Teach Team Year End Reflection

wall of excellence – another year of progress

Our project is designed to reflect on Riverside’s past, as well as recognize and inspire the future. We want to create a space in the school to recognize Riverside students who have demonstrated exemplary actions in the community. We have been consulting with staff, admin and students to make sure that our project is reflective of the entire Rapids community.

The criteria for applicants took us longer than expected this year, as well as definitions of what truly makes an honourable Rapid. Although the process may have been slow, we are proud to say that the criteria we now have has been created by the Riverside community – and reflective of Riverside culture.

This year, we learned a lot about the consultation process that any successful project needs. We learned about the pros and cons in creating a community project – as well as the time it takes to truly make sure everyone has a fair amount of input. We were definitely able to strengthen our communications skills.

I think the Wall of Excellence will create a space for Riverside students to be inspired both academically and socially. It will honour those who have proven positive impact, as well as inspire students to become better people.

If I were to change a part of the project to make it more desirable, I would make sure that the graphics and programs are designed very well for this wall. Its gotta be something people truly want to look at.

To integrate our project as well possible, we’d need to make sure that the culture is well reflected, and the wall is properly promoted. In doing so, the project will provide an exciting addition to our building.


Tech Team Innovation

Tech teams – innovating the way around north america

Riverside’s Tech Team is only one of the millions of technology-focused groups in various fields across the globe. Riverside’s Tech Team is especially successful because of its unique approach in innovating locally. Riverside’s Tech Team manages various technology-based areas of the Riverside community, including social media, live-stream infrastructure, building development and community engagement. Every area is specifically taken care of by a small group of students who are intrigued and seek improvements in their area, making Riverside’s Tech Team successful.

While success often brings challenges, the Tech Team is no exception. One of the challenges Tech Team faces is consistency. Student and staff members are apart of so many other incredible initiatives, projects and community events, it can be hard for everyone to show up consistently. That being said, it’s a challenge that makes Tech Team unique – and in fact brings positive consequences, as everyone brings back new ideas they have learnt or seen from wherever they were, making every meeting more interesting.

Tech Team has always, and will always be an integral part of Riverside Secondary. Moving forward, Tech Team will need to see more projects supporting Tech Team’s presence in the school, including the new Wave (that is coming eventually) and recognizing the role of technology in our classrooms. With the support of Riverside’s administration to increase Tech Team’s physical presence with the building, it’s supporting Riverside’s unique technology 1:1 program.

To improve support from Riverside, we need to make sure that we’re continuing to do the best we can. We continue to be accountable, to be hard-working, and to be curious.

Tech Teams have proven to work across North America, including one from Burlington High School in Burlington, Massachusetts. Jennifer L. Scheffer digs deeper into their work, on her blog. It builds on the idea of integrating their school onto a 1:1 iPad program, and with the help of students from their school, they had created an “iCU” (iPad Care Unit) to help students transition into a different system. They used similar ideas with Riverside’s system – creating a centralized help-desk to answer questions from students and staff during school hours.

Some of the work they have done in Burlington could be implemented at Riverside, like a personalized help-desk students can come to (hopefully Riverside’s The Wave will be open soon.)

Tech Team

Wall Of Pride

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

New and improved ideas for the Wall of Pride include making this feature of our school accessible. Not only recognizing the feats of previous Rapids, but making the past of Riverside a part of the present. Inclusion of an archive / log of profiles of the alumni for anyone to access, at any time in addition to the physical engaging display we will already have in the school.

To incorporate this project into Riverside’s school culture, we will integrate it into programs and information feeds we already use. This includes an EduBlog website similar to The Eddy, promotion on the Riverside’s social media presence such as Instagram and Twitter, and to promote the success stories of the many students that walked through the same doors we all currently are walking through.

What Problems Might We Run Into?

Some problems we might run into include finding a home for a screen around the school that’s in a high-traffic area, funding for the wall, and finding personal success stories.

There will also be a problem creating a proper criteria for the nomination process as we will need to find a way to balance academic, athletic and personal achievements that should be celebrated.

School engagement will also be a challenge. This project can turn out as one of the most significant additions to Riverside, or it can turnout to be a low-engagement project sitting aside from all of Riverside’s activities. We need to find ways to keep this project interesting and exciting, and create a brand off of this new part of our school.

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

We need to understand Riverside’s history and its’ students from the past and the present. Riverside has had many significant transformations since its’ recent opening in the 1990’s. From a new school to one of the British Columbia’s leading schools in digital innovation and inquiry, many steps had been taken in order for our school to be where we are. A diverse range of champion students have also walked through our doors, including artists, athletes, scientists and entrepreneurs. We will need to completely understand their growth stories and promote Riverside’s role in their success to motivate other students currently attending Riverside.

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

First off developing a connection with the team is the first step. You need an engaged team to develop an engaged project. When we begin to create a criteria, we will also need to consider what makes a “successful” Rapid, as well as what will a “successful” Rapid look like in 10 years. Time will transform how we perceive success and we need to make sure we accommodate for that change. The costs and budget will also need to be concretely defined so we can secure the financial funds for this project, and create an agreement with the school. Once and if the project comes to life, we will need to create engagement for this project. It will need to fit into Riverside’s culture, as well as continue to be engaging after launch – which means constantly updating it, creating time-exclusive content and exclusive content that would only exist through Riverside’s Wall of Pride or archive EduBlog.

We will also need to make sure that this project has a growth opportunity so that in the future, key data will be kept and new teams can continue to bring this project even further. This can include an archive for future use – keeping our data for years ahead, and to refine a development long-term goal for future teams.


Tech Team Edublog

What Widgets and Plugins did you Choose?

I liked the add-on of a few widgets on my EduBlog, but ultimately decided to remove a few as I felt they didn’t provide a presence that I liked.

These widgets included the Recent Posts, 3D Rotating Tag Cloud and Google Webfonts.

The plugins I chose included AddThis, Social Share, and Embed any Document.

What are their strengths?

The Recent Posts plugin allows visitors to easily navigate my new content, helping teachers get to where they need to get, quicker. The 3D Rotating Cloud gave my blog a more interactive and engaging experience. The key words displayed some of the courses I used EduBlogs for a lot, and gave insight on some of the topics that interests me, and from all of them, the Embed any Document plugin is the one I find that brings a lot to my EduBlog. It improves accessibility to my blog posts, and provides a more aesthetic design, a lot better than the confusing and unorganized links.

What are their weaknesses?

For the recent posts, it gave insight on what I’m currently studying / interested in at school, versus seeing irrelevant content from 2 years ago, the Calendar just seemed to be a use-less add-on to my blog as there really isn’t a need to search by date, nor can I see the benefit of having such widget in an educational setting. The 3D rotating cloud I chose to keep, not for any educational purposes, but rather to personalize my blog further. Google WebFonts seemed to be excessive for my blog style, and was removed for the reason that perhaps my coding isn’t quite there yet, but more so because I saw no benefit of such plugin for my blog.

Can these plugins / widgets be used in a classroom setting to enhance student learning? Would you use / recommend it?

Most of these widgets / plugins can be used very frequently. Some aid in giving the blog a more personalized feel, and others help ease navigation through the blog. I think the document embedding widget will be by far the most used on my blog, as it’s simple, it simplifies navigation, and provides the blog a better looking design than links all over the page. Many plugins have been removed or will be rarely used for now.