Fostering Cultural Awareness with Podcasts
Blog on July 20 2022
Looking for a different way to get your students engaged while learning valuable skills and creating an environment that fosters cultural awareness? Then look no further than one of the oldest forms of communication: oral storytelling.
Talking, conversing, sharing stories, and oral history – it’s been a part of us for thousands of years. Over the last few years, society seems to have steadily moved further away from direct, person-to-person communication. The possible reasons why are endless, but definitely includes the comfort of the relative anonymity provided by texting, emailing,, and other forms of indirect communication. Busy lives, changing work environments, ease of use, and changing social norms have led us further away from genuine conversation. Hearing real stories and experiences from people all around the globe can change how we think about the world.
So, how do we, as teachers, balance encouraging genuine conversation and connection with modern technology and 21st century skill development? The answer is podcasting, which combines person-to-person communication with technology. In its most basic form, a podcast is an audio file that can be shared on the internet for anyone to listen to. Podcasts can be on any topic you can think of, and be done in various formats including classic interviews, conversations, debates, and more.
Fostering cultural awareness with podcasting
To foster cultural awareness through utilizing this platform in the classroom, you will want to create lessons that incorporate the lived experiences of your students and encourage them to learn about other ways of viewing the world. For example, you can create a lesson in which your students interview a member of their family about an event in their life that had a significant impact on them. The questions that your students ask their interviewees should focus on the background, roots, and experiences of this person. Additionally, students should ask just how these experiences shaped their views or decisions. Students should prepare questions ahead of time and have a face-to-face conversation with their chosen person while recording the audio of the interview. Once the interview is complete, students can use tools, such as Audacity, to edit and then present their podcast. Audacity is simple to use, but complex enough to allow students to get creative with their podcast by adding music, sounds, and more.
Students will not only be able to learn about their culture and background from a first-person perspective, but they will grow their communication skills and be able to utilize technology to produce an audio broadcast. This is an activity that can be shared with the entire class, school, or community, to promote cultural awareness. When students understand that their classmates share many of the same passions and interests as them, as well as come from diverse backgrounds, we can foster a classroom that they feel comfortable in which will increase their engagement in learning.
For more on this topic, check out the companion course, Building Cultural Awareness Through Oral History Projects on OTIS for educators.
For more tips, tricks, and tools for teaching in and out of the classroom, check out more articles on the Teq Talk blog.
We also offer virtual professional development, training, and remote learning support for educators with OTIS for educators. Explore the technology, tools, and strategies that can spark student success — no matter where teaching or learning are happening.
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