I view podcasts similar to books on tape which we LOVE as a family on long car rides. I'd love to get my kids listening to more.
I actually LOVE podcasts for my kids. My teenagers can listen to 4 a month (1 a week) to "pay" for their cell phone bill (or they can just pay me cash) :) I love it because I assign the podcasts, some are for fun, some are to make them think, it's been awesome!
I find great options from TEDx Talks Daily, The TED Radio Hour, Story Corps, Why In The World etc. Also - Duo Lingo has a great podcast. My kids are taking Spanish and they've enjoyed theirs as well.