Sixth graders at Canyon Vista Middle School are getting a first-hand introduction to podcasts by creating one of their own in Kara Wilkinson’s technology class.
This is the second year for Wilkinson’s class podcast, “Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself.” In the podcast, community members and staff that work in different fields of technology are interviewed by students. The first season is currently available in the iTunes store.
“A lot of students at Canyon Vista have parents that work in the technology field in some really cool jobs,” Wilkinson said. “I thought the podcast would be a neat way to connect with parents or other adults and explore a future career.”
Each class prepares for each podcast by nominating prospective interview subjects, then voting on who will ultimately be on the podcast. Once the interviewee is selected, the class will issue a 25 question survey to base more in-depth critical thinking questions for the podcast.
Wilkinson’s fifth period class interviewed Dileep Agnihotri, founding CEO of Advanced Hydro Inc., on January 16. Agnihotri’s son is a student in the class and nominated his father to be on the podcast because of his experience as the leader of a technology company.
The class asked Agnihotri questions about his education, his choice to move to Austin and how the technology behind his company’s water treatment works.
“I enjoyed it as much as I hope they did,” Agnihotri said. “It’s a great idea, and there’s also a lot of community involvement. There’s a lot of people in the Canyon Vista community that are doing a lot of different things. To be exposed by these types of discussions is great.”
Apart from critical thinking skills needed to write questions for the interview, the students also learn how to use the technology associated with the project, including recording software, microphones and cameras.
“It’s interesting to be a part of something that is going to be published,” said Hannah Liu, sixth grade technology student. “It’s also interesting to learn how to use the podcast technology.”
Wilkinson said she plans to continue with the podcast in future years with the support of Round Rock ISD.
“I’m excited about the opportunities within Round Rock ISD to have more of these really cool technology projects,” Wilkinson said. “The opportunity to get the podcast equipment and the resource of having information technology specialists explain how to do all this is really helpful for our students.”