Thinking outside the box with podcasting

After reading about podcasting for my Information Technologies in Educational Organizations course and some innovative projects that educators were exploring with students, I am eager to explore podcasting on my own and research and think about other ideas for incorporating the use of podcasts with students.

Several years ago, one of my friends (a promising young stand-up comedian) was involved in writing and performing for The Queen City Radio Hour – Teen Edition.  The Queen City Radio Hour was a radio program that was first held, with a live performance (much in the style of NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion”), at the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Celebration in Burlington several years ago.  There was also a teen edition that students, mainly from the greater Burlington area and St. Johnsbury, wrote for and performed in during the celebration, and also toured with in several Vermont towns.  The performance was also aired on several area radio stations.  You can read about the initial performance here (towards the middle).  Since then, I think there have been several more teen editions.  I think that it would be great if this idea was used in high schools, where students could create their own localized radio shows through the use of podcasting, that showcased their writing, acting, comedic, and musical talents.  The high schools could pair with local radio stations to reach a wider audience, as well as hosting their podcasts on the Internet.

My boyfriend is a stand-up comedian, and I think this is something else that could translate well to podcasting, especially among teens.  Several of the most talented stand-up comics in Burlington started when they were in high school or undergraduate students in college.  I think podcasting would be a great way for them to hone their talents and reach a wider audience, as well as make them stronger writers.  A high school librarian could easily start an after-school performance group, which could include stand-up comedy, oral storytelling, and poetry slams.  The librarian could then explore podcasting with this group.

Oral storytelling is something that often translates easily to the podcast format.  Vermont Public Radio often showcases local storytellers, comedians, and writers.  I think oral storytelling, with a final product of podcasts, is something that could be easily explored by multiple grade levels, including elementary students.  As the Rural Voice Project showed in the article we read this week, podcasts can motivate students to write and share their ideas and passions, while also building a sense of community (Goodson and Skillen, 2010).


Goodson, L.A. & Skillen, M. (2010).  Small-Town Perspectives, Big-Time Motivation: Composing and Producing Place-Based Podcasts.  English Journal, 100.1, 53-57.

Kingdom County Productions.  (2009).  “Fledgling Films.”  Retrieved from




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One response to “Thinking outside the box with podcasting

  1. Lis,

    Perhaps you could use the VPR showcase of local storytellers as the model for your own school wide project that gets students reading and writing, speaking, and listening. I love your idea and I’d even like to see you develop a way to have the youngest students share their stories. I was thinking that you could have them draw their stories and then have them tell you their stories from their drawings as you record them. That way, it would be more like a conversation and they would not feel pressure but they would certainly love to hear their stories re-told via the podcasts!

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