Tech Team Semester Reflection

What are some things you have learned and/or tasks you have accomplished this semester? What are some things you have been involved with supporting the school? (Use videos, pictures, upload materials, etc. as evidence of learning in your blog)

As a part of both the IDS Leadership Class and the Tech Team, I was able to combine the goals of both by initiating a customized mask sale using my skills previously acquired within our Tech team and Makers space explorations. For this initiative to work smoothly, I needed to ensure I had Tech Team volunteers to help out with the production of the customized masks and was able to produce “How to” videos on how to use/print on the Cricut machine. Additionally, I was able to partake in a “Secret Santa” exchange with my friend group to even further practice my Cricuting skills.

Links to the “How to” Cricut video:

Below are examples of masks we produced for IDS Mask Sales:

My Cricut Christmas Project:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • What aspects of your work are successful? Explain why.

I learned a lot from the process of teaching others how to use the Cricut machine as I was able to work out all the kinks and possible errors to ensure there were minimal chances of waste when others were learning how to use the machines. I found that when I used single layers but multiple colors I was able to get the best results. Additionally, simpler designs were easier to pick out and less finicky when heat pressing.

  • What aspects of your work are challenging? Explain why. / What steps did you take to overcome these challenges / what adjustments did you need to make

I found that when I tried to use multiple layers within one design it became difficult as I had to lower the temperature to ensure I didn’t burn the layer beneath. Thankfully I was able to learn from Ms. Shoelan how to adjust the temperature settings appropriately to ensure the best results within our product. This allowed me to move forward with more strategy and skill to make more intricate designs and products. Additionally, while making the Riverside Secondary logo masks we had a few challenges with how detailed the logos were themselves and were able to learn better how to navigate the site alter, lock, and weld parts of the design together to make it print in the way we wanted it to.

  • Is there anything you can do to improve? (with your approach to the project, or altering the project)

In the future when my IDS class continues our Masks sales we will approach designing logos and symbols for our masks with simplicity to ensure that the quality of the design is better versus overcomplicating the process. I would like to as well work with Ms. Shoelan and other tech team members to learn more about the layering process of designs while using the Cricut so I am able to create more intricate designs in the future.

As Riverside continues to immerse itself in innovation and technology, what do you think Riverside can do to provide support and help for teachers and students? (Provide specific examples)

I believe that we should create a space for online tutorials to allow students and staff to access any help they need on a basic level. As well I think it would be a cool idea to have a “Makers Space” club-like Ms. Henderson has mentioned as well as possibly hold after school tutorials for students and staff that are interested in delving deeper into the details and process of the Cricut and other tools within the Makers Space.

Do you have any feedback or suggestions, as we move forward, that could help the Tech Team meet the needs of our school and staff / be more effective? (Provide specific examples)

I feel that our team has been doing very well in aiding the students and staff with everything they need especially within the next month as many of us will be helping with troubleshooting Move 4 Mana App problems I believe we are doing a lot to help ensure our school feels supported. I believe that making the tool we have access to more public knowledge might bring more students into the maker’s space to try out new things, this could mean creating some sort of promotional video or even an advertisement that is sent out through School App to engage students and ensure everyone knows the amazing things they can accomplish in the Makers Space.

Christmas Cricut Assignment

What are some things that were challenging?

Throughout my IDS Leadership and Tech Team customized mask project I have learned a lot through trial and error and now feel very confident in my skills using both the Cricut Heat Press and the Cricut Vinyl Transfer. This allowed me to challenge myself with this Christmas Cricut assignment. I felt that I was ready to try a more difficult approach by doing a design that requires multiple layers. I did find this challenging because during the heat press process you need to be extremely careful not to melt the vinyl and you have to use a lower heat in order to be successful. In the end, I was able to complete this process and make a secret Santa gift for our friend group exchange.

What are some things that worked well?

I felt that the cutting of the vinyl worked really well. I had to use 2 different colors but found them all in the scraps folder which also allowed me to stay cost-friendly within this assignment. Other than that I felt that this product/project is an easy and simple way to provide a cost-efficient gift during the holiday season and I am excited to continue to use these skills when printing the Holiday masks this season.

What did you learn? How can you apply this?

While my project itself didn’t include a complex amount of layers I was able to learn lots throughout helping my team members in creating their gifts as well. Kelsey made a sweater that ended up having at least 4 different layers all in different layers which taught me about how you much alter the heat lower and lower as you add more layers as to not melt the vinyl you’ve already pressed. I also learned how to attach, group and weld the designs as well as learned a few tricks in making sure you have the design set to print not “No fill”. Lastly, I learned about Permanent Vinyl which is located in the fourth drawer. This vinyl can be treated as normal vinyl (not HTV) but is permanent and can be put in the dishwasher when on cups.

My project was for a Secret Santa in my friend group and I decided to print a design onto a sweater:

 

Halloween Photoshop Assignment

What are some things that were challenging?

