An Introduction to the Education and Outreach Division’s Blog and Call

photo of girls listening to a radio with the text: "We Are ALL LISTENING"; image source:
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Archivists: do you have sound collections just waiting to be accessed and explored?
Researchers: have you recently published work just waiting to be read and taught?
Instructors: do you have lessons to share?

The Education and Outreach blog is here to make connections and further the study and circulation of sound materials and scholarship for wide-ranging audiences. We enthusiastically welcome writing on the following topics, as well as special proposals for pieces that fall outside of these guidelines.

Amplifying Archives

Collection Highlights

Archivists: we would love to spotlight ways that educators could use materials in your collections in the classroom. This series asks archivists to comment on their collections, highlight gems and/or lesser-known items, indicate subjects and age groups the collection could be particularly relevant to, describe how someone might navigate the collection, and reflect on how the materials challenge or enliven historical narratives.

Inner Workings

Addressing issues of accessibility, this column asks archivists to demystify some element of their professional practice to help scholars better understand and use their collections. Think of it as a “everything scholars wanted to know about sound archives but were too afraid to ask.” For this series, we invite archivists to reflect on the logic and theory behind practices like appraisal or arrangement in relation to a specific collection you’ve worked on—and comment on how this background knowledge can help users navigate and understand materials.

Teach My Article / Teach My Book 

Have you recently published work on radio or sound that would work well in a classroom? Tell us about it! Where would it fit on our high school, undergrad, or graduate syllabi? What activities could help students explore the concepts and materials you discuss? What examples did you have to cut, but would make great supplements in the classroom? For pieces more appropriate for graduate students, what decisions did you have to make in the development of your work that might shed light on the scholarly process for junior academics? If you’re interested, we can send you a template.  

Lessons Learned

As educators, we develop lessons that work well and we’d love to share, and we also have those lessons that well, did not really work out (and we’d still love to share). 

This column asks media educators to share the materials they use in the classroom, whether a syllabus for a graduate course or a listening exercise geared towards school-aged groups. In addition to sharing plans, clips (as allowed by copyright), assignments, and other items, we ask contributors to reflect on their experience using the material. Is the item you’re sharing a recent change you made after becoming tired of some other strategy? What age groups and topics are your materials best suited to? What tips, tricks, and suggestions can you share?

Then again, not every experiment is a success. Fortunately, failure can be a great teacher. You might also reflect on a lesson, syllabus design, listening assignment, or other activity that did not go to plan. What were you hoping to achieve, what fell short, and—most importantly—how has this reshaped your future strategies for teaching some element of sound and/or radio. In other words, this column asks authors to share their failures so we can also share their successes.

Submission Guidelines

We accept inquires and fully-drafted pieces. Word counts for all pieces should range between 750-1200 words. While minimal use of footnotes is acceptable, we prefer in-text hyperlinks for citation and resource-gathering. Images and audio-visual clips are encouraged. Please ensure that these images and clips are permissible to share. For further information or to pitch a contribution, please email us at

About Us: The RPTF Education and Outreach Division supports the discoverability, accessibility, application, and analysis of radio and sound archives for a range of pedagogical activities. In collaboration with RPTF divisions, caucuses, and members, it sponsors events to showcase the educational uses of radio and sound collections and circulates pedagogical materials to support the integration of radio and sound sources into curricula across a range of disciplines and at all levels of instruction.

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