Over the course of the last month, Ms. Lisa Martin’s Publications classes have been heavily engaged in a podcasting project. Students have learned the ins and outs of podcasting, the art of producing something similar to a radio show, from within the Midlothian library. Students picked any topic to discuss on their podcast for the project, and they needed to produce at least one episode to receive credit for the assignment. At first, the project seemed overwhelming to students, as this technology just recently arrived at Midlo; however, once they started to research topics and learn more about the equipment, ideas and hard work started to flow naturally.
Students had the freedom to record wherever they wanted within the school, including the new media room in the library, a popular spot for numerous students completing this project. “We wanted to introduce students to the new equipment in a way that would interest them, potentially sparking a previously undiscovered passion. We have a number of students that regularly use the space for projects outside of the original task,” remarks Head Librarian Heather Murfee. Core aspects of the project that the librarians hope to spark in the students include: strengthening communication skills, managing deadlines, and work-management.
One highly interested group in particular decided to focus their podcast on problems students face at Midlothian High School. One of those members, Thomas Mendoza, shares, “Our group decided to create a podcast about the overcrowded hallways at our school because it was relatable to other Midlo students. In order for our podcast to be of high quality, we decided to invest the majority of our time into planning.” Mendoza’s group dove into Midlo history, scouring through old yearbooks and interviewing former students. At one point, the group learned Midlo’s population once consisted of over two thousand students. This decreased the next year by almost a thousand students due to the opening of James River High School, depopulating Midlothian. “It was definitely interesting going back in time, to see what the school used to be like,” shares Mendoza.
Overall, the project benefited many Midlothian students, showing them new ways to confront various challenges purposefully.