Submission and written by: R. Abu., N. Nazirah Mustapha & A. Haziq Kamaruddin
Collaboration between the world of podcasts and the world of librarianship is a powerful tool that can foster children’s development by providing enriching content for children, promoting collaboration among professional librarians around the world and encouraging creativity among children in a fun and exciting way. By nurturing these skills in children at a young age, we can help them develop their knowledge and lifelong passion for learning and reading. According to the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner, all young people need information literacy skills that will enable them to access, evaluate and use information effectively in a variety of contexts. Developing these skills from a young age is important because research shows that children who develop good information literacy skills at an early age are more likely to be successful throughout their lives and become productive members of society.
Podcasts provide free education and entertainment for young people all over the world by connecting them with high-quality educational content from experts in a wide variety of fields, including the arts, science, technology, business, history and many other subjects. Educational podcasts have been a popular medium for sharing educational content for many years.
In December 2022, a group of 26 students from Universiti Teknologi MARA Puncak Perdana, along with two faculty advisers, Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr Roziya Abu and Dr. Nor Zaina Zaharah Mohd Ariff, visited Astro Malaysia to record a podcast with Astro SYOK and Zayyan FM. The “Kisah para sahabat” podcast collection of episodes is a compilation of six audio engaging stories narratives about Rasulullah S.A.W.’s companions. It shared stories of hardship, strong will, and morality, and thus used in ways to promote leadership and strong faith among children. All 26 semesters 5 students from UiTM’s School of Information Science narrated the audio stories. This podcast is part of the ‘Anak-anak di Zayan Ipod cast program scheduled to be aired in Ramadan 2023.
To ensure the success of this initiative, Zayyan’s Content Manager, Encik Wan Syahrul Amry Wan Mansor, has agreed to broadcast the SYOK application via radio on Zayyan FM. This radio station’s “Contemporary Muslim Lifestyle” concept plays uplifting and spiritual songs sung by local and international artists, and is infused with Islamic themes for young Muslim listeners (aged 18–35). The fascinating story of Rasulullah S.A.W.’s companions reflects Zayan’s identity, which is the central topic of this podcast programme.
“Broadcast audio is distinct from delivery on YouTube and radio,” Mr. Hakimi, SYOK’s broadcast audio director, explains. Podcasters must use effective delivery methods such as monologue, interview, and storytelling when broadcasting. Audio broadcasts, on the other hand, are very adaptable because they can be created and consumed at any time and place, depending on the listener’s whims and desires. Tone of voice is critical for conveying emotion when delivering audio over the air. As a result, podcasts can be used as a continuous learning medium outside of the classroom, allowing students to learn even when school is not in session. Podcasts can also help parents make it easier for their children to listen and understand, which are two important aspects of children literacy skills development.
According to Associate Professor Ts. Dr. Roziya Binti Abu, the program’s success is far from over. She advocated for the continuation of this programme by a larger community or association at UiTM Puncak Perdana, Special Children’s Library. The continued collaboration of UiTM, Astro Syok, and Zayan Fm is expected to have a significant impact on child literacy. Higher education students can benefit from this collaboration by participating in efforts to improve youth education.