Adventures in Podcasting: A Recess Interest Group Creates “The NMS Listener”

Electronic music plays.

A hand signal counts down: three, two, one . . . now!

“Welcome to The NMS Listener. In this segment we’re going to hold a debate about co-ed sports . . .”

With these words students began recording a series of segments for a podcast they created during a recess interest group. The inspiration for the recess interest group came from a team of NMS faculty and staff members dedicated to sharing the NMS experience with a wider community through media. Several of us on the group thought, maybe students would be the best communicators of the way that our school inspires, challenges, and empowers students—and the project could also provide a great opportunity for students to learn skills in communications and technology.

During the first session the student team of five podcasters immediately began planning segment ideas. They decided to interview staff, offer audio commentary on subjects of interest (education in Finland, for example), and hold a debate: “Should all school sports be co-ed?”

Students prepare questions for a team interview with NMS staff member Jackie Hogan.

Once underway, podcasters learned that National Public Radio was sponsoring a “Student Podcast Challenge” and calling for entries from schoolchildren from around the country. They eagerly took up the challenge and began researching their topics, preparing scripts, and writing about the program for a webpage. They also started employing their internet and computer skills to create electronic music for the introduction and between segments.

The recess group ended in December, but podcasters continue working on and refining the project for distribution via the school website. They also plan to enter the NPR contest, which is accepting submissions now through March 31. Stay tuned for news and updates as the project continues!

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Newton Centre, MA 02459

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Wellan Montessori School is a non-profit school which admits students of every race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, or political beliefs to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the students of the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or political views.