As tech leader this semester, I enjoyed participating in many activities such as the Google Summit and help out in Ms Shigeta’s Accessories Club. Like last year, I had such a wonderful time during the google summit, looking at teachers around the world fascinated with technology available and the things that could be done with it. I tried to help out at Ms. Shigeta’s Accessories Club as much as I can but due to my very hectic schedule, I was not able to go a lot of times. I love working with children and I loved creating different accessories with the children and seeing their smiles. As a member of the tech team for the past few years, I learnt the joy of encouraging other people to explore technology and have fun with it and I hope to continue my work next year as well. I’d also like to thank Mrs. Lemley and Ms. Shigeta for supporting me and providing me with so many opportunities!
On February 6th and 7th, the annual Google Summit was held at CA. Tech helpers including myself helped out by standing in the corridors, welcoming all of the participants and helping them find classrooms etc. The day started off early and it was quite chilly. As a lot of the participants had come to the summit directly, they had brought their suitcases, so we guided them to the storage room and then to the cafeteria, where they ate their breakfast. At 8:30, the keynote started and we guided everyone towards the auditorium. During the breaks between sessions, we stood in the hallways and helped anyone who was confused as to where the classrooms were etc. During free time, I got to know high school tech helpers and I had such a wonderful time talking to them as they made me laugh so hard that I cried and although everyone must have thought we were crazy, it was such a fun experience and I felt I learnt a lot of weird things from them that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I helped out from 7:00~16:00 on Saturday and 7:00~11:48 on Sunday. Like last year, it was a very enjoyable and less hectic experience and it was worth it although I had to wake up very early the next morning for the ski trip. Also, I think it was very meaningful as an act of service as I helped the community by ensuring that they had an enjoyable experience at the summit and felt welcomed.
As the leader of tech team this semester, I participated in numerous activities and events including the new student tech orientation during open house, G4 Active Citizenship Fair and Service Fair. I also helped out Ms. Shigeta at Animation Club and Minecraft Club. I enjoyed interacting with young students and see them use technology with such enthusiasm! I think the G4 Active Citizenship Fair was my favourite event as I was surprised when the students listened to our presentation intently and were very enthusiastic, asking many questions so they can learn more about the Tech Team. I was also very delighted as they recognized me from the video Masao and I made to promote online safety, and did not hesitate to talk to me or ask me any questions. I have enjoyed being a member of the tech team so far and I can’t wait to see what fun opportunities semester 2 will bring!
On Tuesday, I participated in the G4 Active Citizenship Fair as a tech leader and introduced activities that the tech team do, including the Google Summit, Tech Orientation, Robotics/ Minecraft Club and Parent Workshops to the fourth graders. I also talked about what kind of people we are looking for; people who embody the Responsible Use Policy, are good leaders, good “teachers” with patience and positive people. I was very delighted to know that many 4th graders already had an interest in joining the tech team as Ms. Shigeta had shown the video Masao and I had made to promote online safety to the 4th graders. It was a very enjoyable session as many students recognized me from the video and were very enthusiastic, asking questions and yearning to learn more about the tech team. I hope I inspired them to contribute to the community by joining the tech team and actively participating, and I am looking forward to working with them soon!
Last Friday, the Service Fair was held during MS Block. The purpose of the event was to encourage students to have interest in service and inspire them to contribute the community through actively participating in service activities such as Tech Team, Eco Club, Tohoku Team, Mentor etc.. As a tech leader, I presented along with Sophia about what kind of service opportunities are available as a member of a Tech Team, such as the Tech Orientation, Robotics/ Minecraft Club, Google Summit and Parent Workshops. We also talked about what kind of people we are looking for; people who embody the Responsible Use Policy, are good leaders, good “teachers” with patience and positive people!
The Service Fair was a big success and I was very glad that many people turned up to learn more about the tech team and join! I am looking forward to working with them this year!
One day before school started, the tech orientation and open house was held to welcome new students and parents to the CA community and help the new students log into wifi at school, learn the expectations/ rules when using a laptop at school etc. I arrived at 11:30 to welcome and direct new students and parents to the library on the front steps. As the meeting place was changed, a lot of the people were confused so we were busy guiding them to the library. We also told them to put name stickers on. Since it was the first day back from break, I was quite nervous and so excited to see my friends and teachers and of course, the new students that will be joining us. I knew a lot of the new students as they came from my former school and I was thrilled to know they were joining us. After the students and parents ate wraps prepared by Cezar’s Kitchen, the orientation started with Ms. Lemley introducing the tech team and welcoming everybody. I started talking with people around me and helping out. As I had the new student orientation, I left early but it was wonderful to meet the new students and parents and be back at school!
