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
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.
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.
General tips for interviewing others that might help: http://provisional.com/employers/employer-interviewing-tips
Computational thinking basics https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_thinking
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.
Welcome, attendance, bell work, announcements
Introduce lesson and warmup activity
Prepare interview questions
Other activity (suggestion: Journal Writing)
Debrief and wrap-up
In the second class, students share and report on the interviews.
Welcome, attendance, bell work, announcements
Each group presents their interview highlights and key reflections
Debrief and wrap-up
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
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?
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.
Share with peers
Ask each pair to share highlights, and key reflections, with the class.
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.
As a guideline for a 5-6 minute presentation, they can prepare 2-3 slides for each person interviewed.
Students can also play short video clips from their interview as well.
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.