Through the process of photoshopping our Halloween photo, I found the process of deleting the background and trimming the sides very tedious when you have an intricate photo. For example, Lauren and I had the red ball caps on with yellow flags and to get the detailing around our hats without trimming off the flag was very difficult. Other than that the process didn’t take too long but for my first time it was a little tricky to figure out. Lastly, I do love the result and feel like if I had more experience with photoshop I would use this tool more often.

What are some things that worked well?

I found that if I zoomed in on my photo as much as possible I was able to use the quick selector tool better and more efficiently as well. The setup in the maker’s space with the green screen is super easy to use and the background is great for editing as it has a great contrast to our costumes/photos.

What did you learn? How can you apply this?

I learned how to use several of the tools available on the photoshop app as well as was able to learn how to green screen photos and edit them. I feel like this skill would be extremely helpful when doing projects. To add a flair of creativity, changing your photo’s background would be a simple step to increase the quality of your project. For example, in grade 10 I know we were assigned recreating propaganda posters from the 1930s and this tool would’ve helped me edit backgrounds and extra graphics onto our posters.

Tech Team Micro:bits

1. What is the name of the device you have chosen?

I have chosen to use the Sensor for the microbit.

2. What is it used for? Can it be used for other things in a classroom setting?

This extension allows the user to detect the temperature of the room, how well lit the room is on a scale from 0-900 (900 being a well-lit day outside) and how loud the noise around the microbit is, also on a scale from 1-6. I belive this microbit could be very useful in the classroom setting especially when performing experiments. Most of the time when in science classes if we are doing an experiment we need constants to ensure that we only change one aspect of the device, not its whole environment. Using this Sensor we could easily detect the light, sound, and temperature of the room ensuring that these all stay constant for each prototype. This way the results will be much more accurate and you have three constants that can easily be used. As well, this device could probably be used for projects within the math department for calculating temperature, sound or light waves. This tool could be used in many projects that have constants and variables because the microbit can be adjusted to measure these three variables of any room.

3. What code did you use and what does it do? (Pictures or video’s please?

CODE FOR SOUND:

CODE FOR TEMPERATURE:

CODE FOR LIGHT:

4. Can you think of any other meaningful ways micro:bits can be used in previous and/or current classes you have taken? Please think about this and explain how and where you think micro:bits can be used.

I believe that many times in the past I have been given the opportunity in class to push the boundaries and think for a creative yet innovative solution and I believe micro bits are just that. For me, if I am given a project that allows me to go to the makers’ space and learn something new it also opens up the door and shows you all the other amazing things the maker’s space has to offer. I hope that within the next few months we can really open up this space for more students so that they can learn to use all these tools we have and can soon add them into their own projects. In Science CO-OP we made thermoses that needed to retain the most heat possible, if i had known that the micrbits had a temperature gauge it would’ve been cool to attach the microbit to the thermos somehow and get it to show the temperature of the water. Another project microbits were used for in the past was with Ms. Mireau in grade 10 Science. We were challenged to create a device using and coding with the microbit that helps some of the special needs students in our school. I can remember our group was trying to develop a microphone pre-recording for Ben to help him open and close his locker. Microbits can be used in so many diverse ways and I believe once more students are exposed to them and learn how they work the ideas will come flowing without issue.

Semester Reflection – Tech Team

What are some things you have learned and/or tasks you have accomplished this semester? (Use videos, pictures, upload materials etc. as evidence of learning in your blog)

Throughout the past semester I have been given the chance to not only volunteer at the wave but also explore all the materials our school has access too. Near the beginning of the semester I learned many skills on how to simply fix computer glitched within a computer such as wifi or edublog logins ect.

Later on as a science co-op class we were able to explore more and more into the makers space ad were opened up to all of its tools. We learned how to use the green screen desk for our Newtons law video and were very pleased with how easily it was and how well it worked as well. With Mr. Ford we were introduced to even more microbit assignments. We learned not only how to use a bread board but were also able to explore into how to code in Java and block script. As we dove deeper into the microbits we learned how to code with a servo, a sensor and even a fan. As the entire tech team soon became experts on microbits we were able to learn a lot from each other, something even as cool as sending messages through a microbit! My experience with the microbits has always started out slightly overwhelmed because of the capacity of knowledge such a small device can hold. Once the instructions were clear and we began developing a basis of information the learning became easier and easier. Mr. Ford also helped us with our Science thermos project. We were assigned to create a thermos that loses the least amount of heat energy and through the connections we made with tech team we were able to reach out for help. With Move 4 Mana we got to discover more of the editing and social media side of the team. We saw as many of our own classmates created posters, stickers and buttons all from the makers space. We watched how easily things could be advertised through social media and the true benefits it had with getting our school involved. Lastly, within and externally from tech team Didi, Kelsey and I learned how to use the Cricut as we created fun vinyl stickers for our water-bottles and our computers as well. We used quite a bot of trial and error but in the end we created beautiful patterns and Kelsey even was able to make a Christmas gift out of one of our stickers.

