Incorporating Podcasting into Curriculum

For our final project in Kent State’s Teaching Multimedia course, we were asked to create a unit lesson plan which would introduce one of the multimedia pieces that we worked with this semester to our students.  I am planning to teach podcasting in my Intro to Journalism class next year, so I really wanted to make a lesson that I can use in the class (especially because it is new for me, so I anything I have prepared now will be great for later!).  I enjoyed the podcasting unit in this class, especially the way the skills were scaffolded for us.  Podcasting is a pretty accessible skill, so that is the focus of my lesson and Camtasia tutorial, all provided below.


Carrie Rapp

Lindbergh High School

St. Louis, MO


Title: Introduction to Podcasting


In this lesson, students will learn about available recording and editing software and apps.  Students will record an interview and edit it to create and publish a podcast.


  • Students will experiment with audio recording software.
  • Students will conduct a recorded interview.
  • Students will use audio editing software to produce a podcast.
  • Students will publish a completed podcast.


Overviews and Timeline:

Day 1 (50-minute class)

Teacher will introduce students to podcasts.  As a class, listen to the following three podcasts:

Day 1 Homework

Students should find one additional podcast, which includes an interview, to share with the rest of the class.

Day 2 (50-minute class)

Teacher will introduce the applications and software that students will be using to create their podcasts.  Share the camtasia tutorial with students.  Pass out the assignment and planning sheets.  Students should spend the remainder of the time working on their planning sheet and setting up their interview.

Day 2 Homework

Students will interview one person on the topic of their choice.  Students should record their interview using AudioBoom.  Then, they should upload their audio file to their profile.

Day 3 (50-minute class)

Teacher will introduce resources to find copyright free music by sharing the article “Avoid copyright and use royalty-free music for video production” (link below). Students will begin editing their podcast using Audacity in class, asking the teacher for assistance if needed.

Day 3 Homework

Students will finish editing their podcast using Audacity.  When complete, either upload the podcast to AudioBoom or Soundcloud and share the link with the teacher.


Students will record an interview with one person on the topic of their choice.  Students will edit that file into a podcast with an introduction, conclusion and music.  Grading will be based on the attached rubric.



Goble, Don (2012). “Avoid copyright and use royalty-free music for video production.” Retrieved from:

JEA Curriculum, “Lesson: Audio for Multimedia Broadcast.” Retrieved from:

Phillips, Kyle (2014). “Podcasting Basics for Beginners.” Retrieved from:

Rogers, Jonathan (2016). “Podcasts on Podcasting.” Retrieved from:


Podcast Homework Sheet


Using the Audioboom app, conduct a field interview outside of the classroom.  Find a subject that has something interesting to talk about.  When you are conducting your interview, be sure to ask questions that can not be answered in one word.


Record more than you might actually need so you have material you can cut down later. When conducting your interview, try to be conversational.  Your final project should be about 2-3 minutes long. Be sure to replay your audio before you leave the interview scene to make sure your sound has turned out well, or reshoot if necessary.  Try to eliminate background noise from the interview.


After recording the interview, upload the audio to AudioBoom.  You will also want to record your introduction and conclusion using the app.  Find copyright free music and download the file.  Then, import these files into Audacity and edit these pieces together to create your podcast.  You will need to include the introduction and conclusion as well as copyright free background music.  Trim down unnecessary content or long pauses and make sure your cuts are unnoticeable.  You should be able to hear the voices easily over the music.  You may need to use fades to transition between pieces.  Use headphones when editing to clearly hear all sound.  Use the Camtasia tutorial to troubleshoot at home.


When finished editing, all voices should be clearly heard and the transition and edits should be smooth, not clipped and not noticeable.  Export the final product and upload to either or SoundCloud and email the link to your teacher.


For this unit, you will be expected to do the following:

Task Points Deadline
Find one podcast to share with the class 5 Tues. 10/10
Complete Interview Planning Sheet 20 Wed. 10/11
Record interview with one person using AudioBoom app 30 Thurs. 10/12
Edit podcast using Audacity 40 Fri. 10/13
Upload final project to AudioBoom or SoundCloud and email link to teacher

  • Final project will be graded with rubric
5 Fri. 10/13


Interview Planning Sheet

Directions: Complete the Interview planning sheet before conducting the interview for your podcast.


List 3 potential topics you could interview about:




What’s new or relevant about this story? (Ask: why should the reader care?)



What do you already know?  


What do you need to know before going on your interview?


List 3 potential individuals to interview for this story.  

