The Vancouver Podcast Festival: Report

Photograph of panel at CBC live podcast 2050: Degrees of Change

The Panel at 2050: Degrees of Change (CBC live podcast)

The Vancouver Podcast Festival 

Karen Budra and Julian Prior attended the inaugural Vancouver Podcast Festival, sponsored by the Justice Institute, CBC and the VPL and presented by DOXA, between Thursday, Nov 8 and Saturday, November 10. We attended a number of panels, workshops, social events & live podcasts. Here are our takeaways: 

Purpose 

In the panel, Politics & Podcasting, Charlie Demers pointed out that podcasts “fulfill… the promise of the internet” as opposed to social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, because podcasts are “more thoughtful.” This resonated with us, as one of the primary functions of academia is to encourage students to demonstrate deep learning and we would encourage faculty to learn how to use podcasts both to deliver course material and to provide students with another modality with which to express their ideas. 

Technology 

Most of the kit recommended by the senior sound CBC sound engineer, Cesil Fernandes in Sonic Sorcery: The Magic Tricks of Sound Design, such as the Zoom, Shure and Sennheiser microphones and portable recorders, are already available through EdTech or AVIT. Additionally, of course, smartphones (with or without attached microphones) can be used as a “safe” adjunct, should another recording device fail. 

EdTech also has an insulated studio in which to record audio, available to be booked by Langara faculty. 

Networking 

In the course of the three days, we met a variety of people from a variety of backgrounds, including Johanna Wagstaff, Lisa Kristiansen, Ian Hanomansing, & other CBC luminaries; well-established podcasters Karina Longworth and Helen Zalzberg; neophyte podcasters and students. 

These connections were both informative and inspiring, especially as one of the CBC producers is the parent of one of Karen’s current students and was able to talk knowledgably about Langara. We also spent time with two recent UBC film grads who run a podcast and learned much about how they set it up and the best way to deliver podcasts to students. More importantly, we learned how they created this student podcast and gained valuable insight into how we might support Langara instructors to help their students establish one based on this model. One of the great strengths of podcasts as a learning tool is that they can be delivered directly to students’ mobile devices, allowing them to study on the move.

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