Back to School via thompsonschool.net
After the tech orientation, there was an assembly in the auditorium. Mr. Schatzky and the president of the Student Body Council welcomed the new students and parents with a speech. I was given the honor of giving a short speech to everyone and say hello.
After the assembly, I guided Chisato, a new student around the school, introducing her to teachers and showing different rooms where she will be taking lessons and places that will be useful to know such as the MS office etc. I also taught her how to use the locks and entertained her by telling her funny stories and experiences and useful info. After the school tour, I was very exhausted as it was a long time since I walked for a straight 2.5 hours in heels and talked. However, I think it was worth it as it would help her get used to school more quickly.
Overall, it was a very busy and exciting day and I enjoyed it!. Also as an act or service, I earned 1.5 service points for the tech orientation and 2.5 points for the new student orientation.
As a tech leader, semester 2 was very exhilarating and full of exciting events. In April, I participated in the Beyond Blogging Teachers Conference, where we used google hangout to communicate with students and teachers from international schools around the world. The questions the teachers asked were:
What types of spaces do students like learning in as a group? Individually?
What types of spaces do students like “hanging out in” as a group? Individually?
What are the characteristics of learning environments or opportunities that are engaging for you and invites you to learn?
What are the characteristics of learning environments or opportunities that are not so pleasant and engaging?
As learners of the 21st century, what are things that you want teachers to be aware of and understand?
How do students build and manage their digital identity since they started using social networks, Google Apps / Chrome, online tools provided by the school, etc.?
It was an interesting experience and it was cool using the google hangout app as the camera automatically switched between people and focused on whoever was talking!
Another event was the workshop that was held yesterday in the library. Students shared what they were doing with technology with some visiting teachers and I shared my blog and the internet safety video and answered questions.
Throughout this year, there were many events but the biggest project that I had put in a lot of effort and time was the video Masao and I had made for the Webranger project. Google Japan encouraged groups of middle school and high school students from schools all over Japan to create a campaign that promoted safe internet use and as tech leaders, we wanted to contribute and help spread awareness of the importance of using the internet safely. We focused on the topic “Internet Stalking” and through a music video, we portrayed a 13-year-old student being cyber stalked and shared ways to prevent that from happening. The process of making the video consisted of planning, acting, filming, editing and scripting and the last week before the deadline was the busiest as not only did we have to make the video for the campaign, we had to make a video that reflected on the impact we made on the viewers. To widen the audience, we also put subtitles in English and Japanese. We made a presentation to the middle school and spread the main message of the video; “Before you take action on the internet, think for yourself, be aware and make the right decision. “. We interviewed the students after showing the video and got positive feedback.
Making the video took a lot of time and effort and sometimes, there were frustrating moments when there were technical problems or Masao forgot to press the record button and I had to climb the stairs from the first to fourth floor for the second time or the filming was challenging, but I think it was definitely worth it. Through cooperation, persistence and endeavour, we were able to complete the video and it was a fantastic experience for me as a tech leader to spread awareness of the importance of using the internet safely. Finally, I would like to thank Mrs. Lemley and Ms. Shigeta for giving advice and guiding us, Mr. Ashimori for acting, the interviewees, others who had helped us through the process of making the video and of course, my partner Masao for putting a tremendous amount of work in the creation of the video and keeping his humor even at frustrating moments.
Through my role as a tech leader this year, I think it has made me more responsible and the experiences I had taught me the importance of cooperation, creativity and persistence. I have impacted the community by helping spread awareness of the importance of using the internet safely and sharing what students can do using technology effectively.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Google Summit was held to provide a better understanding of google’s technology and inspire learning teachers to try new, different things. For both days, it started off with a breakfast time for teachers to relax and chat freely. At 8:30, all teachers assembled at the auditorium and google educators talked about the schedule and gave an introduction of the purpose of the google summit. Ken Shelton talked about Bloom’s Taxonomy and although there are many perspectives, I agree with Bloom’s revised version: Create, Evaluate, Analyze, Apply, Understand and Remember. During the transition time in between sessions, I stood in the hallway and guided teachers when they were not sure where to go. In total, there were 4 sessions for each day and to be honest, it was quite chilly and sometimes I was shivering but I think it was worth it as I was able to help a lot of people. For mostly every session, I went in the classrooms/ library to take pictures and I was appalled with the skill of the presenters. They were very confident and explained things very clearly and sometimes added a hint of humor and they talked about what awesome things people can create with google tools such as google docs and google maps.