_______________________     ________________________     _________________________           

Brainstorm important interview questions:












Podcast Rubric

Name: ___________________________________________

Deadline: Friday, 10/13

Total: ______________ / 100


Podcast to share with the class:

____ / 5:

____ Includes an interview

____ Is school appropriate

____ Shared with teacher by 10/10


Interview Planning Sheet:

____ / 20

____ Planning: topics

____ Planning: new or relevant

____ Interviewing: what you know

____ Interviewing: what you need to know

____ Interviewing: questions


Recorded Interview:

____ / 30

____ Interview includes both voice of interviewer and interviewee

____ Little background noise in interview, introduction and conclusion

____ Questions were planned in advance

____ Interviewed one person; topic was interesting – no one word answers

____ The introduction clearly introduces the topic and interviewee

____ The conclusion wraps up the topic, thanks the guest and gives credit to the music



____ / 40

____ Podcast was 2-3 minutes long

____ Cuts were unnoticeable; transitions were smooth

____ In and out fading used appropriately

____ All voices could be heard clearly; music does not interfere

____ Music matches the tone of the show; creator gives credit to the music

____ Long pauses, dead air and unnecessary content was edited out


Uploaded Final Project:

____ / 5

____ Used either SoundCloud or AudioBoom

____ Emailed working link to teacher by 10/13


Camtasia Tutorial:

Social Role

Social Role Week 15 – Anchored in the past, alive to the future

As the ever-changing media moves forward, we have to understand how to set our students up for success in the future journalism industry and as civilians.  An aspect of new media is social media.  In “What Schools are Really Blocking When They Block Social Media” by S. Craig Watkins for, he states the benefits to incorporating social media into the curriculum and school day: “(1) to teach students about the inventive and powerful ways communities around the world are using social media, (2) for students and teachers to experience the educational potential of social media together, (3) for students to distribute their work with the larger world, and (4) for students to reimagine their creative and civic identities in the age of networked media.”  There are many benefits to embracing this new media in the journalism classroom and by blocking or banning it’s use, we are doing a disservice to our students, especially when it comes to teaching them about the future of news.

Something that we can do to encourage a future-looking curriculum in journalism is to focus on creating student-centered civics lessons.  In “Here come new sons and daughters of liberty,” author Nat Hentoff quotes Sandra Day O’Connor and Karen Theroux in their opinions of student centered education.  Both challenge schools to encourage civics-based instruction and lessons.  O’Connor states: “Schools should incorporate discussion of current local, national and international events into the classroom, particularly those that young people find important to their lives … Schools should offer opportunities for young people to get involved in their schools or communities outside of the classroom” and Theroux says: “ther research has shown that involving students in democratic deliberation has school-wide impact on civic knowledge and participation, including community service.” Hentoff concludes the article with: “The kind of reality-based learning that Theroux and O’Connor’s commission endorse will create citizens who find excitement, even fun, in thinking for themselves. It will also teach those politicians who represent them that their degree of independence and actual knowledge of issues will be regularly tested by the civic-minded students they serve who keep experiencing the Constitution from the inside.”  Our journalism programs need to keep in mind that they should be student driven and serve students and communities alike.


Creating and Editing Video

I have been looking forward to this assignment, because while I have observed many students creating videos in our school’s broadcast program, I have never made one myself.  Through this assignment, I got to experience storyboarding, gathering materials, shooting interviews, shooting b-roll, and editing.

For this assignment, we were able to create a video covering any topic that we wanted.  Since the yearbooks were being delivered the following week, it was on the minds of many of my students.  I knew that I would have the opportunity to get some b-roll of exciting moments that my students would soon be experiencing.

To begin, I thought about what I wanted the video to cover and brainstormed what video I would need.  I started by coming up with the questions that I would ask in interviews.  I ended up asking:

  • Why did you join yearbook?
  • What do you like about being on yearbook staff?
  • What is your favorite yearbook memory?
  • What are you most excited about in getting the yearbooks this week?

Overall, I interviewed 13 students.  Although we have a studio, it does not block out sound from the room next door.  Therefore, some of my interviews have background noise.

In addition to filming the interviews, I also filmed b-roll on a few different occasions.  I took video of students working on the yearbook supplement in class, and I also went out with a few students when they got an interview and took some photos.  Another occasion where I took b-roll was when the yearbooks arrived.  I got some pretty cool reaction shots when the students got to see the book for the first time.

