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Producing podcasts building confidence, skills for Grade 7s

One teacher, five girls and a goal of producing a weekly podcast.

'They didn't know what a podcast was'

The group of Grade 7 students didn't know what a podcast was — and now they produce them. (Teghan Beaudette/CBC)

In just one school year, a group of Grade 7 students at L.A. Desmarais Elementary School have gone from not knowing what a podcast was to producing podcasts on their own.

Their teacher, Brian Trenholm, was really into podcasting, so last fall he thought he'd see if some of his students wanted to learn too.

"This was my first year at this school," said Trenholm. "I'm a tech enthusiast and pretty involved with using technology in our school."

Trenholm picked a few candidates to start with, who then helped him fill up the roster — ending up with a team of five girls to put together the recordings.

"We started right from the ground up," said Trenholm. "They didn't know what a podcast was."

It only took a few weeks to get from idea to the first recording, but the podcasts haven't actually played anywhere yet. 

"We're really hoping to get information about events and replays of the great things that happen here [at school] out so parents can hear about it," said Trenholm.

The school currently maintains a blog where the podcasts are posted, along with pictures of whatever the girls happen to be talking about.

The goal is to publish a new show once a week, but sometimes the rest of school life gets in the way. Trenholm said staff and parents seem to be the regular listeners, but he's hoping the audience will expand further.

The girls' parents told Trenholm they're "thrilled" with how confident their kids are after working on the podcasts.

"There's a real sense of accomplishment," said Trenholm. "They started with little to no knowledge and made something happen."

The team plans to produce podcasts again next school year.

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