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Active Citizens Podcast

Il podcast di Fattore J

Active Citizens Podcast

Active Citizens Podcast

Factor J: civic volunteering experience with Cittadinanzattiva.

The last cycle of PCTO courses based on service learning and volunteering activities has ended. The courses were organised as part of the fourth edition of Factor J, a project developed Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine.

Ten students from Classes 3L and 4L at IIS San Benedetto in Cassino (Frosinone) visited the offices of the Cittadinanzattiva and the VoiceBookRadio Association where, guided by experts Daniela Mondatore and Alessandro Cossu, they learned how to create multimedia content and podcasts to raise awareness on the topic of "being active citizens" [see news: Giving a Voice to Youth]. After an initial meeting to present the Cittadinanzattiva Association, the students participated in a laboratory and reflected on what being active citizens means from the point of view of a student. The final result of the day was the development and use of the podcast channel to raise awareness and inform others. “A project that not only served to spark children's curiosity about the world of science, but also to build greater self-confidence and team spirit,” explains Alessandro Cossu.

“After the tutors presented the project objectives, we began to plan the practical activities, discussing the various phases, and assigning specific tasks to each participant,” explains Catia Mauti, a student in Class 4L, specialising in Health and Social Assistance. “They were intense days of practical work, during which we selected the songs and planned the structure of the podcast. We recorded the introductory voices and transitions between songs. Then, on the last day, we completed the recording and made the final touches to the podcast. During this time, we had the opportunity to meet tutor Alessandro and his team, with whom we discussed and received feedback on our contribution to the project. I personally carried out the technical part together with my schoolmate Elisa. We analysed a large selection of songs, considering criteria such as lyrical relevance, musical style, and emotional impact. This process allowed us to create a playlist that reflected the themes covered in the podcast,” concluded Catia.

“ Among the activities, I particularly appreciated participating in the discussions during which we shared ideas and points of view with other participants. One of the most touching moments was when we formed a tight team that worked together to overcome challenges and ensure the success of the project. The other most significant moments I experienced include actively collaborating with the work group, facing obstacles, and overcoming difficulties together. Furthermore, the emotions and stories shared during the discussions profoundly enriched my experience. I believe that this adventure has enriched my personal growth in multiple ways. In addition to acquiring new technical knowledge in the field of audio production and communication, I have also developed teamwork, problem-solving, and empathy skills by discussing and collaborating with my project partners. I intend to continue my commitment to active citizenship in the future, as I believe that active community involvement is fundamental to promoting social and personal change. I wish to continue participating in projects that allow me to contribute positively to society and grow as an individual.”

I was in charge of the scientific part, analysing the nervous system, which I really liked as I like human anatomy. This course enriched me as I previously knew nothing about podcasts, but now I have discovered a new means of communication. Working on the podcast allowed us to overcome our initial shyness. Although speaking into the microphone initially made us a little anxious, we were gradually able to record with more ease,” explains Matteo Del Greco, a student in Class 3L. “I also believe that this experience has taught me that it is important to face one's insecurities, such as shyness, because at times we may have difficulty, for example, expressing ourselves in public or in front of people we don't know. Now, I feel that I have gained more confidence in myself, and I believe that facing these challenges will be easier. As for my future, I already have some objectives and goals that I would like to achieve, but I would gladly consider the opportunity for a new volunteering experience.”

"In creating the podcast, I took care of the technical support. I was also able to take advantage of this space to raise awareness on bullying as a victim,” adds Elisa Di Folco, Class 3L. “I really enjoyed telling my story and giving advice to kids who, like me, have been or still are victims of bullying. What struck me the most is that we started this experience as a very divided group, but now we are as close-knit as a football team! And by the end of the podcast, I had overcome my fear of speaking in front of a microphone and above all of working in a group. I will continue to take care of the people who need it most.”

“The novelty of creating a podcast on social issues they were interested in, such as 'Bullying and Happiness,' involved them both on an emotional and professional level". For Professor Giovanna Russo, who from the first edition has accompanied generations of students to discover the project's activities, "the students felt invested with an important commitment such as raising awareness amongst students of an important topic such as bullying. In fact, at the end of the recording, they decided to have all their classmates listen to the podcast in a plenary session to start a new course on this topic. The only negative note was the choice of the period: as the last two meetings were in May, year 5 students were unable to participate due to their exams (Invalsi tests, simulation of exam tests, etc.).”

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