10 Great Websites for Auditory Learners

By Rob Klindt

Teachers are increasingly turning to technology to help address the distinct learning styles of their students.

Web technology is particularly helpful to auditory learners, who thrive on verbal discussions, lectures and debates, and make up about 5 percent of all students. Auditory learners are the least common, compared with:

  • Visual learners, who respond to charts, multimedia, demonstrations and flashcards (80 percent of students).
  • Kinesthetic learners, often described as “hands-on” learners because they need to include movement, organization and tactile activities while learning (15 percent).

How can teachers identify auditory learners? They can start by looking for students who:

  • Learn by listening to others.
  • Thrive on verbal feedback of their work.
  • Enjoy music, sounds and recordings.
  • Tend to be attentive listeners and ask questions.
  • Do well in giving oral reports.

Though auditory learners represent a small portion of the student body, there’s a large quantity of Web technology to help them learn. Many of these tools also can help students with other learning styles.

Audio Books and Music

Audio books along with music, songs and rhythm are great ways to engage auditory learners.

  • Classic Cat. This website offers an online catalog of 6,000 classical music performances that can be downloaded royalty-free. The site is fully searchable by composer, composition and even by types of musical instruments. Free.
    Visit the site
  • Free Audio Books Online. Visitors to this site will find links to 25 online sources offering a variety of audio books for downloading that cover a spectrum of subjects from classic literature and poetry to children’s stories, biographies, science and history. Free.
    Visit the site
  • LibriVox. This site boasts a collection of more than 1,000 free public domain audio books recorded by teams of volunteers around the world. The collection is searchable by author, title, subject and language. Files can be downloaded to play on computers, tablets or mobile devices. Free.
    Visit the site
  • Midomi. Forget typing keywords into this unusual search engine focusing on music and songs. Users click the search box then sing, hum or whistle a tune into their computer’s microphone and matching music results are returned. Free.
    Visit the site

Recordings and Podcasts

Auditory learners often remember key words and phrases from listening to lectures and speeches on specific topics.

  • iTunes Educational Podcasts. This impressive collection of podcasts is designed for K-12 students and teachers and covers most core subjects. Many podcasts are updated regularly and can be downloaded by Macintosh and PC users. Free; registration required.
    Visit the site
  • History & Politics Out Loud. Students can listen to history as it happened through this excellent collection of original audio recordings of famous speeches made by political figures and world leaders of the past century. Free.
    Visit the site
  • Scholastic. As part of the Scholastic Instructor program, this site provides links to nine excellent podcasts designed for K-12 students and teachers. Topics include science, poetry, foreign languages, books and more. Free.
    Visit the site

Interactive Study Tools

The ability to convert text into spoken words and control how and when words are used in study lessons gives auditory learners a huge advantage.

  • Croak.it. This simple online audio recording tool uses a student’s computer microphone to record 30-second sound bites that can be uploaded to the Web for playback. It’s useful for students learning a foreign language to record phrases and listen to their pronunciation. Free.
    Visit the site
  • Foniks. This website lets students hear basic words, letters, vowels and consonants called aloud as they click through a series of flashcards. The exercises are based on the phonics learning system. Free.
    Visit the site
  • NaturalReader. Students can listen to class notes, textbooks or written assignments with this versatile text-to-speech software program, which converts any written text into spoken words. Free; advanced versions with extra features are available.
    Visit the site

Auditory learners who have access to technology that complements their learning style are often more engaged in classroom lessons and better prepared for academic success.

Related

10 Great Websites for Kinesthetic Learners

10 Great Websites for Visual Learners

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