Frequently Asked Questions

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Listenwise provides standards-aligned lesson plans and daily current events based on a curated collection of real world audio stories. We make it easy for teachers to bring authentic voices and engaging non-fiction to ELA, Social Studies, and STEM classrooms. Teach your students to listen with the power of public radio!

Our high quality audio stories come from a variety of public radio producers such as NPR, WBUR, Michigan Public Radio, Living on Earth, etc. We curate the best of public radio for use in the classroom. We also hire teachers to write our lesson plans.

We post new current events story every school day throughout the year. We choose a variety of stories that are in-the-news, mark historic events, are aligned to the curriculum or would be interesting to students.

Current events stories have all been aired very recently and are current news or hot topics. Lessons are designed to meet curriculum needs, with stories that illustrate key topics or as a source for practicing skills. Listenwise PREMIUM also includes standards-aligned lesson plans and literacy supports.


Listenwise is a free service for individual teachers to find high quality audio stories that work well in the classroom. Listenwise PREMIUM is a school solution that allows teachers to create custom online assignments from in-depth lesson resources. Literacy supports, such as interactive transcripts and key vocabulary, are delivered directly to students who need them, whether you are blended, flipped or 1:1. See how it works.

We’d be happy to talk with you. Contact us about Premium. We offer annual school subscriptions for a single subject area (Science, Social Studies or ELA) or for the whole cross-curricular library.


At a minimum, teachers need a computer or tablet with a modern browser and an Internet connection. If you are using PREMIUM, you will also want your students to have access to computing devices.

Yes. Listenwise is designed for a great experience with tablets especially. Access from tablets and smartphones is through the browser. Apps are not required to use Listenwise.

It depends. You have the choice of playing the audio for the class from your computer or having students listen individually. If you are playing it for the class, we suggest using external speakers, as laptop speakers will not be loud enough (an interactive whiteboard is great for this). If students are going to listen on their own, then we recommend headphones or earbuds.

No. Listenwise uses streaming audio. Just press play while connected to the Internet.

Listenwise supports most modern browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.). For Internet Explorer, we require Internet Explore 9 or above.

Yes. Please note that if you refuse the Listenwise cookie (by turning cookies off in your browser or by clicking "don't accept" if you have set your browser to warn you before accepting cookies), Listenwise will not work properly. Cookies cannot be used to gather personal information from your computer.


Browse or search our lessons or current events. When you find one that intrigues you, sign up for a free account to get access to all the resources.

Go to Sign Up, and at the bottom of the form you’ll see “Didn’t Receive Confirmation Instructions?” Click there and you’ll be prompted to provide your email address and we’ll resend. Also make sure to check your spam folder.

Schools who subscribe to PREMIUM are given school invite codes so that their teachers can access the PREMIUM features.

First you sign up just like a free user. Once you confirm your account through your email, you can click on the "Join School" link and you’ll be prompted to put in your school code. If you already have an account on Listenwise, you should see the option to "Join School".

Contact Us for support. Please include as many details as possible about the problem you are having.

PREMIUM users can go to “Classes” and click “Add a Class”. This will generate a class code for you to distribute to your students. If your students already have a Listenwise account, they can simply join your class with the code.

If it’s their first time using Listenwise, they need to go to and sign up. They will need a class code to sign up.

No. Students sign up by creating a user name and password and entering their class code (provided by the teacher). Students can optionally provide an email address to get automatic notifications about new assignments.

Listening Links are a quick way for students to access the audio from their own device. Teachers simply click the link icon on the lesson page, copy the “Listening Link” URL, and distribute to students anywhere you typically post your assignments.

PREMIUM users are able to assign custom versions of the Listenwise lessons. Once you’ve created your class, select the lesson, click Assign, and we’ll take you through customizing it step-by-step. Then you can assign to the whole class or just specific students.

Yes. Teachers can post assignments to their Google Classroom using the Share to Classroom button. This is available for both Listening Links and custom Premium assignments.

Students and teachers can also login to Listenwise using their Google accounts.

Language Challenge levels are not directly related to reading levels or grade-level content. Students can typically listen and understand content that is 2-3 grade levels above their reading levels, so choosing stories should include the factors of language challenge, curriculum-aligned content and student interest.

Learn about Language Challenge levels.

Our stories have been categorized with Language Challenge levels of Low, Medium, or High. We suggest starting with the stories labeled “Low” and if students are understanding, move on to “Medium” language challenge stories. Our Premium version includes student supports such as slower audio and interactive transcripts. And you may want to scaffold by pre-teaching vocabulary and building background, and these instructional supports are provided.

Teachers are able to change passwords for any students enrolled in their classes. The teacher should click "Classes" on the her own menu bar, then click on the class, and then on the student's name. Teachers are then able to set a new password for the student.

Teachers are able to retrieve student usernames. The teacher should click "Classes" on his own menu bar, and then on the relevant class name. Next to the names of the students, the usernames are displayed.

PREMIUM users can access all content available in the free version in addition to getting PREMIUM capabilities (interactive transcripts, assignments, standards-aligned lesson plans etc.) for only the social studies lessons and current events.