For 12 weeks, through an in-school workshop, the Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy (HALA) joined with Southeastern High School’s journalism class to transform print journalists into podcasters.
Anya Dennis, HALA’s director of school program and professional development, and Charmin Archer, HALA’s director of curriculum and content, led and facilitated Podcast 101, which met weekly on Wednesdays. Students received training in speaking about community ideas and problems.
The journalism class decided to explore two topics: depression/stress and police brutality. Dennis and Archer taught students about public speaking and how to create podcasts.
“This was a great opportunity for the SE journalism students,” said Jacqueline Robinson, SE’s journalism instructor. “HALA expanded their media skills. Podcasting is a popular medium to communicate information. They learned more about the benefits of the technology and how to create a podcast. And they had fun learning.”
The entire class centered around student voice -- students made all of the decisions and assignments. The students led with the topics and used the software to produce the podcast. With guidance from HALA, they developed scripts, identified hosts, trained students to engineer the podcast and formed a creative team to support the production, like creating logos, cover art and flyers.
“I’ve learned that there are many roles to play, such as host, audio techs, producers, writers and creative designers,” said journalism student Christopher Robinson. “Most important is that there are no small roles.”
The first episode dealt with the topic of stress and depression. The class interviewed a counselor who gave insights into how students cope with these mental health concerns
The second episode talked about police brutality; three community activists shared how to stop police brutality that may occur around you.
It all ended with a podcast listening party for the entire school.