Digital Project Proposal – A New Podcast

In an era of constant busyness, commuting to work, and the rise of technology, podcasts have only increased in popularity. The ability to listen to bite-sized morsels of knowledge presented in an entertaining way have only continued to draw crowds to podcasts. And the number of people flocking to history podcasts only increases as more historical content is put out into the digital world to enjoy.

For my project, I propose creating a podcast that focuses on five figures who don’t necessarily appear in the mainstream literature, but who have a profound impact on American history. Each episode will center around one of these figures, creating a bibliography for readers to continue researching each individual. Podcast episodes will be posted on a website blog through wordpress.com to create accessibility for audiences to listen. And these episodes will not just be for adults. The goal is to create content that even secondary students can enjoy and learn from.

This project is two-fold. The first prong is the podcast itself. Content will be recorded, and I plan on inviting other graduate students to participate, creating a true conversation around these hidden and influential characters. By inviting other voices to participate on the podcast, my goal is that those who listen would create their own conversations with those they are in contact with. The second prong of the project is the website that will house each episode of the podcast. This website will not only hold the episodes, but will also hold content related to the episode. Further reading material through bibliographies, photos related to the episode, and scripts will be posted for those who listen. By supplying these additional materials, the goal is that the audiences will have a variety of methods for interacting with each individual episode. It is one thing to post a podcast. It is another to have images and primary documentation that accompanies what a podcast host is talking about. When these sources are provided, it makes the material much more accessible for the audience, taking into account that audiences have different learning styles.

The outreach for this project will include a website and social media account. New content will be posted on an instagram account with links to episodes. The hope is that as people search through hashtags, they come across this podcast and learn something new. By using wordpress, the evaluation of the project and outreach is demonstrated through site traffic and statistics provided by the blog.

History education is reaching a new phase in its life. Through podcasting about lesser-known individuals, audiences can grasp onto something new, sparking new conversations while learning to utilize primary sources. The past is relevant. The people can still inform us about life lessons. This project is meant to connect with those who once lived.

2 Replies to “Digital Project Proposal – A New Podcast”

  1. Hi Michaela! As someone who rarely listens to podcasts, but really enjoys them when I do, I would be so excited about this project. Hearing history through a podcast when I’m walking to campus or on a bus allows me to think about the topics in a different way than when I’m reading them on a computer or in a book. And I love the idea of bringing in some of these lesser-known figures to the podcast. I find that sort of history much more interesting than the big names, generally. I’m wondering if your website would include transcriptions of the podcasts as well in order to be accessible for the hard of hearing?

  2. Hi Michaela,

    The idea of creating a podcast about hidden influential figures in American History sounds great. I think building this out in a WordPress site is likely to work well. That noted, I have also seen some folks setting up podcasts use platforms like Podbean too https://www.podbean.com/ I think their free version would likely cover what you want to do and may also offer some additional features. So you might want to check that out too. The idea about providing some further reading and context for each of the episodes sounds good.

    I think working on five episodes for the semester is a great concept. If needed, I think you could also do 3 or 4 depending on how much time and energy you have. Putting together good podcast episodes like this tends to be pretty time consuming, so my suggestion would be to do fewer model episodes and focus on getting them to have the kind of quality that you want them to ultimately have.

    I like that you are thinking through your audiences and outreach approach on this. Given that you want to also potentially reach secondary students, it may also be worth looking at some other podcasts that seem to be doing well with that audience and thinking about how to get the subjects and structure of your episodes to fit with what you think they may be interested in.

    Altogether, you’re off to a great start with this and if you do run with this as your project I am sure many of your classmates will be interested in tuning in.

    Best, Trevor

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