets in the arms of their owners. The pet owners travel to church so that their pets can be blessed. Many have looked to San Anton to help with their animals, and many believe it is important to have a day celebrating this saint. Listen to learn about the variety of animals involved and how they react to the pet blessing.

Read More

February 14, 2018

3:42

25197331856 ce316a793c z

90 Miles an Hour on Ice

The Olympic sport of skeleton involves athletes tobogganing through an icy path at extreme speeds. Some athletes love the rush of running onto the ice then relaxing their bodies enough so that they can focus on the curves ahead on the track. To observers of the sport, it is terrifying to see someone going this fast with what seems like no control. Listen to learn what it feels like for these athletes and what type of athlete is ideal for the sport of skeleton.

Read More

February 13, 2018

4:11

7188591096 f145c740f7 z

A Tiger’s Roar Tells Us A Lot

You can tell a lot from a tiger’s roar. A researcher in Texas is using the sound of tigers’ vocalizations to track and protect them in national parks and in the wild around the world. By monitoring tigers acoustically, researchers can track their location and know whether a tiger is a male or female, its weight, and other characteristics. Listen to learn why this project is helping tigers in captivity and in the wild.

Read More

February 12, 2018

4:24

3327096513 b75080478b z

Teen Screen Addiction

Many children, teens, and adults spend a lot of time looking at screens. Whether it’s an addiction or merely troubling behavior, too much screen time can interfere with other activities, create changes in your mood, and cause other problems. A former executive from Google was so concerned about the public health risks of too much screen time, he started a company that tries to inform people about how addictive technology can be. Listen to learn how companies are responding to the growing concerns about too much technology.

Read More

February 12, 2018

2:22

Listening olympics 2 12

Listening Olympics: Opening Ceremony

While you cheer on your favorite athletes in Pyeongchang, you can take part in our Listenwise Listening Olympics!

When to listen: Monday February 12 - Friday February 23

When to take the quiz: Friday February 23 - Friday March 2

Contest ends: 11:59 pm EST on March 2

Be sure to play this audio of the Listening Olympics Opening Ceremony today with your class! Students can take our fun Listening Olympics quiz from Friday, February 23rd through March 2nd to see how well they listened. In the Olympic spirit, we will award Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes to contest participants based on the top quiz scores and highest student participation! You could win Bose headphones, a set of classroom headphones or Listenwise swag. More information available!

Read More

February 9, 2018

4:33

14582796326 a1b4ef89dd z

Debate: Should Women Be Allowed to be Religious Leaders in any Faith?

In Thailand, female monks, known as bhikkhunis, are not allowed. Many believe that there is corruption among the male monks and villagers have come to welcome the female monks. They believe an increase in female monks would create a fairer system with more respect for the role. Listen to learn how ordained female monks see themselves compared to male monks and then debate: Should women be allowed to be religious leaders in any faith?

Read More

February 8, 2018

3:35

12561196583 a3b2c99209 z

North Korean Figure Skaters

In North Korea, most citizens are not allowed to leave the country. However, for the Winter Olympics hosted in South Korea, the North Korean regime is permitting athletes to compete. North and South Korea will be united under one flag, and a pair of figure skaters from North Korea has qualified for the games. The International Olympic Committee gave them quota places, a rarely-used form of wild card, to allow them to compete since they missed the registration deadline. Many people are looking forward to a cultural exchange and interaction between North and South Korea. Listen to learn more about these North Korean figure skaters who will compete in the Olympics.

Read More

February 7, 2018

6:21

35512046593 bd17b77114 z

Melting Permafrost Exposes Carbon

Permafrost is frozen soil that has preserved things such as ancient animal bones and centuries-old icebergs. Permafrost contains twice as much carbon as is currently in Earth's atmosphere and it also preserves old bacteria. When it's defrosted the bacteria eats dead plants and animals turning their carbon into gases such as carbon dioxide. As the permafrost warms, the microbes are releasing gases contributing to further warming. Listen to learn more about this warming cycle.

