The Future of Casual Learning -Historical Podcasts

Out of my group of freinds, I am the only person that has taken a professional role in history. That being said, a large number of them actively listen to historical podcasts, even after they have left school and gone into the workplace. In the age of the internet, it is easy to toss on a podcast in the background while driving to work, playing games, or browsing social media. Thus, the commitment necessary to pay attention to a podcast is drastically lower than reading a research paper or book. As a result, casually listening to podcasts can provide good general overviews of history, as well as in depth looks at specific time periods.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is a good example of an easy to access, yet informative podcast that covers a wide variety of time periods. In an effort to be as exciting as possible, a lot of topics tend to be about warfare, struggles for power, and other engaging stories that have come become popular in modern times. Hardcore History is definitely one of the more popular podcasts as a result, but it still offers a lot of information and feels less like a lecture and more like storytelling.

Stuff You Missed in History Class has a different objective, but still offers an engaging and fun podcast. Rather than outlining popular tales throughout history, Stuff You Missed in History Class delves into some of the less talked about topics that, for one reason or another, have been left by the wayside. I would categorize this as a more “intermediate” podcast, as it requires some background experience and general understandings of history in order to get the most out of.

Regardless of your experience with history, most people will be able to find something worth listening to. The biggest barrier to entry in history that I hear all the time is that it takes a lot of effort to simply learn the basics before you can understand any arguments. I can foresee that podcasts will become more popular with time, simply because they alleviate the need to sit down and concentrate on nothing but learning. If either of the podcasts listed above seems interesting, I would recommend checking them, or any others out.  The more people learning about history, the better.


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