After compiling all of my materials (interviews, images from the year, and b-roll), I began editing.  I used Adobe Premier to edit since this is the software that we have at school.  After learning how to import the materials and learning the basic tools such as select and slice, most of the editing just consisted of listening to and watching the video I had and selecting what I wanted to include.  I also considered a couple of different ways of arranging the video, but decided to organize it by interview question.  I found my music to accompany the video from, the same site I used for my podcast.

What was really awesome about this assignment was that I was able to get help from students who have experience with creating video.  I learned a lot – from the very basics of getting a camera on a tripod – to the more complex intricacies of editing.  It was awesome to get to see how much they already knew and could pass along.  I also really enjoyed getting to participate in the process and look forward to incorporating video into my Intro to Journalism class next year.

Social Role

Social Role Week 14 – Adapting for the Future

One way that the future of journalism is changing is the role that journalists serve.  In “Journalism isn’t dying. But it’s changing WAY faster than most people understand” by Chris Cillizza for, Cillizza outlines how journalists are no longer the gatekeepers of information, but instead the context-givers and sense-makers: “And, as the “what” faded in terms of reader interest, the “so what” and the “now what” began to rise. Suddenly, people didn’t want to just read about a presidential debate, they wanted analysis of the debate, too. And they wanted that analysis delivered at the same time as the news. They didn’t want to wait for the next day to read about who did well and who didn’t. They wanted it in real time. And that went double for anyone younger than 30.” Journalist’s role changed as the availability of information increased for citizens.

Another way that journalism is changing is in the skills that journalists need to be successful.  In “10 basics today’s journalists need” by Paige Levin for, Levin breaks down what journalists really need to know to be successful: “We don’t need to be well versed in every single app and every line of code. But we do need to understand the bigger picture.”  She then breaks down 10 different skills that are crucial for the success of a future journalist.  She includes tips that may seem outside of traditional journalism training such as “learn basic coding,” “master math” and “understand the economics”  Levin also encourages journalists to engage their audience on social media.  Overall, her tip for journalists is to stay adaptable: “Most of the important skills are more like talents: the ability to generate original and meaningful ideas, critical thinking, collaboration, and general knowledge as well as specialized knowledge in areas of interest.”  These are the skills that we are encouraged to teach students as 21st century skills and lend themselves to scholastic media.

Social Role

Social Role Week 13 – Educating the Public about the Media’s Social Roles

Professional journalists and citizens must work together to accomplish a community of accurate and relevant news.  Blur, chapter 9 “What We Need from the Next Journalism” by Kovach and Rosenstiel, the authors acknowledge the heightened role of the citizen and the lessened role of journalist as gatekeeper: “Individual citizens will create their own news diet and even their own content” (196).  Because of this reduced role, “Citizens, who shape news production by the choices they make, have rights when it comes to news, but they also have responsibilities – even more so as they become producers and editors themselves” (291) according to Kovach and Rosenstiel for Elements of Journalism chapter 11 “The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens.”  By working together, public journalism can “create a learning community, one that discusses issues, not just on the basis of emotion but on facts about how things work” according to “Public Journalism and the Problem of Objectivity” by Philip Meyer for UNC.

In addition, it is not just journalists created journalism.  In “Brands aren’t the only ones becoming publishers and doing journalism — advocacy groups are too” by Matthew Ingram for, the author acknowledges that there are other groups putting information out there as well: “That said, groups like Human Rights Watch and the ACLU now have the same ability to write, film and publish to a potential audience as any media company, thanks to the internet and the social web.”  Additionally, political campaigns put out a lot of information without the press as well, as told by Kovach and Rosenstiel in Blur: “In the 2008 presidential race, videos produced by the Obama campaign staff were viewed more than one billion times on the candidate’s own YouTube channel, without any press involvement” (171).  The amount of views shows that the political campaign was able to directly communicate with the audiences without the press.

It must be a combined effort.  “The two sides, citizen and professional journalist, are not in competition.  They must work in combination.  The new citizen sentinel will not replicate the work of the professional journalist or even displace it, but rather inform, interact with, and evaluate it” (Elements of Journalism 289).  In “Learn from the fake news factories” by Jeff Jarvis for Zeit Online, the author outlines why the two must work together: “Media should listen to the conversations online, fact-check those that are getting out of hand, and share that information with the social platforms, which should in turn share that with users so they can make better judgments.”  By working together, citizens and journalists can create something impressive.  “Truth, accuracy, impartiality and diversity of opinion are strengthened by being open to a wider range of opinion and perspective brought to us through the knowledge and understanding of our audience” (289).  Both the journalist and citizen must take on this responsibility.

