It’s that time of year, and Mr. Kevin Tao’s Conversation 10 class is back with more podcasts. Podcasts are a Tao tradition, and the first batch has already been released. Students take the lead when choosing the subject, format, and style, and are a way to not only incorporate technology, but also to prepare an oral presentation without having to present in front of the class.

“When students have the chance to produce something, and then look at comments from other people saying that ‘we chose an interesting topic’ and that ‘we’re speaking clearly’, I think that gives students more confidence and they’ll start participating in class conversations more,” said Tao.

There is a range of podcasts covering subjects from British Columbia’s paranormal mysteries to life lessons about communication and the future. This batch is as unique as the students who created them, according to Tao.

“Many students choose a subject they’re passionate about, and those are always the ones I’m interested in. The fact that students have the chance to talk about an interest that isn’t covered during the school day, motivates them to put more effort into their podcasts,” said Tao.

Tao always thought that podcasts were a way for him to get to know his students better, and it allows them to open up because they aren’t surrounded by an entire class when presenting.

“I’m always blown away by what students can do, and I think that every year, it’s a new surprise,” said Mr. Tao. “Even if a group chose a subject that has been done before there’s always something different, and I think it’s those tiny differences that change the podcast for the better.”