Read More

February 6, 2018

4:11

8631889823 bc38af1f21 z

What You Need to Know about Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency that exists only on computers and allows people to conduct financial transactions online that allow users to send currency back and forth. Recently, Bitcoin has been making headlines for its role in the stock market and how it has changed since its start in 2011. It is also showing how businesses don't need a physical product to make money. Listen to learn what type of people Bitcoin appeals to and the rules behind it.

Read More

February 5, 2018

3:37

2562904782 d4608c444c z

The Future for Teachers with DACA

Some people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children spend their days teaching students, many of whom might also be in the country without legal immigrant status. These recipients of DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, are working in American schools and are uncertain whether they can can continue to live or work in the United States. One teacher finds it difficult to talk with her students about an uncertain future. Listen to learn what could happen to DACA recipients and how this teacher has become resilient.

Read More

February 2, 2018

4:56

30520671266 a48c500527 z

Debate: Should Schools Hold Student Cell Phones?

Cell phones have become a significant distraction for students and teachers in classrooms across the country. Administrators are trying a variety of ways to limit the use of cell phones. Some teachers take it upon themselves to take away students’ phones in their classrooms. Other schools have invested in soft pouches that lock up the phones during the school day. Listen to learn how students are reacting to these changes and then debate: Should schools hold student cell phones?

Read More

February 1, 2018

4:50

Kocis korea london olympics teamkorea 01 %287683499482%29

South Korea Protests Over North Korea in Olympics

The Winter Olympics are starting soon, and in an historic breakthrough, Communist North Korea will send some athletes and a cheering squad to participate in the games, which are being held in the neighboring country of South Korea. The government of South Korea decided to welcome the North and agreed to walk under one flag and even combine athletes on the women’s ice hockey team. But North and South Korea have a frosty relationship and now people in South Korea are protesting the cooperation for the games. Listen to learn why leaders in South Korea are supporting this alliance and how it looks to the rest of the world.

Read More

January 31, 2018

4:13

10852828335 9e888ab8ae z

Finding Your Mental Flow

Online courses provide access to a variety of topics and can be accessed at any time by learners. One professor believes that by taking courses online people are missing out on visual art education. To combat this, she started a website with courses that delve deep into how art is made, in addition to offering online critiques that help people improve their craft. By becoming involved in her work, this professor has developed her mental flow and wants to show others how to get to this point by connecting with materials. Listen to learn why mental flow is essential for understanding another side to art.

Read More

January 30, 2018

4:12

39395732641 006695aa53 z

The Origins of Past Immigrant Quotas

In a meeting to discuss immigrants from Haiti, Africa and Central America, President Trump said he believes the United States grants entry to too many people from these countries and instead should focus on welcoming immigrants from countries such as Norway. These comments came as a shock to many. But America once had a visa program based on national origin. Listen to learn what happened to this program and how Trump's comments could affect the multicultural identity of America.

Read More

January 29, 2018

2:41

Untitled

Chinese New Year Brings Red Envelopes with Cash

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, is considered a major holiday in China and celebrated by many other Asian countries. In the U.S., Asian immigrants celebrate by giving gifts of cash in red envelopes to family and friends. The amount of money given in these red envelopes can vary. Asian Americans and immigrants who didn’t grow up in this tradition worry over how much money to give. Listen to learn about this popular tradition and how it is similar to other holidays.

Read More

January 26, 2018

3:00

2473053902 8ca7a23794 z

Debate: Should Children Play with Electronic Toys that Collect Data?

Electronic toys for children have existed since the 1950s. However, new toys are causing privacy concerns for parents as well as politicians. A new device called Aristotle was created to help children by learning their behavior and providing soothing responses. But after many parents expressed concern about the amount of information the toy would be collecting, the manufacturer stopped production. Listen to learn more about this invention and then debate: Should children play with electronic toys that collect data?

Read More

January 25, 2018

5:01

34343706751 a4e9d1df7b z

Whale Saves Woman from Shark

An experienced marine biologist who has worked with whales for many years, was terrified when a humpback whale took her under its fin. Suddenly, she was being rolled around by the whale and forced to hold onto its head. But the scientist then realized there was a very good reason for this strange behavior. Listen to learn how her story made front page news and what happened to her a few days after the story broke.

