Unit 10: Post-AP Exam Projects (4–5 weeks)

Culture Day Lesson D: Interview with People in Technology

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to...

  • Identify the people in their family, or community, who have technology-related jobs

  • Create interview questions to find out about their jobs

  • Conduct an interview

  • Identify the different types of roles and skills needed in the technology industry

  • Identify technology skills needed in non-technology organizations

  • Identify how computational thinking is practiced in real life

  • Reflect on how technology could be part of their future careers

Emphasize with students...

Curriculum Competencies - Applied Skills and Technology

Students may come with stereotypes and myths about technology jobs.

There are many different types of roles and skills needed in the technology industry. Not everyone is a coder; diffand not everyone is coding all day long. There are artistic designers, music creators, script writers, project managers, marketing specialists, quality assurance testers, front-end designer, etc.

As students get to know people in their community, they may even discover individuals who are willing to be mentors for your classroom in the days ahead.

Content - Computational thinking skills applied to various aspects of design

The four stages of computational thinking are: decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, algorithm design. These are bigs words! These steps appear in our daily life.

Ask experts who are working with the computer in your jobs about how these steps are applied. Ask them for specific answers. You may be surprised, and hopefully, inspired.

Materials/Preparation

Pacing Guide

This lesson can be done over a period of 2 classes.

In the first class, students prepare for the interviews. This class could be combined with a Journal Writing day nicely (see Culture Day C). Or, it could be combined with a regular project day, where students focus on working on a specific project.

Duration

Description

5 minutes

Welcome, attendance, bell work, announcements

15 minutes

Introduce lesson and warmup activity

15 minutes

Prepare interview questions

10 minutes

Other activity (suggestion: Journal Writing)

5 minutes

Debrief and wrap-up

In the second class, students share and report on the interviews.

Duration

Description

5 minutes

Welcome, attendance, bell work, announcements

45 minutes

Each group presents their interview highlights and key reflections

5 minutes

Debrief and wrap-up

Instructor's Notes

  1. Introduction to the lesson, and warmup activity

    • Introduce the lesson to students

    • Identifying local industry

      • Before students start thinking about who to interview, find out how much your students know about technology companies in your city or town. Spend some time to search online. Write on the board some examples of technology companies, or companies that have technology departments.

    • Identifying people in your lives

      • Ask each student alone, or with partner, to brainstorm on a piece of paper 3-4 people who have technology-related jobs. Encourage students to think of a different variety of jobs.

      • Encourage students to think of people that they know personally.

    • Share and decide

      • Find a partner, and share your list with each other.

      • Agree on 2 people from your combined list to interview together

  2. Preparing for the interview

    • In your pairs, prepare a list of interview questions for each person (questions may be different)

    • Encourage students to think about the different people around them:

      • those who work in technology organizations

      • those who have technical positions in other types of organizations

      • could be friend, relative, or even someone that you can approach

    • Encourage students to create a variety of questions, for example:

      • what does your typical work day look like?

      • what do you like, or not like, about your job?

      • what inspires you?

      • what are some challenges?

      • what educational background is needed to do your job?

      • what kind of technical skills are needed in your job?

      • what advice do you have for students?

        • Include questions related to computational thinking:

        • can you give an example of how "decomposition" is used in the context of work?

        • can you give an example of how "pattern recognition" is used in the context of work?

        • can you give an example of how "abstraction" is used in the context of work?

        • can you give an example of how "algorithms" is used in the context of work?

  3. Conducting the interview

    • Each pair should make a plan of how to conduct the interview in the coming week.

    • This should be done outside of class time.

      • Remind students to be professional and respectful when interviewing

        • Contact the person first to arrange a time and place to meet

        • Be punctual; if working with a partner, remember to introduce all parties involved.

        • Tell interviewee the purpose of the interview is for you (students) to learn more about technology related careers

        • Ask politely for permission to share some of their answers (within the classroom)

        • Avoid questions that may be awkward or too personal (like salary), and always thank the person for their time.

        • Take some notes, while still listening and being attentive

    • After the interview talk with each other about key points, and personal take-aways

      • What surprised you?

      • What was interesting?

      • What did you learn?

        • Did you feel inspired or get ideas about possibilities jobs you could do in the future?

    • Together, write 1-2 paragraphs of reflection

    • Together, prepare a few powerpoint slides (or photos, brochures, or grab bag items) to capture your interview findings and reflections, which to use for sharing with peers.

    1. Share with peers

    2. Ask each pair to share highlights, and key reflections, with the class.

    3. This can be done in one class period. The presentation time per group should be adjusted so to accomodate all students, so that no one feels left out.

    4. As a guideline for a 5-6 minute presentation, they can prepare 2-3 slides for each person interviewed.

    5. Students can also play short video clips from their interview as well.

Accommodation/Differentiation

  • Students who have little experience with interviews may practice interviewing one another in the class with a few simple questions.

  • Some students for a variety of possible reasons, may struggle to think of others to interview. They may be encouraged to consider teacher or staff in the school as potential inteviewees. Be sensitive to assist students who are new to the community, those not living with family, those who don't speak English at home, or have other situations that they may feel embarassed about.

  • Working with a partner may alleviate some awkwardness for students who really can't think of anyone to interview.

  • Working with a partner may alleviate some possible anxiety related to a face-to-face interview.

  • Motivated students could video the interview as well, and show clips during peer sharing time, with permission from the interviewee. The final sharing could be done in the format of a prepared video.