Social Role

Social Role Week – 12 Citizens as Journalists

This week we are focusing on the responsibility of citizens in the viewing and understanding of news.  While journalists hold a lot of the responsibility, in Blur chapter 8 “How to Find What Really Matters” by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, the authors introduce the idea that the audience has more responsibility than ever: “Journalists still select [stories, act as gatekeepers], of course.  But their choices have less impact on us.  In the digital age, the front page of a Web site may easily have a hundred headlines… we consume the news now by topic and story, and less by relying on the judgement of news institutions to select for us” (149).  Luckily, there are many digital tools that have been developed to help journalists and citizen journalists verify information.  According to, in “Tools for verifying and assessing the validity of social media and user-generated content”: “The speed of social media and the sheer volume of user-generated content (UGC) make fact-checking by reporters even more important now.”  Besides using fact-checking tools, citizens can also find trusted news outlets and reporters, as stated by the Blur authors: “An essential step in efficiently seeking important coverage is to find outlets and individual reporters who do great work on a consistent basis – a network of trusted sources or brands we can look to regularly” (152).

Verification of information is very important for audiences, especially when it comes to breaking news.  In “The Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook” from On the Media on Sep 20, 2013, the host and guest discuss how audiences can make sure they are interacting with correct info: “Rather than counting on news outlets to get it right, we’re looking at the other end. Below are some tips for how, in the wake of a big, tragic story, you can sort good information from bad.”  Below are the tips they provide to citizen journalists:

  • In the immediate aftermath, news outlets will get it wrong.
  • Don’t trust anonymous sources.
  • Don’t trust stories that cite another news outlet as the source of the information.
  • There’s almost never a second shooter.
  • Pay attention to the language the media uses.
    • “We are getting reports”… could mean anything.
    • “We are seeking confirmation”… means they don’t have it.
    • “[News outlet] has learned”… means it has a scoop or is going out on limb.
  • Look for news outlets close to the incident.
  • Compare multiple sources.
  • Big news brings out the fakers. And photoshoppers.
  • Beware reflexive retweeting. Some of this is on you.

By using these tips, audiences can help to verify and avoid sharing out incorrect information.  Andrew Beaujon for reinforces this in “Every American needs ‘the critical thinking skills of a journalist,’ university says” by quoting James Klurfeld and Howard Schneider from a paper published by the Brookings Institution: “In the Digital Age, the ultimate check against the spread of rumor, pernicious falsehood, disinformation, and unverified reports masquerading as fact, will never be just more and better-trained journalists and professional gatekeepers. Instead, it will require a generation of astutely educated news consumers, as well as native producers and distributors, who will learn to be their own editors and identify for themselves fact-and- evidence-based news and information.”  This puts the responsibility on readers to verify the facts and encourage truthful reporting.


Investigating Interactive Journalism Tools

This week for Teaching Multimedia, we got to experiment with three different interactive elements: maps, polls/surveys, and timelines.  For yearbook, we are always brainstorming creative ways to present information in a more visually appealing way than writing.  Typically, students will immediately think of using graphs of some sort – bar graphs, or even worse, pie graphs.  There are only so many times you can use these elements before they look outdated or tired.  I am excited to be able to offer up suggestions such as the tools that I worked with below.

The first tool I worked with was Google Maps.  Using Google Maps, I created a map of the Lindbergh School District, creating a marker for each school in the district.  It was relatively simple and intuitive.  I was able to rename each school and change the color of each marker.  I can see students using this perhaps on a cross country spread to show where different meets are held.  See the map below.

The second tool I worked with was Polldaddy.  This was a very simple tool to use to create surveys.  Currently, we use Google Forms to take surveys of the student body.  While Google Forms have very many options, it does not have the matrix option, which I could see students using to survey students on marketing/sales questions (such as: do you buy a yearbook, why or why not, rate the quality of the yearbook, etc.).  I created a poll for seniors – we could use this sort of information on a senior spread or for the senior issue of the newsmagazine.  Giving multiple choice options would enable students to create graphs of information.  Using free answer questions gives students beginning information and they can then go gather more information in an interview. See my survey below.

The last tool I experimented with was Tiki-Toki for creating timelines.  This application was the most confusing of the three, and I am not sure that I would use it with students.  While there are many options, it seems like the design was pretty limited.  Additionally, with the free account, you did not have the option to embed the timeline online.  The Tiki-Toki application allows for many entries, which is a positive.  I have screenshotted my timeline below.