Education ISTE Massachusetts

ISTE 17: Listenwise Will Make Your Students Better Listeners

ISTE 2017: Listenwise Will Make Your Students Better Listeners By Providing Great Stories

listenwise-iste-2017-top ISTE 17: Listenwise Will Make  Your Students Better Listeners

There’s a reason that elementary school teachers gather their students in circles to sit criss cross apple sauce and listen to a story. It’s not just because younger children are used to being read to. Listening is a very critical skill to learning. Listening to stories at a young age, and then following along with the book, helps children learn to read. But we all know that after you learn to  read, listening is still a very important skill. However, for most, listening to stories aloud ends before the fifth grade.

“Listenwise harnesses the power of listening to help students learn more complex content and language” the company says.

There are countless benefits to improving listening skills as students go through both middle school and high school. With improved listening comes improved literacy and improved comprehension. Many high school students will become college students. We all know too well how important listening is during a college lecture. Later on in life a lawyer may miss a key point in testimony. A doctor could miss-hear an important diagnosis. Listening is very important. But for some reason, curriculum that focuses on listening skills is practically non-existent.

Listenwise has developed a platform with over 1000 curated podcasts and news stories from National Public Radio (NPR). These well thought out, planned and investigated pieces cover a wide variety of topics. Some of the podcasts provide a narrative for real world current events while others deep dive into history.  Listenwise has curated the content and paired it with learning tools to hit four key areas; listen, comprehend, discuss and assess.

The Listenwise platform allows students to read along while they’re listening to the content. Students can also slow the content down to get a better understanding.  Teachers can have students listen to different podcasts or everyone can listen to the same one. After the content is finished playing teachers can create quizzes to help asses the students comprehension of the content, and to figure out which comprehension skills need the most focus.

“Research shows that if you are not a good listener, you won’t be a good reader. And since students can generally listen 2-3 grade levels above what they can read, we can use the power of listening to introduce more complex language, vocabulary and topics.” the company says on their website.

You can check out Listenwise in the EdTech Startup Pavilion at ISTE 2017 in San Antonio, June 25th-28th, booth #2132 and online at