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(Ontario) The Trojan Voice Podcast at West Ferris Secondary Amplifies Student Stories

Trojan Voice podcast
West Ferris Secondary School, part of the Near North District School Board in Ontario, has launched its own podcast series called “The Trojan Voice.” The aim is to highlight students’ experiences and voices by giving them an opportunity to share their stories with a wider audience.
Trojan Voice podcast

The initiative, started by teacher candidate and former CBC radio producer b Wrauley, in collaboration with media arts teacher Robin Bartlett, premiered its first episode on platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube, garnering significant attention with stories about “first experiences.”

During Wrauley’s fall placement at West Ferris, the idea for a student-led podcast combining personal narrative with educational themes emerged. The series promises to explore various topics, offering students a platform to express themselves and contribute creatively to their community.

First Episode Highlights: A Symphony of Firsts

The first episode, entitled “Firsts,” features 17 student voices discussing poignant and relatable topics such as first loves, first snowfalls, and first rehearsals. The podcast is more than just an artistic outlet; it can also serve as an educational tool, with potential connections to storytelling, personal development, and media studies.

The Trojan Voice operates under the philosophy of amplifying diverse student voices, encouraging participation from across the student body. The club, which Wrauley refers to more as a community, focuses on inclusivity and student involvement in all aspects, from content creation to promotion. The process involves students sharing their stories, recording, and performing initial edits, with Wrauley providing the final professional touches.

The podcast has already shown promising engagement, with hundreds of listens and a growing subscriber base. It represents a significant step towards integrating modern media into educational settings, offering a fresh perspective on student life and interests.

The Trojan Voice Podcast: A Collaborative Community Effort

As the Trojan Voice prepares for its next episode, themed “Second Chances,” the school and the broader educational community await eagerly. This initiative not only highlights the creative potential within our schools but also offers a template for other educational institutions looking to incorporate new media into their curriculum and student activities.

Listeners can tune into the ongoing stories of West Ferris Secondary students by subscribing to The Trojan Voice on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube, joining a journey of reflection, growth, and communal expression.

For those in the Near North District and beyond, this innovative project serves as a reminder of the power of student voices and the potential of educational technology to bridge gaps between traditional teaching methods and contemporary storytelling.

Why Use Podcasts at School

Podcasts are a unique blend of education and entertainment that provide a platform for voice and creativity, allowing students to express themselves and explore the topics that matter most to them in a deeply personal way. Beyond individual expression, they also develop collaborative skills, as students work together to research, script, and produce their episodes. They cater to various learning styles, enabling auditory learners to thrive and offering a new perspective to those more accustomed to visual or textual information. Moreover, integrating podcasts into the curriculum can bridge classroom learning with real-world issues, enhancing critical thinking and engagement. In essence, using podcasts in schools taps into the narrative power of storytelling, making education more relatable, memorable, and enjoyable for students.

Podcasts can develop several dimensions of Quebec’s Digital Competency Framework, especially when integrated into learning activities. Here’s how they align with various dimensions:

  • Developing and Mobilizing Information Literacy: Podcasts require listeners to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use information. They encourage critical evaluation of content and comparison of different viewpoints.
  • Communicating via Digital Technology: Creating podcasts helps students learn to communicate ideas clearly and effectively using digital platforms, adapting messages to their audience.
  • Producing Content via Digital Technology: Making podcasts involves producing digital content, from planning and scripting to recording and editing.
  • Collaborating via Digital Technology: Podcast projects can foster teamwork and collaboration, as they often require group planning, division of tasks, and collective content creation.
  • Developing Critical Thinking with Regard to the Use of Digital Technology: Listening to and creating podcasts can enhance critical thinking skills, as students assess the credibility of information and consider ethical issues related to content and technology use.

Do you have a school podcast? Do not hesitate to share your story with us!

Source: Press release

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Audrey Miller

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