Read More

January 24, 2018

3:41

6282093801 8c353a7280 z

Supernova Discovery

Supernovas happen at the end of a star’s life and then they fade away. Scientists are struggling to explain why one supernova has lasted for the past three years. During research, scientists found documentation from the 1950s that indicate this supernova was long-lasting back then. This discovery is challenging the established theories of how stars evolve. Listen to learn how scientists are rethinking their theories about supernova.

Read More

January 23, 2018

6:46

2936549180 a543baf7a5 z

Why Some Teens Join Fringe Groups

Some adolescents in America can be influenced by ISIS recruiting groups. These groups exploit the teen’s sense of duty, religious obligation, or desire to belong to a group. Vulnerable high school students might be convinced that they need to go to Syria to fight with ISIS against the Syrian regime. One experimental rehabilitation program has been established to help young people who have been recruited by ISIS understand how they were targeted. Listen to learn one teen’s story and how this new rehab program worked for him.

Read More

January 22, 2018

2:43

10931672136 4979dde07f z

Legal Immigration Status Ends for Many Salvadorans

In 2001, earthquakes devastated El Salvador. Former President George W. Bush implemented a humanitarian program that allowed some Salvadorans to live and work in America temporarily. The Temporary Protected Status has been regularly renewed since then. Last week, the Trump Administration announced it would be ending the program. This affects about 200,000 people who have been living, working, and paying taxes in the United States for 17 years. They will return to a country with few jobs and one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Listen to learn more about the impact of ending this program.

Read More

January 19, 2018

4:56

7359102970 59697ec217 z

Debate: Are People Born Messy or Clean?

A village in India has gotten the reputation for being very clean. Mawlynnong's residents try to make sure their houses and streets are spotless. Now many visitors come to see this sparkling clean village. Listen to this story and think about whether you think cleanliness is hereditary or influenced by surroundings and then debate: Are people born messy or clean?

Read More

January 18, 2018

6:18

18160547644 a748dd7c0a z

A Quinceañera Story

In the many Central and South American traditions, the quinceañera is a celebration of a 15-year old girl’s birthday. It recognizes her journey from childhood to maturity. A new TV documentary series highlights young women celebrating their quinceañeras, and how important this tradition is to the family and heritage. The stories also relate to their life in America right now. Listen to learn about one girl's preparation for her quinceañera.

Read More

January 17, 2018

1:48

5252413926 8e013a3efd z

Giant Prehistoric Penguins

Paleontologists now have proof, as a result of a recent discovery of fossil remains, that giant penguins existed long before whales even entered the ocean. It's an ancient species of penguin that swam off the coast of New Zealand between 55 and 60 million years ago, soon after dinosaurs became extinct. The smaller penguins we know today stem from prehistoric penguins that were once the size of a human. Listen to learn why these animals went extinct and the timeline of their existence.

Read More

January 16, 2018

6:14

8418510823 e05e807a53 z

Some Homeless People Break Laws Just Trying to Get By

Being homeless means continually wondering what you will eat and where you will sleep at night. In some cases this means homeless people break laws by sleeping in public spaces because there isn’t room at a shelter. In Texas, community courts have been established to help homeless people manage tickets they have gotten for breaking the law. In exchange for waiving the tickets for public sleeping, they take part in community service. Listen to learn what local people are trying to do to help rather than hurt those living on the street.

Read More

January 15, 2018

4:47

9327168913 cdf98c6128 q

Secret Government UFO Program

It was recently revealed that the U.S. Pentagon has investigated sightings by the U.S. Military of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs. Through satellites and sensors, the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program would watch videos from pilots to decipher whether the unknown sightings were from another country or perhaps another planet. The head of the program says that scientific research was used to find out if there was a threat to the U.S. but not all of the phenomena could be explained. Listen to learn how a team of analysts worked with pilots to uncover whether UFOs exist in our skies.

Read More