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)
This year, I have spent a lot of time in the Makers Space. In this amazing part of the school, I have been able to learn and explore all things Cricut. As you can see in my Christmas Cricut Post, I was able to create many different designs on hoodies and different forms of glassware. Although I am not a formal member of IDS leadership, during my time spent in the Makers Space, I also did my best to lend a hand by weeding or heat pressing face masks for their campaigns.
In addition to my many projects created in the Makers Space, I was proud to be apart of the filming cast for the Move 4 Mana initiative here at Riverside (video to be released soon). While I did not spend time behind the camera or using the editing software, I was honoured to be featured in the video and share the message of Move 4 Mana in such a professional and impactful video.
When possible, I also spend my time helping students in the Wave. For example, my cousin who is not at Riverside required help using Microsoft Teams. With my ability to start meetings within the Wave Team, we were able to work through the problem together and make sure that her next Teams meeting would run smoothly.
- What aspects of your work are successful? Explain why.
A major aspect of who I am is my passion for trying new things. While this skill has served me in the Makers Space and in the Wave, I know that when I leave the four walls of Riverside, this way of learning and exploration will serve me in many aspects of life. Whether I am attempting to learn a new skill in soccer or tackle a challenging course I believe that this mindset will allow me to enjoy the journey instead of focusing on simply the results.
- What aspects of your work is challenging? Explain why.
As much as I like to believe that I have a fairly good grasp on technology, I constantly struggle with the concept of “I don’t know what I don’t know”. Often times during my filming projects or any assigned Tech Team projects, I struggle to have my end product match my ambitious vision. I believe that a major reason for this is my lack of knowledge about the editing and application software that exists. Although there is no excuse for me to not attempt and explore other applications (which I enjoy doing when I am given the opportunity), I find myself getting stuck at the stage of selecting the appropriate program for my ability and desired outcome.
- What steps did you take to overcome these challenges / what adjustments did you need to make?
To overcome the challenges listed above, I will often do two things. Firstly, I will attempt to research and learn as much as I can online. Once I feel that I have narrowed my search and am getting closer to answering my question, I like to reach out to individuals who are knowledgeable in this field. For example, over this past year I have been interested in buying a drone. I followed my process above by researching as much as I could. Once I got to a point where I had narrowed my search, I reached out to one of my peers and a family friend who currently own drones. They were able to guide me in a direction that suited my ability and desired function. By reaching out and asking questions, I landed on a drone that will work amazingly and is easy to use for beginners.
- Is there anything you can do improve (with your approach to the project, or altering the project)?
I believe that in all things, there is always room for improvement. To continue with the drone example above, I noticed that once I received the drone, I was satisfied to know that it flew, it recorded video and it was supposedly easy to fly. For me to truly get the full benefits of any technology device, I must continue to explore and learn. Once the weather gets nicer, I would love to spend some time learning to fly and record using my drone so that when we can travel again, I can create amazing videos and memories!
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)
Whether students know it or not, we are so lucky to be at a school that is technologically advanced. As much as students already have many basic technology skills that often other students are not taught, there are so many opportunities for student involvement and exploration that are missed. It is unfortunate that often times the only way to encourage this exploration is to force students to participate by designing projects that require new skills. Although there may be more accepted methods, I feel that this approach is effective and successful. Many students at Riverside are not knowledgable about what they can create and design in the Makers Space. By designing/assigning projects that require inquiry and creativeness, I believe that we can expose students and teachers alike to think outside of the box and experience a new component of technology.
If this idea is one that teachers continue to explore, I believe that getting Tech Team members involved will account for major success in many projects. Whether this additional support to teachers and students provides comfort or another set of eyes when using new equipment, I feel that this collaboration will allow for groups to work with and off each other to create amazing end products!
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)
Obviously this year has been very different year compared to all others. One of my only suggestions to the Tech Team in the coming years would be to ensure that incoming grade 9’s (and students who did not have the opportunity to attend a digital bootcamp), still receive the thorough introduction to technology and it’s use at Riverside. I remember how helpful and relieving it was to attend a digital bootcamp before any of my classes started. Transitioning to high school is already an overwhelming experience for many, therefore any additional support that we can provide to all students (especially those who started high school during COVID) would not go unnoticed or unappreciated.