During lunch breaks, I cleaned the tables as there were coffee spills and sometimes sneaked a few left-over snacks! 😛 On the first day, I went outside to get fresh air and buy a quick lunch and sessions started again at 1:30. After the last session of the 1st day, I attented the Demo Slam. In the auditorium, teachers made presentations and shared knowledge about cool apps/ links etc. However, they were only given 3 minutes each and it was fascinating to see them explain about such important things in a limited amount of time. It was a little funny to see teachers speak hurriedly because of the time limit and the Demo Slam was definitely one of my favourite sessions.
The 2nd day of the google summit was very exciting for me. The morning started off with “Continental Breakfast and Networking” time and the opening keynote was led by Ken Shelton (Google Certified Teacher). After the two morning sessions, Masao and Insun shared their work that used google tools. They presented very well and the teachers were very impressed and interested in their projects. During the lunch break, we ate quickly and started making a slide show video of our favourite snapshots of the Google Summit. We included interviews of teachers and it turned out quite well. However, at about 40 minutes until the end of the closing keynote with Rushton Hurley, Jim Sill (main organizer of the event) came in to check on our video and give advice. We ended up starting the whole thing over again and changed the sound track. To be honest, we (especially Masao) were a little depressed as adjusting the timing of the pictures etc, took a lot of effort and time but we realized that it was a step that we had to take in order to create a better video and we were determined to finish it before the end of the closing keynote, so we can show the video to all of the teachers. We were very limited on time and when it was about 10 minutes until the deadline, we were very stressed out. We got really frustrated when the computer froze and we couldn’t do anything. When the video was finished, it was about 5 minutes until the deadline. However, we had to upload the video onto a USB Stick and we waited breathlessly and stared at the circle which indicated how much of the video was complete. The minutes of sheer panick was unbelievable and Andy’s calm demeanour was just absolutely annoying because I was almost bursting with panick. Ms. Shigeta was also worried and was counting down the minutes until the deadline and tweeting Ms. Lemley. However, our level of panick was nothing compared to Masao’s situation. While counting down, he was exercising in order to run fast and deliver the USB stick and it was just absolutely hilarious. When the uploading was done at last, Andy started checking if the video was the right one etc. and we were literally shouting and when Andy was done, Masao ran to the auditorium and we were all pretty much exhausted after the tight tension in the room.
When it was time for the video to be shown in front of the audience, we were nervous and worried about the quality of the video but in my opinion, it turned out very well considering the time we were given to complete it. After the video ended, we were asked to stand up and the teachers applauded and it felt very good to know that our work was appreciated. For the his keynote, Ken Shelton talked about why technology matters and the advantage of not knowing. If there are 100 choices and you pick a choice, there are 99 other options that you can learn from and explore. He tweeted, “Be Curious!! Ask questions, seek answers!! I call the whole theme of this keynote “Intellectual Curiosity” “. Rushton Hurley summed up the 2-day summit with a few inspirational quotes. “Continue to inspire and be inspired each day” “The only person you ever need to compare yourself with is the you who you were yesterday” I think the teachers enjoyed the Google Summit and it was a fantastic experience. Ms. Shigeta tweeted, “I have to say I LOVE #GOOGLE extensions & add-ons! Changing the way I learn, teach, collaborate, and communicate. Learned at #gafesummit”. Sarah Reynolds (Deputy Head at St. Michael’s International School) tweeted, “#gafesummit feeling empowered, innovative and inspired to drive teaching and learning forward using Google for Education” Finally, I would like to give a huge thank-you to Ms. Lemley for literally everything (letting me help out, being an awesome teacher etc.), Ms. Shigeta for being there when we were in the midst of panicking and supporting us, the teachers who inspired me to be a better learner and of course the members of the tech team (great teamwork guys! :D).
During the 1st semester of working as a tech leader, I participated in many events and activities including the new student tech orientation and the G4 Active Citizenship Fair. During the orientation, I was a little shy at first as it was the first time meeting them but as I became more used to them, I taught them how to access their school e-mail or help them deal with technical problems with their computer etc. and it felt good to help them as I was a new student as well a year ago. Also by talking to the fourth graders during the citizenship fair, I think their interest in service activities and the tech team grew and I hope we were able to inspire them to join the CA tech team when they are in middle school! I also helped out at the tech booth in the auditorium during MS Block and adjusted the lights and sound. I have had very interesting and exciting experiences so far and I cannot wait to continue my work from Semester 2! I would also like to thank Ms. Lemley for constantly helping us and organizing fun events!