What are some things you have learned and/or tasks you have accomplished this year? (Use videos, pictures, upload materials etc. as evidence of learning)
This year, I have been working and improving upon my video editing skills. Below I have attached two video projects that I am proud of, the Allegory and Allusion project to represent my skills at the beginning of the semester and the Spoken Word video to show my improvements. I have learned a lot about lighting, the instrument that you choose to film with and the importance of your filming location. Although I have not mastered the trade by any means, I have enjoyed learning more about editing and filming projects (which ends up making the project itself more enjoyable).
A task that I have accomplished this year is another English project. Although to some it may have seemed to be yet another project, my partner, Ella, and I felt that we could do so much for our community and still complete the task that was being asked of us. Below I have attached a video to our project where we made care packages for front line health care workers at Eagle Ridge Hospital. We were assigned the task of using poetry to uplift our community and in response, we both wrote poems that were featured in the care packages.
Although neither of these achievements are Tech Team specific, I believe that the many components completed to have success within the achievements have helped me to be a better person, (Tech Team) teacher and learner.
What aspects of your group project/task were successful? Explain why.
This year, I am proud to say that we were so close to implementing the Wall of Excellence. Although Covid-19 had other plans for us, it was amazing to finally see physical representations of the hard work that we had been putting into this project for the past few years. I felt that we all worked very hard as a group to achieve our individual assignments ultimately allowing for success within the team. I also loved that our team expanded this year and that we were able to generate even more ideas to create a better final result.
What aspects of your group project/task were challenging? Explain why.
It has definitely been difficult and discouraging to not have had the opportunity to implement the Wall of Excellence as we had originally hoped for this year. It is completely understandable why we were unsuccessful under the current circumstances, however, I wish especially for the grade 12’s sake (who have been working on this project since their grade 10 year) that we would have been able to kick start the Wall this year and hand out our very first award at the June academic banquet. Other than this change of plans, I felt that our project ran fairly smoothly (especially as a handful of us who participated in this group were absent for the month of January with our Co-Op placement). We were able to communicate constantly and rely on each other to have success as a group.
What steps did you take to overcome these challenges / what adjustments did you need to make?
Unfortunately, due to the challenges and the inability to launch our physical Wall of Excellence, we chose to remove the applications from the school website and from my understanding, delay the launch until next year. While once again this is disappointing, I believe that it will simply take a change in expectations for next year and it will require our group to continue to be flexible and hopeful for the integration of our hard work.
As Riverside continues to immerse itself into innovation and technology, and distance remote learning continuing to be a possibility, what do you think Riverside can do to provide support and help for teachers and students? How can the Tech Team be more effective? (Provide specific examples)
By offering the Tech Team Teams option (which is open to everyone in our school from my understanding), I believe that we have been able to help as many Riverside students and staff members as possible during this time. It is difficult to not have the ability to solve problems in person, working along side the student or teacher who is requiring support. However, by sharing our screen or asking our “client” to share their screen, I feel as though we have overcome yet another barrier and we have found one of the best and easiest solutions to help solve problems. If we were to somehow facilitate the integration of Tech Teams in other schools or districts, I believe that the students who have been struggling with online learning, would feel better supported and more inclined to attend classes. It is difficult to participate in any event or learning activity when you are so far behind or are unsure of how to even participate that I could understand why a student would find it easier to simply not attend. By supporting those who are struggling the most, I feel that we can help elevate stress and many technological difficulties for our friends and neighbours in other schools. While this idea may begin by supporting smaller groups (as we have already done with our Family of School’s Team), I believe that by becoming the leaders of this change, we can help encourage and support any other groups who may be ready to lend their support as well.
The name of our chosen device is “Mini Servo Analog Motor”.
What is it used for? Can it be used for other things in a classroom setting?
This device, when activated spins to the beat of hot cross buns (it also plays this melody). When integrated into other objects (such as a stuffed animal), this device may assist the objects to rotate (such as the animal’s limbs or neck). In a classroom setting, I’m not certain of how it might be used. If it were in an instance that students required a mobility and rotation component for a complex project, I’m sure this device could be integrated with ease (as it is also very easy to code).
