Written by volunteer writer Amy Freeman
Many TechGirlz graduate from attending workshops in middle school to helping to teach those same workshops in high school. Puneetha M. is one of them. Puneetha’s a high school freshman in North Carolina and a first-year member of the TechGirlz Teen Advisory Board. Before the World shut down, she served as a TA during a Podcasting workshop.
During the Podcasting TechShop, girls learned how to create a personal podcast, which they could use to tell their stories. The girls worked with Audacity, an open-source audio software program to create the podcasts and add music and sound effects to them.
Puneetha’s favorite part of TAing the workshop was getting the chance to learn about each girl’s story. She was struck by the diversity of each girl’s experience. “I learned from the girls during the workshop the different things people have gone through and how each and everyone is different whether it be through their interests or life story. I have grown to fully appreciate this diversity that stems from the girls’ love of technology,” she said.
She was also impressed by watching how the girls went about creating the podcasts, noting that they used different tools and each girl approached the process in a unique way.
Her only regret is that she didn’t get the chance to listen to all of the girls’ stories. “The next time I would make sure to spend more time [listening to] as many podcasts as possible,” she said.
The Podcasting TechShop provided Puneetha with her first experience as a TA, although she has used Audacity in a TechShop she took while in middle school, Unleashing Your Inner DJ. In that workshop, she used the program to put together a digital mixtape.
She recommends the Podcasting TechShop to anyone who might be interested in leading or TAing a workshop for the first time. Before jumping in to teach, she recommends having a basic understanding of Audacity, so that you can provide useful guidance to the girls in the workshop. She also recommends regular check-ins with the workshop participants, so that you can answer any questions that come up quickly.
Does leading or TA-ing a workshop sound good to you? Check out our (virtual) volunteer opportunities!