New podcast system, new opportunities

Anandabhirama Charyulu Tirumala Panchangam (‘23) using the podcast system.

     The media center is filled with many pleasing pleasures for students such as the sofas, the quiet room, the booths, movable single desks, and the makerspace. But now, it has a brand new addition for students to enjoy there, a podcast system.

     It is located in the conference room of the media center, and is available to students and teachers for assignments and making personal podcasts. 

     Over the past two years, South librarian Ms. Mary Desmond and her friend North librarian Ms. Kathryn Carroll have discussed the idea of incorporating technology into the online makerspace at the media center. 

     The makerspace is a place where students can come during their free time, to have fun and de-stress by designing and creating stuff, 

     Ms. Desmond said, “A few  teachers have been requiring that a podcast be created to fulfill an assignment. Or they [students] can use it for personal use, and just to have fun and create their own podcasts.”

     Podcasting is still a relatively new type of media. According to the website, although the idea of blogging (online commentary) using audio existed in the 1980s, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that podcasting became widely used. This was when Apple released the iPod, and iTunes allowed audio blogs to be widely listened to in the form of MP3 files. 

     Since then, more people have begun to listen to podcasts as a source of entertainment and information.

     The term ‘podcasting’ has also been adopted into digital audio broadcasting. Podcasts can be made by a person or group. On it, they can have conversations with others, and individually share ideas and opinions. 

     Several teachers have taken advantage of the opportunity to make podcasts in the Media Center, and have incorporated it into their lessons. 

     Ms. Paula Chaussepied, a Language Arts teacher said, “We thought this would be a great way for students to utilize a new system that we have in the building and meet the needs of the state standards,” which, according to the New Jersey state government website, require speaking and listening in English to build Language Arts skills. 

     Co-teacher Ms. Kerry Kemo said, “I think it gave them [students] the opportunity to bring their stories to life.” 

     In their Language Arts class, Ms. Chaussepied and Ms. Kemo had students write an original fairytale, and then record themselves using the podcast system to bring their stories to life. 

     American Studies teacher Mr. Bryan Fisher said, “Another great resource to engage kids and learning,” when describing how using the podcast has affected his teaching. 

     In addition to teachers, students have also seen benefits in using the podcast system for their learning. 

     Replicating and recording clear audio quality is a benefit that the podcast system has to offer, as other recording apps don’t have the same audio quality. 

     Shloka Kumari (‘25) said, “I would like to use the podcast system again because the audio is really clear, loud, and coherent.

     Clean audio can lead to benefits for other purposes such as animation. Anandabhirama Charyulu Tirumala Panchangam (‘23) said, “If you want to make animations that are of the quality of movies, you can replicate the quality of the audio here.”

     Making a podcast at South has brought out the skills of some people that might have been unseen previously. 

     Ms. Chaussepied said, “It brings out certain strengths that students have that maybe they’re not able to necessarily display in the written form in the LA classroom, but they can definitely run into their creativity and speaking skills.”

         Ms. Desmond said, “Making a podcast is an entertaining way for students to express themselves.”