We love that Southside Elementary teacher Lynette Leonard came to us through the teacher grant program to fund a podcasting lab because it stokes kids’ inherent curiosity and gives them a platform to tell stories and share ideas.
Given the popularity of podcasts, audio narratives have made their way into elementary classrooms, and with good reason: students engage with learning and content differently, and auditory learning rounds out reading and writing subjects to reach everyone. Also, auditory learning offers an engaging way for teachers to merge project-based learning with digital media analysis and production skills.
The Power of Voice through Podcasting offers an empowering way for students to express their ideas and connect with the world. The podcasting lab amplifies student voices, and teaches them how to research, prepare for interviews, and ask great questions.
It also teaches them the technical skills of producing a high-quality podcast using the equipment and editing and finishing the production.
When we asked the students about it, here are some of the things they loved about it:
“I love telling stories and sharing what I did in my childhood.”
“I love learning about other people.” “I love to talk and share my ideas.”
“Some people get nervous, but I’ve seen them work through it.”
We can tell you about it, or you can watch over our shoulder as we recently visited the classroom to see the students interviewing their chosen subject matter expert. Here, you’ll see them grouped together based on common interests. One group chose a guidance counselor, another chose to speak to the school principal, and you’ll see two boys who wanted to learn more about dinosaurs and Zoomed with ReBecca Hunt-Foster from Dinosaur National Monument.
Podcasting has many benefits, and storytelling is a genre that is not only incredibly powerful but helps students solidify learning and can be applied in so many subject matter areas and used in their future careers.
As stewards of the donations we receive, we like to see any grants we fund that help more students over time. The podcasting lab will be used for years to come and is available to Southside’s 165 students every year. Students from K through 6rh grade can explore, maintain and develop their own platform, share their unique interests, and create several podcasts throughout the year.
Lynette Leonard has been with the school district for seven years. She currently teaches Media Literacy skills and STEAM and is our STEAM Smartlab facilitator. A big thanks to her dedication in the classroom and for pushing the boundaries of what is possible. A big thanks to our donors for allowing teachers like Lynette to do that. Want to get involved? Learn more here.