What code did you use and what does it do? (Pictures or video’s please)
CLICK HERE to watch a video of the Mini Servo Analog Motor in action.
This code rotates the device in small increments while playing the melody of hot cross buns.
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.
This past semester, I took part in the amazing science co-op program. With hopes that we would apply everything that we had learned thus far, Ms. Jackson implemented a thermos challenge. My team and I wanted to push the boundaries of this challenge and in doing so, we created a battery operated thermos. With hopes that we could implement a Micro:bit, we planned to create a thermometer to help us measure the temperature difference at the beginning of the challenge vs. the end of the challenge. The Micro:bit would have displayed the temperature while an attachement would have been placed in the actual water/thermos. Although we were unsuccessful in implementing this component (mostly due to time), I am proud that we were able to even brainstorm ideas for how we can be using the many amazing resources that we have access to at Riverside. I hope that teachers continue to encourage this challenging mindset and that students begin to feel more confident with the tools in our makers space. I’m sure that with more time and experience, Micro:bits will find their way into many projects of future Riverside students.
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)
Even though I finished this project before the semester began, it is one that I am truly proud of. Throughout our school France trip (this past May), I made sure to take a lot of videos. My thought was that by taking these clips, I would be able to eventually put them all together as a vlog. The amount of time and patience it took to sort and edit this vlog was tiring, however, I am so glad that I now have this memory of the amazing adventure we had.
This past semester (and over the course of last year), I have been working along side a team of teachers and students to create a legacy wall at Riverside. Beginning in September we were able to make enormous progress and we are finally at the stage now where we will be able to have the Wall of Excellence up and running by the end of the school year.
Just before Christmas time, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to play with the Cricket in the Makers Space. I have a much older version of the Cricket machine at home, however, I had never spent the time to learn how to use it. I entered the Makers Space with the idea that it would be much harder than expected, however, it was even easier than I could have ever thought. I was able to create a beautiful water bottle sticker as well as learn about the many attachments and possible projects for the Cricket. I am inspired now to learn how to use my machine at home and hopefully create something beautiful!
For the following questions, I will be reflecting upon my experience with MicroBits.
What aspects of your work are successful? Explain why.
My experience with MicroBits is very limited due to the fact that I have not invested nearly enough time to learn the many tricks and components that make up the program and the MicroBits themselves. Although my skills limit me at times, I have found success in the design process. I have been able to imagine many projects and tools that I believe could have a positive impact on the members of my school and community.
What aspects of your work is challenging? Explain why.
As mentioned above, the aspects that I find challenging when referring to MicroBits is the actual use of the program. There are multiple codes and options for a person to select when programming a MicroBit and for someone with little to no knowledge, at times it can be overwhelming.
What steps did you take to overcome these challenges / what adjustments did you need to make?
In order to overcome these challenges and see my projects through I have been sure to either ask for help or further research the topic. At times I have found projects that are similar to mine (on the Internet) and therefore, I am able to see how people code their MicroBit or I can observe which attachments they use to make their creation function as desired.
Is there anything you can do improve? (with your approach to the project, or altering the project)
In order to improve my MicroBit skills I can easily spend more time playing with and learning about these amazing little devices. I look forward to the MicroBit training day and shortly after, the lesson with SD43 members to improve my skill and hopefully share my knowledge and experience with our guests.
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)
The transition into high school (or from another school) can be overwhelming for many. I believe that continuing to provide support for these new students (such as the Digital Bootcamp and the Parent Information evenings) is a vital component to ensuring their success at Riverside.
In terms of supporting teachers at Riverside, I believe that by providing them with the necessary tools and potentially training, teachers can start to incorporate the items found in the Makers Space into their lessons and projects. There may be individuals who refuse the idea of these new resources, however, through exposure and opportunity for play, I hope to support and explore new components of the Makers Space along side both the staff and students at Riverside.
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)
As we are still in the beginning stages of the Wall of Excellence, I understand why this is not one of our main concerns, however, I do worry about how we will maintain this legacy wall once the original members of the creation team have said goodbye to Riverside. I believe that this wall will be an amazing addition to the spirit of Riverside and I hope that it will continue for many years to come. With that said, I suggest that once the wall is up and running, we, the creation team, spend additional time brainstorming a two or three year plan in hopes that we can help to keep the Wall of Excellence a success.
a) Briefly describe your new and improved idea, by incorporating ideas and/or feedback.
