Tiny Voices Heard Loud and Clear at First Shifting Frequencies Podcast Experiment
This semester, Kent State University’s School of Visual Communication Design and LaunchNET Kent State collaborated on Shifting Frequencies: A Podcast Experiment. An overview of podcasting was provided at the launch event on Feb. 9. The “experiment” portion of the event charged students of all majors to produce a short podcast episode, approximately 10-30 minutes in length, based on lifestyle-related themes: culture, food, healthcare, housing, society and transportation. The themes were broad and provided students the opportunity to create episodes closely tied to their areas of expertise and interests.
“Coming from a visual design background, I was interested in seeing how designers and students from other majors could communicate their message in a nonvisual way,” says Jessica Barness, professor in the School of Visual Communication Design. “Major questions for the experiment included ‘how can a podcast be designed?’ and ‘how planned or unplanned would the designs be?’”
Students had two-and-a-half weeks to create the podcast episode before uploading finished materials online. None of the students had prior experience in podcasting. The final result was 26 new podcast episodes created by 48 students. The resulting series, Shifting Frequencies, shows the numerous ways an episode may take shape: interviews, sound collage, fiction, environmental noise, music and so forth.
“With LaunchNET, we are always looking at new tools and resources for our entrepreneurs to utilize to connect with their potential customers,” says Zach Mikrut, program manager at LaunchNET Kent State. “The recent resurgence and popularity of podcasting made this experiment an interesting exploration for our students.”
Initial podcasts from the experiment are available through iTunes, Soundcloud and at www.shiftingfrequenciespod.com, with the remaining episodes scheduled for release throughout the rest of the spring semester. As a note for this experiment, the students' voices and opinions are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Kent State.