Meridian Stories

Message From the Executive Director

We are back!!!

Podcasts, to me, are these often intimate experiences that emanate from disembodied voices directly into my ear. I have been investigating podcasts, trying to unmask the reasoning behind their cultural rise. The partial answer that I have discovered is that, as in oral cultures from whence they came (ultimately), podcasts offer a very pure form of storytelling. They are unadorned, mesmerizing and usually designed to illuminate humanity.

Look at This American Life, one of the most popular radio series in the US with over 5 million listeners and an exemplar of the genre. This is how they describe what they do:

Mostly we do journalism, but an entertaining kind of journalism that’s built around plot. In other words, stories! Our favorite sorts of stories have compelling people at the center of them, funny moments, big feelings, surprising plot twists, and interesting ideas. Like little movies for radio.

Creating ‘little movies for radio’ about ‘compelling people’ around ‘interesting ideas’ – these are the stories that we want our students to tell. At this moment, I can’t fathom a more educationally rewarding experience.

Create a podcast challenge and watch your students soar.

– Brett Pierce [email protected]

Under the Radar

This is hardly an Under the Radar organization, but I suspect that for many of you, it’s an overlooked organization in terms of their vast educational resources.

I am talking National Geographic. Go to .org, not .com, to explore all that they have developed for schools. And this is a key thing to know because oddly, on their .com site, there are no links to their exceptional educational materials. It’s strange.

But exceptional they are. This is an organization who has developed a deeply thoughtful framework for learning that is worth a few minutes of your time… at the very least. Additionally, all of their content is aimed at using thethe power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.”

It’s thoughtful, colorful, full of short videos, competitions, and exceptional role models. But then again, they had me at ‘protect the wonder of our world.’

Featured Meridian Digital Storytelling Project – Eco Disruption Radio Drama

Speaking about Protecting our World, here is a STEAM Audio Challenge that asks students to avert a catastrophe through science.

Read on.

There has been a major disruption in one of Earth’s ecosystems, completely altering it. Life as it was has been irrevocably changed, and your challenge is to report on the scientific nature of the changes …as part of the radio drama in which this disaster has occurred!

For the full, free 12 page Curricular Challenge, Click HERE

Featured Meridian Resource – Sound Recording Basics

Sound recording is one of those things that students often just assume. It’s only when they get into the editing phase that they realize… we can’t understand a single thing being said!

Check out this guide to learn more about the basics of sound recording.

Featured Student Work – Eco Disruption Radio Drama – “California Eco Disruption”

This week’s featured Digital Storytelling Challenge showcases a radio drama in response to the Challenge featured above. So, first of all – there is nothing to see. This is the AUDIO news letter, after all. But listen to how these middle schoolers use sound effects to shape their narrative about the fires in California.

 Save as PDF