Our new and improved ideas are regarding how and when we will be able to actually implement the Wall Of Excellence. We hope to have the wall up and running by the end of this school year. The idea is that it will not be a literal wall, however a screen that will “recognize current and past, staff and students, individuals and/or groups, for their outstanding achievements and contributions to our school and community”. We hope to place this screen across the stairs underneath the big windows on the top floor. Once all of this is in place, we will be able to go ahead and start advertising. This will consist of searching for candidates as well as getting Rapid Nation excited about celebrating our successes. Although this appears to be an easy step in comparison to the work we have already completed, I have a feeling that it may be the hardest yet. It will be nearly impossible to get every student in the school excited about this project, however I hope once everyone is aware of just how amazing Rapid Nation is, they will be that much more proud to call themselves a Rapid.
b) Answer the following questions:
– What problems might we run into?
We may run into issues with funding. Although this has been discussed, I worry that we will not have enough money to buy a screen to display our project.
I worry that nobody will apply to be on the Wall Of Excellence.
I am still uncertain how we might present the information on the screen. Will we create a Power Point presentation and set it on a loop? Will we have to have a computer beside the screen at all times to display the Power Point? Will the information remain on the screen long enough for people to read? Will people get board of looking at the screen if it is only showing one person for too long?
– What skills do we need to complete this project? How can we attain these skills?
We will need to have good problem solving skills for this project. This means that we have to adapt and change our plans if we do not have the necessary funding or support. I believe this is a skill that our group feels confident with as we have already practiced adapting our plans throughout the beginning stages of this project.
We will need to advertise and work on our communication skills. We can work with the social media team to make posts about the project as well as ask Mr. Gee to add information to the daily announcements.
Our group may have to enlist help from other Tech Team students when brainstorming ideas for how we might present the information on the screen. I am not familiar with many programs that could help us accomplish our vision for the screen and therefore would appreciate having someone with more experience beside me (whether this person be from our group already or a Tech Team member from another group).
c) Create a brief timeline of key things that need to happen to ensure successful completion of your project. What happens next?
I hope that before we leave for Christmas break, our group will be confident enough to set the plan in motion for the new year.
When we return in January, we will have purchased the screen.
The next step will be to decide on a program (as well as the theme/design) in order to display our information on the screen.
I hope we can complete this task by February and install the screen shortly after.
We will then take on the task of explaining the Wall Of Excellence to Rapid Nation and sourcing applicants.
By the end of the school year, I hope we can recognize a handful of people from Rapid Nation (who were featured on the Wall Of Excellence) at Awards Night.
A) What are the strengths? Things you found useful.
One of the strengths of the Divi Builder is that there is a video tutorial for almost any feature. If I got stuck, I was able to click on the question mark and watch a video to answer my question. After playing around with this plugin for a few hours, I found that the layout was pretty simple to use. It did take some time at the beginning to learn the simplest of features, however, once I mastered those, the program seemed to offer any design element I could think of. Each option (a countdown clock, a photo gallery or even a text box) was very customizable, making it incredibly easy to customize my posts and overall personalize my blog.
B) What are the weaknesses? Things you found could be improved.
Some of the weaknesses regarding the Divi Builder plugin are simply due to the fact that I do not have an account for the Elegant Themes feature. I would have liked to change my whole blog theme through the Divi Builder, however after multiple attempts and still no progress, I realized that this was one of the features we were not provided with. From my understanding, this feature also restricts us to using the map option. If we did have access to the map, I would have placed pins to represent the places in this world where I have been lucky enough to visit. If I had any items to critique, it would be that these features should be free so that we can further enhance our blogs.
C) How can this plugin be used in a classroom setting to enhance student learning? Would you use it and/or recommend it?
I would most definitely recommend this plugin as it allows students to present their work in a creative fashion when posting projects that are more than just text. I believe that this plugin could be taught at the Digital Bootcamp (for those who are more technically advanced) or incorporated in the grade 9 technology course. This plugin will take patients when learning and exploring; however, once students figure it out (and have the confidence to play around with their blogs while making mistakes), I am sure their blogs will be much more visually appealing and expressive of who they are.
a) Describe your project. What did you do? How did you do it?
