Podcasts as Digital Stories

Digital Storytelling is a topic that I thought I didn’t know anything about but as I began reading articles and watching examples I started to think that I was more familiar with this form of sharing our experiences with each other. Not through experiences with students or even through videos, but through podcasts.

When I first moved overseas I started doing a lot of traveling on my own and I loved it but I found that once I was done eating dinner and taking a night time walk, the evenings could be long and a little bit lonely. I started downloading and listening to podcasts as a way to make the time move more quickly and give myself a bit of digital camaraderie. My favorite podcast for these trips was This American Life hosted by Ira Glass. According to their website, This American Life is, “a weekly public radio program and podcast. Each week we choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme.” Themes have included summer camp, coincidences, babies switched at birth, and this week, The Deciders: Making Big Decisions About Other People’s Lives.

I love TAL because it’s engaging and interesting and different every week, but it’s reliably organized and Ira Glass does a great job of curating and bringing all of the stories together. After listening to a couple of episodes I find myself thinking about the story that I might tell if I was ever interviewed by Ira Glass. I had always thought that I would need to have some crazy life altering experience otherwise no one would want to listen to my story, but maybe it could just be my thoughts and feelings about any given topic, or something mundane but relatable.

A couple of years ago, my friend and former college roommate Amy Gastelum created a podcast called Mother that explores all of the different ways that mothers and motherhood affect the world. It’s honest and unapologetic and I absolutely love it. Here is a link to an episode that she did about interviewing Madeleine L’Engle when she was 10 years old



When I think about digital storytelling, this is what comes to mind (although I’m not sure that podcasts or radio shows truly fall into the digital storytelling category as they don’t involve images or video). In addition to creating a podcast, being a single mom, AND being a full time nurse, Amy is also a media educator and works in her community to get high school students the skills and tech that they need to make their own podcasts. If I was going to incorporate digital storytelling into my work as a tech coach and librarian, it would love for it to involve podcasts or videos as a way of sharing stories. I have already loved seeing everyone’s examples from their own classes!

One comment to “Podcasts as Digital Stories”
One comment to “Podcasts as Digital Stories”
  1. Thanks for bringing an interesting new spin on this week’s topic. I agree that podcasts might fall outside of the classic definition of a digital story, but they are certainly a powerful medium for storytelling (which is the point of a digital story!). I enjoy Snap Judgement and The Moth for some great short-form storytelling podcasts. I think that it would be an awesome initiative to have students use the tools in your library to create their own podcasts and tell their stories. Is that something that you could set up?

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