Podcasting, Triangulation and Accommodation

Area(s) of Focus: technology, curriculum
Level(s): Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12

We used podcasts as instructional and assessment tools in English, history, geography and photography classes. Students recorded via online platforms Anchor and Soundtrap to capture rich discussions of complex issues within each discipline.

We used podcasts both as instructional tools and summative assessments in classes which emphasize critical thinking. Learning about existing podcasts helped students identify bias, argumentation and the use of evidence in engaging materials. Upon learning the format, students then created podcasts to discuss key issues or concepts in the course. Podcast discussions allowed teachers to triangulate conversational data with traditional work to better understand students’ achievement of overall expectations. Specifically, podcasts offered auditory learners and those with learning disabilities opportunities for success. Using podcasting as an assessment tool especially helped students already accommodated for oral responses on their Individual Education Plan. For others, podcasting provided opportunities for enrichment in post-production and evaluating different creative structures within the medium. We will now implement podcasts regularly in our civics, world issues, legal studies and English courses.

Team Members

  • Adam Gibson

    Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

  • Michlyn Gaylord

    Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

  • Kelly Tsarouhas

    Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

  • John Reid

    Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

Professional Learning Goals

  • Found ways to better teach students better critical thinking skills, such as crafting an argument, selecting evidence in support, and identifying bias in argumentation
  • Increased student engagement through the use of technology
  • Increased our own knowledge of contemporary technologies, including recording devices and software
  • Learned how to better prepare our students as both consumers and producers in the modern media landscape

Activities and Resources

With support from administration and OTF, we were able to meet as a team three separate times. This was invaluable as it allowed us to share our cumulative experiences (both good and bad) at key points throughout the project. Team members also commented on the value of having hardware that was of good quality in that it provided a greater degree of ownership to the students. Not only did having quality hardware increase the motivation of the students, the final products were better as a result.

Unexpected Challenges

We had not considered the difficulty in organizing the space and materials in which students could record. Distributing the materials, finding appropriate spaces for recording, and managing student behaviour were all complications in a successful completion of the activity. There was something of a learning curve with the platforms as well – technical difficulties for the students in recording, publishing and submitting their final products.  

Enhancing Student Learning and Development

The podcast project allowed students to familiarize themselves with both the form of podcasting and the technical aspects of its production. They were forced to converse on complicated topics in small settings, thereby improving their interpersonal communication skills. They were also pressed to provide evidence and personal connections in support of their arguments, thereby developing better thinking and analysis throughout.


We will be sharing our final conclusions within our own schools at closing Professional Activity Days. Other teachers will have the opportunity to review our assignments and technology. Further, they will be able to ask questions of us and discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of the project.

Project Evaluation

We all considered the project a success. Our students are better informed of the nature and purpose of podcasting. They found the concept and materials engaging, particularly the high-quality recording devices. Further, it allowed us to capture student thinking in a conversational manner. For those technologically inclined, the finished products often included enhancements and the project allowed for enrichment opportunities. We all intend to use some variation of the project in the future. In later applications, we all agreed on the need for some logistical changes. Teachers should set up existing podcast “studios” at specific locations in the school to allow for ease in setup and takedown. We could also better organize our hardware into kits easily stored and transported by students. We would also set firm limits on recording time and parameters: typically recording on a scheduled day, preferably in pairs only.

Resources Used

The recording platform Anchor allows students to record online, then share via social media or derive a unique URL.


The recording platform Soundtrap allows students to record online, then share via social media or derive a unique URL. It offers further options in post-production and editing than Anchor.