For my project, I was lucky enough to be a part of the wall of excellence team. This wall (although it may be a screen as apposed to a wall), will display the excellent accomplishments of current and alumni Rapids as well as staff and members of our community. Throughout the year, we designed a criteria and a basic outline of what this wall may look like. For the following months, our main focus was getting input from the staff and improving upon the ideas we had already created. Although many of these ideas are still just ideas, we hope to have a physical product sometime next year.
b) What problems did you run into? Were you able to solve these challenges? How did you solve these challenges? Is there anything you would do differently?
A problem that we continued to run into was that everyone wanted to know what the wall would look like. When discussing the criteria with teachers and asking them questions about their opinion, most times the teachers would answer our question with their own (again, mostly regarding the final product). We were able to solve this by making sure to start the discussion by saying “we do not know what it will look like at this point, however we have many ideas regarding the criteria to share with you today”. This way, the direction of the conversation was established and everyone was on the same page. If I were to go through this process again, I would have started every conversation like this but until I saw that a pattern had developed, I did not think it was necessary. Recently, we have been referring to the Hyde Creek display when asked about the final product and I believe that it helps as it finally gives people a visual.
c) What did you learn? Were you able to learn new skills or strengthen previous ones?
There were many things that I have learned and many things that I am certain I will learn as I continue this project next year. One idea that I was uneducated about was how much work a well thought out wall of excellence can take. Anyone can put pictures of the smartest people, the best athletes and the teacher who has taught the longest on the wall but it takes a team to create a project in which the people who are not always being recognized get the chance to share their excellence with the school. I am excited to learn how we will create a program to display this information and to receive hands on experience for a project that I helped build from the ground up.
d) What did you learn from being a part of this project?
From being a part of this project, I learned just how humble Riverside is. When looking at the many projects Riverside has created I was astonished and so proud to be a part of this community. I also learned that excellence can be found in every aspect of our lives and it is up to us to share this excellence with our peers, teachers and community.
Impact: How might your project positively impact the social and emotional well being of students/our school? What can be done to increase the impact of this idea on the school?
I believe that this project will greatly improve the confidence of Riverside. We are an amazing school (I am a bit bias; however, I have heard many people make these type of comments before) yet we do not show off the amazing projects or accomplishments we have achieved over the years. Therefore, I believe that this would be an amazing project to showcase the many different talents at our school and to emphasize Riverside’s pride. Although I think this is an amazing idea, others may not. There are people who will never say “look at me, look at me”, and whilst being recognized for their accomplishments, they are intimidated and humiliated. So, as long as we present this idea in a relaxed and inviting manner, I am sure that we will have many candidates.
Desirability: What could you change to make your project more desirable to students, teachers, administrators, parents or the community?
If I said that I would make the application process easy, that would mean that the criteria would be less strict which would mean that the selection process would be that much more difficult. With that said, I believe that if students believe their project or the project/idea of someone they know deserves recognition, they will take the time to fill out an application form. If we make this process very straight forward and easy to follow, I think this will help increase the desirability to fill out a form.
Integratability: What would you change to make this idea easier to integrate into a school setting?
We are a very technology based school; however, I know many schools in the lower mainland who are not. Therefore, I believe that if schools took into consideration our applications, our application process and the criteria to be selected, their current walls of excellence could improve. I find that many schools get so caught up in their athletic accomplishments that they forget about the other 80% of students who do not play school sports. So if they could add or reorganize their current (physical) wall of excellence, I think the accomplishments and recognitions would be that much more special and interesting.
Feasibility: Looking back what would you change? What would you keep?
Looking back at the project, I would definitely keep our mission statement and our criteria layout. However, one thing that I would change would be my expectation for this year. In my mind, I did not realize how much time and effort needed to go into this project to make it successful for years to come. If I created more attainable goals for myself and my team, I believe I would have been more focused on the process and not as focused on the final product.
What aspects of Tech Team are successful? Explain why.
