Casting a Spell

Students and teachers alike find value in podcasts.

Photo+by+Alyssa+Griffith

Photo by Alyssa Griffith

Jennavieve Carmony

While the average high schooler might spend a Friday night under stadium lights watching a football game from the stands, juniors Thomas Hand and John Alvey sit in an audio booth high above the stadium and broadcast live to thousands of listeners. Hand and Alvey’s football commentary broadcast is played on ESPN3 and to a listening audience between 4,500 and 7,000 per broadcast.

  “It’s a lot of work, and takes a lot of attention,” Hand said. “You have to be really good at communicating. There’s a ton of people trying to get one thing done. Usually, in the end, it works out but it’s a lot of communicating and getting people together. We have a whole truckload of people working on the broadcast.”

   These two aren’t the only LHS students getting ahead in the podcast game. Senior Josh Gregory runs a sports podcast of his own.

Photo by Kylee Williams

   “My friends and I have always been talking about sports, so we thought ‘why not record and see what happens with it?’” Gregory said. “We act like we’re just talking, but we have a script when we want to. Midway through we start going on about stuff that wasn’t planned, which is what really makes the podcast good.”

   For those who don’t produce podcasts, many find podcasts they become very invested in. Freshmen Kennedy Graham listens regularly to Welcome to Nightvale and Lore, two podcasts based on storytelling with a creepy twist.

   “I prefer podcasts because while watching TV, I have to be focused on it,” Graham said. “With podcasts, I can clean my room or paint my nails.”

   Outside of pure entertainment, many podcast series are educational. Students and teachers alike believe there is value in using podcasts inside of the classroom.

   “I think podcasts are great for learning in a school setting, especially if you’re doing a worksheet on it. It’s bringing the learning to two different mediums and you’re getting the information twice because you’re listening to it and you’re writing it down,” senior Abbey Klein said. “That really nails in the information.”

   History teacher Josh Griffis uses podcasts to emphasize important pieces of the curriculum to help students retain the information in a stimulating way.

   “We listen to a podcast called Through Line by NPR,” Griffis said. “They take a current situation and trace it back through history. There is a podcast for almost anything you want to know more about. You can find it and you can listen to it on your own time.”

   It’s not only Griffis using podcasts inside the classroom. English teacher Leslie Muench has her freshman class produce podcasts about topics of their choice as a new spin on the traditional research essay.

   “I wanted to encourage students who were apprehensive about writing or who found the writing process a little more challenging to demonstrate their knowledge in a different way,” Muench said. “Incorporating podcasts into the classroom setting can be kind of challenging, just because a lot of us are visual learners, but it’s still another way of learning and processing, so I think it’s valuable.”