Have You Heard?
Students produce podcasts in class.
Today, with easy access to advanced technology, anyone can make a podcast to share their thoughts on a particular topic with the world. As their final assessment, students in Greg Rossolimo’s Contemporary Documentary Media class did just that.
They spent the term learning about the importance of non-fiction, journalism, and documentaries — reading The New Yorker articles, and listening to radio interviews and podcasts. They listened to “We’ve Never Been the Same: A War Story” featuring the stories of surviving members of a Vietnam-era paratroop unit and reviewed the podcast episode’s scripts before drafting their own.
The students selected a topic of interest to them — ranging from their favorite sport, nutrition in the dining hall, their grandparents, and music. They workshopped their outlines and scripts in class and learned how to edit and record audio. In the end, their three- to seven-minute final products included an interview, music, and sound effects.
Philippe Lamarre ’22 produced a podcast entitled “The Challenges of Immigrating to a New Country,” which detailed the challenges he and his family faced when they moved from Canada to Florida. In the introduction, he shared his experience with the transition from the arctic to the tropical climate and the struggle and acceptance to learn English. He first interviewed his father about the challenges he faced with the move and the pressure he felt as the sole provider for his family. Next, he interviewed his mother about the social challenges associated with moving to Florida and her volunteer work through which she made friends and became part of her new community. Finally, he interviewed his older sister, who also struggled with the language barrier. In between the interviews, he reflected on the impact the move had on his family members.
“I learned how podcasts really work and the creativity and complexity of them. It was challenging to dissect my family’s interviews and find the best quotes, and then put those interviews, music, and sound effects together to make the podcast," said Philippe. “My favorite part of the assignment was hearing the stories of my mom, dad, and sister moving to the United States from Quebec, Canada.”
The students and Mr. Rossolimo learned a lot from each other this term about what goes into making a great recorded story.