The aspects of Tech Team that are successful are the aspects in which not everyone can see. On a day to day basis, Tech Team maintains many components of Riverside’s digital presence (on social media, some RAP videos) but they are not always the people that are in the photos/videos. I believe that an aspect that is successful for our team is that everyone is always ready to help. Whether that be other members of the team or students/teachers within the school, Tech Team is always ready to lend them a hand. I also believe that we are very fortunate to have some techy kids on the Tech Team. These individuals that understand the ins and outs of computers and technology in general, are very helpful when it comes to solving a more complicated task.
What aspects of Tech Team are challenging? Explain why.
As I explained above, we are very lucky to have a few techy kids on the Tech Team. However, it is a challenge if/when we ever need help during the digital bootcamp or during projects throughout the year to receive the one on one help we need. Sometimes these tech kids teach us how to get through stressful tech related situations but most of the time, they simply take over instead of trying to teach us.
What support does our school need from the Tech Team moving forward? Explain why.
I would love to spend a few occasions thought the year exploring technology with other students. Now that we (hopefully) have a makers space in the library, I believe it will be beneficial to have Tech Team students in that space to lead and to support students in this classroom. We can all learn together but it is never a bad thing to have someone who knows a little bit about the topic before diving right into a project (or in this case a machine).
What can we do to improve our support for our school?
If Tech Team is able to spend some time in the library by ourselves to explore the makers space, I think that we can immensely improve the projects and the products created in this space as we will then have some knowledge from our experience.
Step 2: Research
Take some time to research various Tech Teams around North America. There are several schools using different variations of students in tech leadership positions. Look into them, and see what they are doing, how are they set up, how do they communicate, how do they improve their school culture around technology.
What are some things other Tech Teams are doing that we may want to apply at Riverside?
One element that I found was that another Tech Team was mimicking an apple Genius Bar (I believe this is the why we have the long table in the library)
A school has a student run Genius Bar where students can easily find a teacher or student throughout the entire day
Tech Team’s divide and explore small projects throughout the year instead of taking on one large project as a team
One Tech Team is very open to anyone joining (not a hand selected group) at any time throughout the school year
Has you research created any ideas that the Tech Team can implement here?
An idea that truly sticks to me is to simply have a central location for Tech Team members to be found. Whether this is an online location (which could be a tech related project that someone could build), or a physical location, I believe that it is important for students who are trained to problem solve be in an easily, accessible location.
What are some things you have learned and/or tasks you have accomplished so far this semester? Explain thoroughly (Use videos, pictures, upload materials etc. as evidence of learning in your blog)
I have learned many things in my time as a Tech Team member. Not only have I learned more about my blog and how to personalize it, but I have learned a few tips and tricks when it comes to technology. I am now very proud of my blog and I work hard to keep it up to date and professional. I have learned many skills from helping others during the Tech Team boot camp such as how to connect to wifi networks, how to synchronize the school calendar (which keeps me up to date) and how to add more categories to my blog. Lastly, I have practiced making eye catching post’s for projects to advertise on Rapid Event.
What aspects of your work are successful? Explain why.
An aspect of my work as a Tech Team member that is successful has been organizing ideas for the wall of pride. I have put thought and time into recording ideas the days leading up to our meeting so that we can build and formulate further ideas once in our group. I have been able to come up with general outlines for our criteria and I have suggested how we may choose to display the wall (digitally through an instagram account, a physical wall with pictures or a screen with a virtual wall of pictures and descriptions).
What aspects of your work are challenging? Explain why.
An aspect of my work that was challenging was the digital boot camp. There were times where there was a tech problem that I did not know how to solve. I felt bad either interrupting the presentation or pulling teachers and my co Tech Team members away from the person they were helping to help me. However, I have learned from this boot camp through trial and error and with more practice, I know I will do better next year.
What steps did you take to overcome these challenges / what adjustments did you need to make?
A major step that I took to learn how to solve these tech problems was simply asking questions. I found that in preparation for the Tech Team boot camp, we were learning many new problem solving skills and my brain felt full. When it was the day of the boot camp, I was able to look over my notes and then consult with a friend or teacher if I was still confused. Together we were able to work out the problem and complete our ultimate goal of helping the student.
