My first screen cast assignment was admittedly a mess. From issues with Airplay to uncharged IPads, it seemed as though I would never be able to complete it. When I tried to Airplay to Ms. Scheffer’s Mac, I had no success. After toying around with it for a few minutes, the period ended and I left without having made any progress. The next day, I came to class determined to complete the project. Once again Airplay was not working, but we had a plan to circumvent the issue. Rather than Airplaying, a classmate of mine held up my phone and videotaped my IPad. I thought we had solved all of the problems, but apparently I did not. I very quickly realized just how difficult it was to record myself. It took two days and about thirty tries, but eventually I overcame the awkwardness of speaking out loud to myself about an App and finished the assignment.
I experienced first-hand how much of an impact BHS Help Desk has on not only our community, but on the world this past Wednesday. Visitors from Kuwait came to our school and were toured around by the superintendent. One of the stops along the way was in Help Desk. We explained the function of a student tech team, and elaborated on what we do when we are not helping students or teachers. Explaining what we do every day in class was a bit nerve racking, but I was able to overcome my nerves and demonstrate why Help Desk is such an interesting and necessary class. We showed them the Help Desk blog as well as our own individual blogs and talked about just a few of the projects we have done so far. It was a great experience, and it proved to me once again how important Help Desk is.
On Thursday night I participated in my first Twitter chat. Using the hashtag “#techteamMA,” I was able to answer questions and connect with teachers, students, and administrators from all over Massachusetts. Because I was at work while the chat was happening, I had to use TweetDeck to schedule my tweets in advance. I was able to check in on the chat every so often, but it was difficult for me to reply and be an active part. When I got home, I looked through the archives and was very impressed with what I saw. Not only students from BHS, but other tech team students as well as teachers were interacting and sharing ideas with ease. The diversity in the answers to questions such as, “Q2: How is your school community benefiting from your student tech team,” demonstrated how valuable tech teams are for various communities for various reasons. My takeaway from the chat was that it is crucial for students and teachers to effectively communicate for mutual benefit.
My first two weeks in Help Desk were action-packed to say the least. With only a few days of “experience” under my belt, my fellow classmates and I helped our first customer. We had not yet been instructed on proper customer service, as we had not been in Help Desk long enough. Regardless of this, we did the best we could to help explain Google Drive, Gmail, and other Google apps to her. We were momentarily stumped as to how to delete a single email in a conversation thread. We took to our computers and quickly found the solution: it could only be done on the computer. She left knowing much more than she had when she arrived, and we felt much more comfortable assisting her and other customers.
Although we learned a lot from customers and Ms. Scheffer within Help Desk, our ventures outside of our classroom were the ones in which I learned the most. We went to Mrs. Carey’s class, where a student was having trouble accessing a Youtube video in class because of restrictions. Ms. Scheffer taught us to type “ss” before “Youtube” in order to create a link that can be accessed by anyone. We also went to Mrs. Hoerle’s class and helped her students use iMovie. They were confused as to how to put captions on their video clips, so we showed them how to add and edit captions.
The main focus of the two weeks was proper customer service. With each student and teacher, we applied the acronym “WIRED” to assist us in how to treat them. When we had visitors from other schools visit, Chandler and I were tasked with showing them around and demonstrating how Burlington High School utilizes technology to facilitate learning. In the upcoming weeks, I hope to become more comfortable with various technologies and explaining them.
Ms. Scheffer has been a valuable resource for me and my fellow Help Desk members in our first few weeks. From teaching us proper customer service techniques, to understanding and utilizing technology, and even being cognisant of creating a professional online image of ourselves. She has been a security blanket for us; she was always there for us to turn to when we needed assistance or advice. When an amazing opportunity to travel to the Google Innovator Academy sent Ms. Scheffer to California for a few days, I was nervous about how I would handle being without her as a resource.
My nerves proved to be unnecessary, her teachings guided me through the obstacles I faced. Mrs. Riley, the school librarian, visited us in need of help posting a picture on the BHS library blog. Right off the bat we greeted her and made her feel welcome and comfortable to ask us for help. She took a seat next to us and began to explain her problem. A few of the tips and tricks Adam and I tried did not work; We could add the picture, but it came out sideways every time. We decided that because she could not save the picture to the chromebook she was using, she should instead try it on the mac. She was able to add the picture how and where she wanted, and left with a smile on her face.
Admittedly, the days we spent without Ms. Scheffer were not very action-packed; we had a lot of downtime to research and work on our own. I spent most of my time on Prezi, practicing adding media and researching new tricks. I even found the blogs of other students around the country working in similar student technology programs. It was not the most exciting week, but it helped bolster my confidence in Help Desk and my abilities to assist students and teachers.