Toronto resident teaches local kids the art of podcasting

Podcast producer Samantha Hodder showed High Park Day School students the ins and outs of this modern storytelling method.

Podcast producer Samantha Hodder brought her expertise to High Park Day School

Students had plenty of questions for local podcast producer Samantha Hodder during her October talk at High Park Day School. (Supplied by Samantha Hodder)

A Toronto resident with a flair for podcasting is helping the next generation learn the ins and outs of this popular storytelling method.

Independent writer and producer Samantha Hodder, who started her podcast The Egg Carton two years ago, recently made an appearance at High Park Day School to teach her craft to elementary students.

"Like, what kind of stories do you, like, talk about and stuff?" asked one inquisitive student, in an audio recording provided to CBC's Metro Morning.

"My podcast is called The Egg Carton, and I like to crack open stories to find the gooey insides," Hodder replied.

When she asked the class if podcasting is a "new" or "old" thing, the class was split down the middle. "That's the answer to this question: It's a little bit of both," Hodder said. "What you're doing when you're making a podcast is, you're making a radio story."

Samantha Hodder, a Toronto-born independent producer and writer, has worked throughout the media industry, from radio production to documentary film. (Supplied by Samantha Hodder)

Over the years, Hodder has worked in various areas of the media industry, from magazines to radio to documentary filmmaking, and also works as a documentary programmer for Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles Ave. Her passion for podcasting, though, is more recent. 

"I just fell in love with listening to them, and obsessively listened to them for the last few years, and then I thought: I could do that," she said in an interview with CBC Toronto.

And she thinks kids can do it, too.

Podcasting is a "whole emerging, exploding genre," Hodder said, but it's one youth are familiar with. It's important for youth to learn about this storytelling method, she said, because the technology for podcast production is so accessible to young people.

"I think we need to expose kids to a variety of mediums... we have to keep it current, and catch them up to the 21st century," said Amanda Dervaitis, principal at High Park Day School.

"Having (Hodder) come in was really eye-opening for the kids," she added.

Following Hodder's recent appearance, students showcased story projects at the small, independent school's storytelling expo this week.

Dervaitis said the school's 20 students embraced new media methods, from video games to blogging, and Dervaitis said one even opted to produce a podcast for the assignment.

"You just recognize the different ways that kids can communicate," Dervaitis said.