Try your hand at podcasting with new classes coming to campus

Interested in learning a bit more about the podcasting world? Now is your chance to jump in, with new podcasting classes and labs coming to SIU this spring.

The upcoming classes are part of the creative writing program and will open new doors for students to work on both collaborative and individual projects. Classes are available to undergraduate and graduate students of all disciplines, providing a unique skill to add to any resume.

Building a long-term vision

The class is more than a simple training in online technology. The goal is to develop a valuable and practical course for students, while also adding a unique asset to the University.

For Pinckney Benedict, originator of the new class and professor in the English department, students often face a challenge when building creative work in college. Because of the nature of class structure, students always have someone to read their writings and show interest in their work. But the same principles don’t always hold true in the real world. One goal of this class is to train students to gain interest and then maintain an outside audience.

“My intention is that these podcasts will go out into the world,” Benedict said. “We will make them available on iTunes, Stitcher and all the various podcasting apps that are out there. So, folks will get to find out what the world thinks of their work.”

Hosting service will help shows find an audience

The goal is to create podcast shows that are unique to SIU and stick around for years to come. The team will hire a hosting service that will propagate the shows and start to gather attention to the channels and SIU brand.

“What I want to do is develop, first of all, SIU as a podcasting brand,” Benedict said. “I want people to look at our podcasting channels and say ‘wow, SIU is really producing a lot of good material.’”

Students will have ample opportunities to learn and try new things, as Benedict plans on students experimenting with the whole process throughout the semester.

“The idea of the class is to break down all of the roles, the different roles that you can take,” Benedict said. “You are a writer; you are an editor; you are helping other people edit; you are a producer, in that you are sitting down and actually running the equipment while other people record their part; you are a voice actor; and you are a director.”

Everyone in the class will have opportunities to experiment with each role and hone their unique skills, Benedict explained.

Open to students in all degree programs

While offered as a 400 level course in the creative writing program, the goal is to include students from different majors across campus. For Benedict, the opportunity is valuable for students with a variety of interests.

“I am open to collaborations from all over the campus,” Benedict said. “I would encourage folks who have ideas for collaborations to please get in touch with me.”

Founded by the SIU Foundation

The new class is funded by a recent grant from the SIU Foundation. The funds will launch the new class and pay for the lab, while also factoring in costs of hiring a hosting service. The lab will be housed in the creative writing wing of Faner Hall on the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus.

For more information about the lab or joining the class, contact Pinckney Benedict at 618/453-6826.

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