 

As Riverside continues to immerse itself into innovation and technology, what do you think Riverside can do to provide support and help for teachers and students? (Provide specific examples)

I believe that as a Team we should begin to get more involve within the makers space. Once we become experts on the tools and machines in there we can then be more of a use for those who need help. We could start more advertisement on the makers space and make sure that teachers give time to their students to learn how to use these machines for projects. Once the space begins to get integrated into class time and projects we could create a schedule similar to the wave so that students could come for help.

Do you have any feedback or suggestions, as we move forward, that could help the Tech Team meet the needs of our school and staff / be more effective? (Provide specific examples)

I believe that one thing we need to advertise much better is how many tools the students have access too. Unless I was in Tech Team i would not know we even had the makers space or how o use any of the tools. I hope that within the next year we can make it known to more students that we have the space available for anyone to use. We could even incorporate “tutorials” so that anyone wanting to learn how to use the space could easily come to learn more about them and find new ways to incorporate our tools within their classes.

 

Tech Team Project

a) Briefly describe your new and improved idea, by incorporating ideas and/or feedback.

Our support team is on its way to improve use of modern technology throughout the school. Not only are we interested in how we can get involved within our community but how can we incorporate innovative tech into our own classrooms. I believe that our teams main goal is to teach, help and plan new ways to give teachers and students the opportunity to use our makers space and all our tech gadgets. We will create a calming and welcoming space that can help both teachers and students with tech issues, and help teach teachers how to fix simple computer problems as to maximize class time for every student. Finally we will ensure classes have the support and aid to play and explore with all our innovative tech in the makers space. 

b) Answer the following questions:

– What problems might we run into?

Throughout this process we may run into problems of not having enough time or not enough people, luckily we have a huge Tech team willing to help us. We will need to ensure we have a system in place to ensure we don’t have too many classes in the makers space at once and to ensure that there is always enough helpers for that class. For example we will need to ensure that teachers are booking their class in a time slot for the makers space so we can ensure the tech teams support during that time block.

– What skills do we need to complete this project? How can we attain these skills?

Through the support team we have our smaller team of the robotics team. Some of our goals on this team will be to ensure we are learning and being taught how to use all the gadgets in the makers space like the micro-bits and 3D printer to ensure we can help others. Robotics team will be taught first, then we will be able to teach tech team so we have plenty of students all able to use the gadgets. Eventually we are hoping to have all staff knowing the fundamentals of micro-bits and the uses of the makers space.

c) Create a brief timeline of key things that need to happen to ensure successful completion of your project. What happens next?

Already set in place is the teachers makers Mondays, where we will have tech team students in place to help teach one on one with the staff. As this is our first step we are hoping to advance off of how this process goes and improve as we go along.

Tech Team DiVi Review

What are the strengths? Things you found useful.

Through exploring the DiVi builder i felt it gave a lot of freedom. It gave us the ability to not only explore the appearance of our blog but new and unique ways for us to show what we’ve learned. Most of the time when we are posting assignments to our blog they are meant to just give the information to our teachers but using this program i felt it gave us the option to show our information giving the appearance more of an infographic look. Throughout using the divi builder it gave us the opportunity to use its tools such as adding a video, image, column or row but using the formats given instead of the simple word document visual we usually get. Using the divi builder we are given the choice of a pre-made format or we can make our own giving us even more room for creativity. The options and controls are very similar to the ones we use when changing the theme of our blog, giving us the opportunity to detail and customize even more about our own individual blogs!

What are the  weaknesses? Things you found could be improved.

Throughout using the DiVi builder I did have a few difficulties and continue to struggle with the how portion. When opening the program you are given so many options from design to change every last inch of your blogs space. While it is very nice to be able to use this platform and create whatever we wish, it is still slightly overwhelming to someone who has never used a program like DiVi builder before. For me I began struggling with simple things such as font and image size only because the amount of freedom I had was overwhelming. Working throughout the program I began to figure out some tools with the pre formatted pages but soon realized that you cannot use DiVi builder on top of information you have but you must make your format then add in your information. Throughout this learning process I learned a lot about how freedom can make things easier and harder at the same time.

How can this plugin be used in a classroom setting to enhance student learning? Would you use it and/or recommend it?

I believe this plugin would be an amazing tool for our classes to use. Not only does it spruce up the appearance of your blog but also allows you to give your project a more personal and appealing feel. I think students would very much enjoy the opportunity to explore this platform but maybe with more instruction on how DiVi builder works. Using DiVi builder is easy once explained, but learning on your own can be challenging. I would suggest that our Tech Team create a short tutorial posted to the Riverside Youtube Channel that could be viewed by students to make their learning experience much easier. With this explanation I believe that students would have a lot more fun exploring all the tools DiVi builder has, allowing them to showcase their blogs!