I’m coming back to the option of podcasting since it’s coming up in my teaching practice. Students will be doing some audio recording as part of the skill development for the MDL4000 digital storytelling project. As a result, the chapter on digital audio and podcasting in Create to Learn: Introduction to Digital Literacy by Renee Hobbs (2017) caught my attention. After reading the chapter, I’m going to capture the key ideas, as written by Hobbs:

“Through storytelling, we pass along bits of human wisdom that might enlighten, entertain, or inspire others. Storytellers use a set of conventions and strategies that bring their listeners into the magic circle, creating a relationship and provoking a strong emotional response. The ability to tell a story and/or read aloud well – with inflection, rhythm, appropriate tone, and energy – must be considered a fundamental competency when creating to learn. That’s because most digital media makes considerable use of the human voice. Indeed, listeners gather much nuance about the personality ad character of a speaker through the sound of their voice. Digital audio and podcasting also rely on the power of the expert interview, where through dialogue, we participate in a knowledge community. When music is used in radio, audio, or podcast production, it can create a mood and inspire people to connect knowledge to emotion, linking thought and feeling in a way that creates a sense of emotional truth. The power of found sound and the use of man-in-the-street interview techniques can also create a sense of “being there”. Through the power of spoken language, time and space can be manipulated in highly creative ways, creating an intriguing blend of authenticity and unreality that attracts audiences.” (Hobbs, 2017, p. 123)

So what does this mean for my work in the PhD program? How can I engage the listener in the process and products of my research endeavours? Some ideas have come to mind, but academia is still very much tied to the written word. I know I’ve done some audio recordings of blog posts, and some podcasts that are sort-of related to academic work. What about reading an academic paper with annotation comments, or ‘aside notes’? What about a dramatic recitation on a discourse or dialogue? I’m thinking out loud without any clear ideas yet … more to come.

Podcasts that I listen to, that sustain my academic thinking: