MOUNT VERNON – Sixth-grade scholars at Traphagen school created podcasts as the final project for their Egypt unit. Students in groups of three and four prepped for their podcast by learning about a certain topic about Egypt and then crafting an interesting conversation, interview, and advertisements. Students recorded on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
Shane Davanzo, a teacher at Traphagen, wanted to give his students an assessment where they could utilize their creativity to obtain a deeper understanding of the subject.
“For this assessment, I wanted to switch it up and give the kids an opportunity to show their creativity,” said Mr. Davanzo. “So, I set it up so that they would have some freedom. I also gave them an opportunity to create advertisements and have live callers. The task was essentially to have the students choose a topic in ancient Egypt and research it until they were experts and felt comfortable being in front of a microphone. Using all those different elements of podcasts can make it more fun and engaging.”
“I really enjoyed it because we learned a lot about ancient Egypt, and it was really fun because in the podcast we get to make ads for things in ancient Egypt,” said Jade Whitaker, sixth grade student at Traphagen. “We also got to learn ways to work together so that it turns out the way we want it to be.”
Students are using the program Soundtrap to record and edit their podcasts. Their podcast production is also supported by a technology coach from the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center (LHRIC).
“This work began as part of LHRIC’s Model Schools Podcasting Institute,” said Dana Unger, technology coach at LHRIC. “Many teachers across our schools have been empowered to bring this medium into their classrooms in creative ways. Students spend time listening to and evaluating various podcasts and then get to work on creating their own. They collaborate in groups, assign roles, write scripts, and record audio and music using Soundtrap software. When students are creators of their own content, it helps with engagement of the material. Most importantly they are having fun learning.”
The integration of technology in the classroom also helps prepare students for the many technologies that they will be exposed to throughout their education and careers.