YearEndReflection

Tech Team: 2017/2018

What are some things you have learned and/or tasks you have accomplished this year?

I’m really proud of the work I’ve done this year in regard to technology. I helped create an interactive voice-activated mirror with Microsoft, contributed to the design plans for the Makerspace/library, contributed to the development of the alumni showcase, helped run various events at the school such as the grade 9 digital boot-camp and pro-d days, and built up the Eddy’s media department. It was a lot of work and it was really challenging, but at the end of the day, it was rewarding as well.

What aspects of your work are successful? Explain why.

I always felt good leaving one of the Tech Team-aided events this year, like the digital boot-camp, Parent Tech Night, and the district Pro-D on February 23. I think that, due to the tremendous amount of work that went into planning and making sure these days ran smoothly, as well as the amazing skillset of everyone participating, those events went really well. I’m glad that we can help share how awesomely Riverside uses technology with the whole district.

What aspects of your work is challenging? Explain why.

I spent a lot of time this semester at the WAVE, as there is not much to do with a Block A spare. Not only did I learn about the different problems students and teachers experienced with their digital devices, but also how to solve them. It was really difficult to help solve problems that I had never encountered before, and I had to learn how to get over my pride and just google the solutions if possible. I know more about computers and troubleshooting now, but I also know how to be patient when things aren’t going my way.

I also did a lot of technology work for the Eddy. We’ve never really had a focus on media before, so there wasn’t too much too work in terms of building up our social media presence and putting out videos regularly. There were a lot of roadblocks I had to overcome, especially with the latter. It turns out writing, producing, and editing videos is hard, even if they’re only a few minutes long and I have some people helping out. Eventually we’ll find our stride, but I think we did a really good job this year breaking ground. The Padcaster will also be a big help.

Is there anything you can do improve?

I have to be more tenacious with the various projects I’m involved in. I think I sort of dropped the ball on some things this year and didn’t give certain things the thought they deserved, but I’m definitely going to try and do a lot better next year. My schedule has lessened up (hallelujah) and I’m more passionate about technology than I was at the beginning of this year. In terms of the Eddy media, we did a good job of starting everything out, but I would like to produce content regularly and periodically next year. I have to be more willing to include others in this, but also encourage people to get the job done. The big thing right now is passion – if there’s no interest, there’s no improvement.

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?

I think a big problem we encounter right now is the lack of quick-and-easy tech support we offer. The WAVE is a great thing to have, but sometimes people just need a quick guide on how to figure something out on their Edublogs or Office365 and their teachers don’t know how. Think the Telus support website: there’s step-by-step guides on how to solve the problem yourself, and if those don’t work, then you seek a real person. We could be a lot more efficient by having more online resources (that are publicized throughout the year) accessible to students and teachers, that simultaneously solve the problem and teach them about their digital devices. It’s two for the price of one! Education AND support – what more do you need?

I think we also need to work more with teachers. A lot of teachers don’t know how to use Office365 to its full capacity, or don’t know how solve problems that arise with technology. If possible, I can see it being beneficial to have training sessions with teachers on some of the stuff that Tech Team kids and the LIF team normally do. With the huge number of new students coming in, there just isn’t enough of us to offer help to every student who needs it. The more efficient we can be, the better.

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?

As I mentioned, the creation of online support guides would be helpful, or even a package of them that can be found in every classroom. We should also advertise ourselves. Tell the school that “Hey! We’re here and ready to help!” A lot of people don’t know they can go to Tech Team kids for support.

November Reflection

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

            Not necessarily this month, but since September I’ve participated in the Grade 9 Digital Bootcamp (September 6th) and the CUEBC Conference held at Riverside (October 21st). I’ve also put in hours at the WAVE, and helped numerous teachers with Office 365.

At the Digital Bootcamp, I was in the gym going around and helping students with their Windows devices. I answered questions and troubleshot various problems independently. At the CUEBC Conference, I escorted presenters to the rooms where they would be presenting, and helped them set up their devices to the projectors, Wi-Fi, and speakers. I probably met about a dozen presenters, and helped countless other people attending the conference with their own devices and where to find the rooms. (More rave reviews: here)

In general, I learned a lot about how I should be approaching questions about technology to teachers and students. I’m pretty good at it, but it’s a little tricky to explain how to do things when the person you’re helping just wants you to do it, instead of them learning how to do it themselves. It was pretty funny taking over my English teacher’s computer though (“I have no idea Sara you do it.” Later, she raved that I was “a computer genius” to a colleague at the CUEBC Conference.)

What aspects of your passion project are working? Explain why.

My passion project right now is being on the Makerspace council. We’ve only met once so far, but we had a really good meeting filled with lots of discussion about what the purpose of the Makerspace at school should be and what we need to know before we begin designing the library renovations.

What aspects of your passion project are challenging? Explain why.

It was a little challenging to understand what some people were thinking about the Makerspace at the meeting. We all came from very different backgrounds (there were only three students at the meeting – most were educators), so we had different definitions about what a Makerspace is, and had different objectives about what we would like it to be.

What steps did you take to overcome these challenges / what adjustments did you need to make?

Eventually, the “spouting ideas to put on the board” method dissolved until we were having long, in-depth discussions about various topics involving the Makerspace, like how students would probably use it and amazing innovations we could service at Riverside. It was cool to be on that level of conversation with people who I would’ve only talked about SLC with, besides.

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

I might put together some of my own ideas for the Makerspace, and bring them up at the next meeting. However, most of the planning is out of my hands.

What is the next step, when will it be completed?

The next step is following up with Mr. Ciolfitto. As for the second question, I have no idea. No one really knows.

 

(I apologize for the lack of imagery. There aren’t many photos about my Tech Team stuff – I’m elusive when it comes to cameras. My hair always looks awful!)