The Podfest event, held on December 15 in the Learning Theater, was a night to remember. We were thrilled to share the work so many of us have dedicated ourselves to over the past months. More than 60 faculty, students, and community members attended.
The event was unique in its experiential design and immersive mission. Drs. Lalitha Vasudevan and Ioana Literat, faculty advisors of our lab, welcomed participants with some opening remarks, recognizing the work of MASCLab members, sharing the origin story of the podcast.
It was fun to reflect on how quickly podcasting went from an idea brought up as part of new business (at a fall 2016 meeting) to one of our core practices for disseminating research in a public and accessible way.
In collaboration with the staff of TC’s state-of-the-art Smith Learning Theater, we transformed the space into different pods, representing each episode of the first season of the podcast. Participants were encouraged to both listen to the episodes and engage in the various activities attached to particular pods. These included
- playing the Scratch game “Trump Ninja,” created by one of the young people from the research described in “Youth Political Participation and Online Creativity“;
- watching B-roll of a subway ride from within a simulated train car while listening to “Choices: Centering Communities in Education & Research“;
- seeing the wide range of historical photos of students and teachers in and around their one-room school houses (from within our playful reproduction of one); and
- reading the range and creativity of participants’ entries on the “Stories that Changed Us” graffiti board.
The event rounded out with popcorn, hot chocolate and a brief “fire”-side address from Kyle Oliver, CMLTD doctoral student who first suggested starting a podcast. The Podfest was, indeed, a culmination of a year and a half of development.
Attendees were encouraged to share thoughts and ideas about what it means to listen and to conduct research. This feedback will be incorporated into the newest season, currently in production. Stay tuned!