Is there anything you can do improve? (with your approach to the project, or altering the project)
In regards to the project, I believe that I can start to take my ideas and refine them. I will need to talk with my group and with teachers before anything is solidified. However I believe that going into our next meeting with clear ideas and possibly visuals will not only help me organize my thoughts but will hopefully help everyone follow my thought process.
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).
Speaking from experience, I am not a huge fan of writing core competencies. I’m not sure if they are a part of the new curriculum or not. If so, would it be possible for Tech Team to create a list of ideas for how students can display their refelction? I believe that by making it more appealing and interesting, students will take more time to fill it out instead of just completing it for the sake of it.
Briefly describe your new and improved idea, by incorporating ideas and/or feedback.
The tech team would like to implement a wall full of the school’s accomplishments. After hearing stories of many Riverside Alumni and seeing the success within our school, I was able to see how talented and accomplished of a school Riverside is. My group has come up with a few ideas regarding how we can display the Wall of Excellence. We would love to one day use touch screens to create a virtual wall. For the time being, we would like to display pictures with captions about the successes of the individual. We have come up with some ideas but are finding it hard to make a criteria that is open to many but also limited enough. I was thinking we could create The Rule of 7: If after 7 days, it will not be remembered, do not submit an application. If after 7 weeks, you have not made progress, do not submit and application. If you have not been working on/at this for more than 7 years, do not submit an application.
At this point, I am not sure if 7 is the correct number we should use. I believe that a system as such will help us to create a structured application form but I know that there are always changes and improvements to be made.
Answer the following questions:
What problems might we run into?
A problem that we may run into is how we will present the wall. I am uncertain if asking or fundraising for a virtual wall will ever be an option. If not, we will have difficulties figuring out where to place the wall, how to keep it updated, and how to make sure that we can update it regularly. Another problem that we may run into is regarding the criteria. I am concerned that our criteria will end up being too specific or too open therefore allowing many applicants or not enough.
What skills do we need to complete this project? How can we attain these skills?
To complete this project we will need people skills. We will need to contact Riverside alumni or current Riverside students and ask them to apply for the Wall of Excellence. We will have to do our research in order to learn of the impressive accomplishments from the members of our school. Therefore, we will also need tech skills. Whether that is putting together a virtual wall or reaching out to the members of our school community, we will need the digital knowledge to do a sufficient job.
Create a brief timeline of key things that need to happen to ensure successful completion of your project. What happens next?
December: Meet with Mr. Gee to address our outline of the criteria
January: Meet with team members to clarify and set in stone criteria
February: Meet with staff to review ideas and make changes if necessary
March: Present idea to the school
April: Start building the wall
May: Start receiving applications
This is an outline that is very ambitious. At this moment, I am uncertain when we will complete THE Wall of Excellence. However, even it is a first draft, I believe that we can create a Wall of Excellence by the end of the school year (even if it is small).
I chose the translator widget, the calendar widget and the images widget.
b) What are there strengths?
I chose these three widgets because I believe that they make my blog visually pleasing. The translator widget allows anyone to read my posts and I love this feature as it is something that my parents and friends can use to read my French projects as well as other students who may not speak English or French. The calendar widget makes finding my most recent post very easy for a teacher, a classmate, or a parent. Lastly, the images widget is a fantastic tool for me to share my favourite pictures from the summer, from a family vacation or from a school trip with the world.
d) What are there weaknesses?
A weakness that I found did not correspond with the widget that I chose to use. The audio widget would be very neat to display with your favourite song, podcast or most recent audio project but was tricky to use (as were a few other widgets that I played around with). I tried many different audio formats but none of the links were accepted. I also found that many widgets were not customizable. Aside from the title, there was no way to personalize the widgets (colour, size, font) directly through an edublog format.
e) Can these programs be used in a classroom setting to enhance student learning? Would you use it and/or recommend it?
I definitely think that these programs can be used in a classroom setting. As I mentioned above, the calendar tool along with many other widgets can be used to help find recent posts, comments, direct you to specific pages and so forth. I would recommend using widgets as a way to enhance your blog and truly showcase your computer skills. I believe that playing around with the features on your blog is so important to help you explore and overall create a better understanding of the amazing platform used at Riverside.