Students Bring Social Studies Concepts to Life Through Podcasts
By: Melony O'Neill, STS Teacher
Grade 10 students have been spotted in many different classrooms of late, steadfastly recording collaborative podcasts under the careful direction and guidance of Mr. Boulianne. The collaborative production of podcasts is a fresh pedagogical approach that allows students to debate and argue questions of interest raised in the Historical Globalization unit.
Grade 10 students were challenged to produce a podcast in teams to debate the inquiry question, “Is Jared Diamond’s Theory of Geographic Determinism Valid?". Students were asked to generate arguments and support their stance using suitable contentions to support opposing positions on the question. In the podcast, students were also encouraged to refute their opponents and uncover possible weaknesses to opposing viewpoints. The sub-theme that surfaced in this inquiry-question centered on Determinism vs Intentionalism. Do people drive history and outcomes or do structures and environment drive history and its outcomes? The focus of the podcasts was not to win the debate but rather to elevate the conversation to illustrate a deeper understanding of Determinism and Intentionalism as they relate to historical globalization. Creating a podcast utilizes stages of the writing process central to essay construction. Students needed to draft and edit their podcasts using Audacity to generate a well-polished debate between student teams. Students are being evaluated using the following MYP Criterion: Criterion (A) Knowing and Understanding, Criterion (C): Communication, and Criterion (D): Critical Thinking. Mr. Boulianne will most definitely have some excellent winter break listening ahead of him as he relaxes over the holidays and critically listens to his Grade 10 students’ successful podcasts.