Did video kill the radio star?
Our MSc students in Water Governance and Management produced three podcasts to present the findings of the fieldtrip in Alentejo (Portugal).
The first transmission of the once-famous MTV channel was a video-song by a group called “The Buggles”, the lyrics of the song repeatedly sang: video killed the radio star. The message sent in 1981 was ominous: radio emissions were dead and MTV was rewriting music diffusion. Now fast-forward to 2005, YouTube sends out its first internet-based video broadcast, this time is just a dude saying he’s at the zoo – not as pervasive and ominous as MTV. With this simple and quotidian video, YouTube brought to the scene the possibility of transforming ordinary moments into extraordinary events. This modern communication channel gave us the opportunity of being broadcasters of multiple topics for all kinds of audiences.
Podcasts do that precisely, they allow intimate broadcasting of every-day events and practices. Studies have acknowledged the use of podcasts as student-centred and student-crafted learning activities; furthermore, they foster the power of human voice and peer-listening around a particular concept (Popova & Edirisingha, 2010). Based on this, in this year’s module on “Research and Dissemination Skills” we challenged the students to transform their research paper into a podcast. They used the data, experiences, and information gathered during their fieldtrip to the Alqueva Dam in the Alentejo region of Portugal.
Three groups accepted the challenge and created three interesting, well-thought, and compelling podcasts. Ana A. Leal, Tim Nolden, and Pablo A. De Francesch analysed the development of the dam under the Multiple Streams Framework and Punctuated equilibrium theory.
Natasha Davis-Wolmarans and Nupur Jain evaluated whether the development of the dam is isomorphic with EU Common Agricultural Policy design.
Juanita Ayala and Naomi Mendeszoon transformed their explorations of local narratives into a dialogue between two old friends of Aldeia da luz.
The production and listening of these podcasts helps us better understanding the complexities of dam design, development, construction, and their impacts on people. The collaborative development of podcasts stimulated individual and collective learning. It provided an activity in which students enabled the conceptualisation of theories, frameworks, and epistemologies – via a process of perspective-taking and creating potable storylines (Lee, McLoughlin, & Chan, 2008). These podcasts challenge old stories and invite us to listen to new voices saying: radio stars are more than alive today.
Lee, M. J., McLoughlin, C., & Chan, A. (2008). Talk the talk: Learner‐generated podcasts as catalysts for knowledge creation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(3), 501-521.
Popova, A., & Edirisingha, P. (2010). How can podcasts support engaging students in learning activities? Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 5034-5038. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.816