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.

Tech Team Passion Project

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

The main focus of the Support Team is to provide tech support to anybody who needs it and maximise the use of technology in the school. This year, we would like to work on building up the general knowledge of school staff surrounding technology and teach them how to use programs that will be helpful in the classroom, as well as give them the resources and knowledge to teach their students how to use their digital devices effectively.

We would also like to inform parents and visitors to the school about the 1:1 program and all that entails.


b) Answer the following questions:

– What problems might I run into?

Most of the main goal will rely on teacher cooperation. It may be difficult to be able to set aside times to sit down with teachers and help with their familiarity with digital educational tools. All teachers will also have varying levels of proficiency with technology, so identifying the needs of the teachers regarding technology may be tricky.

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

We will need to have a lot of patience and the working knowledge of programs that we will be teaching people. These skills can be acquired with researching programs that will be helpful in classrooms and figuring out the most effective ways to teach them, as well as working in the WAVE and always being opening to helping others with their digital devices.


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

The first step will probably be the upcoming Pro-D day where we will talk about the core competency reflections and how those will happen with Edublogs. If necessary, we can hold sessions for teachers on how to maximise the use of Edublogs (especially regarding new plug-ins), and proceed from there. What programs we intend to teach will depend on the school and what administration and the LIF team would like to see in classrooms. This may also be influenced from visiting delegations from other schools and companies who want to learn more about the 1:1 program.


  1. What Widgets and Plugins did you choose?
    1. Calendar+
    2. Footnotes
    3. Image Widget
  2. What are their strengths?
    1. Online platform to keep track of school events, tests, homework assignments, etc.
    2. Great for students to keep track of their sources and where information in their work is taken from, or for those like me who tend to put little comments in their work and don’t like using brackets.
    3. Offers opportunity for additional customization to blog (which I needed more of). Very user friendly and can add multiple additional images
  3. What are their weaknesses?
    1. No way to sync it with normal Calendar widget to make upcoming school events, tests, etc. public to those who view the blog. Widget is mostly for personal use.
    2. In the published version of a post with footnotes, there’s a less-than-aesthetically-pleasing blue symbol at the end of each footnote.
    3. No opportunity to preview how image looks on site, or add additional content without the presence of an image.
  4. Can these programs be used in a classroom setting to enhance student learning? Would you use it and/or recommend it?
    1. It’s good for students who would like an easy-to-use online platform to keep track of all their upcoming events and due dates. I wouldn’t personally use it because I use my phone calendar to keep track of these things, but to each their own.
    2. It’s an excellent tool for sourcing work (helps students keep track of what they used their sources for, etc.). Would definitely recommend.
    3. I would recommend it to students who want to add a bit more flair to their blog, especially those interested in photography/art and would like to show their work on their homepage.