Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Play with Sound!

Welcome to the world of digital journalism!

by Diane Raab Shifflett, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, COMS, Digital Journalism Teacher
Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and for the Blind

 

IntroductionImage of Studio Recorder in use

Cut, paste, delete.  It's really that simple.

Radio broadcasting for students who are blind or visually impaired might seem intimidating at first, but with user-friendly software called Studio Recorder from the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), this is a powerful tool for students to edit their own voice in the same way they would edit a print document. 

Digital Journalism Class Overview and Purpose:

Students will learn the history of audio/radio broadcasting including the First Amendment. Students will learn journalism skills such as what makes news, practice listening to radio news and comprehending the content, learning basic geography through world news, be able to set up an interview, write questions using the 5Ws and an H, record the interview, write a brief news story, record the story and include an actuality (sound clip) and edit extraneous sounds. Students will gain technical production skills and discern whether an item needs a music bed or a segue, choose appropriate themes, learn how to time the story and balance the information. 

The original vision of a radio class was not to train students for a career in radio, but rather to foster and enhance basic reading, writing, organizing information and presenting information to a specific audience.

Skills that can be taught:

  • Being able to stay on topic
  • Articulation
  • Public speaking skills
  • Using a keyboard to start and stop recording
  • Communication skills
  • Writing skills
  • Reading skills
  • Stick-to-itivness -- multiple recordings
  • Peer feedback
  • Asking questions
  • Listening to answers
  • Organizing information
  • Writing for a specific audience
  • Using a microphone correctly

Equipment Needed

  • A computer running Microsoft Windows 98 or later, including XP and Vista
  • Microphone
  • Studio Recorder software (available on Quota funds)
  • Students
  • Music
  • Creativity
  • Listeners

Benefits

  • Communication skills
  • Confidence
  • Building community
  • Students learn to ask questions
  • Students learn the difference between fact and opinion
  • Students become better consumers of media
  • Students learn about public relations
  • Students take an interest in the world around them

Challenges

  • Equipment failure
  • Patience with editing process
  • Overcoming stereotypes
  • Administrative support
  • Cancelled interviews
  • Dead-end leads
  • Access to telephone and internet

 

Interested in learning more about our program?  Listen to this story from Arizona Public Media.

 

Lesson Plans and Handouts

Play with Sound