Immersed in Innovation

Michelle Dean, Secretary of Technology for LearningWorking in the Technology for Learning Branch for the last three and half years has allowed me the unique experience of seeing how our Learning Specialists push the boundaries with new and innovative technologies in the classroom. Moving into a new 4YP planning process, I’m finding a more personal connection to the draft goals and outcomes as I have a spirited nine-year old daughter who attends Herons Crossing School.

I think all parents hope their child will connect to their passions and interests, pursuing them to the full extent of their ability. For me, I want my daughter to have every opportunity to break that glass ceiling and be a true change maker and innovator. Both her school and the work being led by the Technology for Learning Branch are affording her those opportunities.

My daughter is immensely empathetic and gravitates towards helping others (a huge passion for her), so it was a natural fit for her to want to be part of the Friendship Finders Club at Herons Crossing. Through this club, she networks with teachers and students throughout the school, working to make all students feel included and welcome. Future social worker or nurse?

When Herons Crossing sent home a letter stating that they were starting up a Giant Leadership Program, my daughter immediately wanted to be a part of it and diligently filled out the application in her neatest handwriting. Through this initiative, she is learning a multitude of skills: leadership, planning and organization, problem solving, public speaking, networking with community groups and learning how to bring staff and students together. Future president of a corporation or director of a non-profit charity?

Although these are viewed as ‘soft skills’, when you couple those with her other growing passion for technology, you have an unbeatable combination. This year she’s hoping to be a successful applicant for the back-stage tech crew for the school play. Future lighting technician? She’s also hoping to get the chance to attend the annual RVS Girls in STEAM workshop which is led by our Learning Specialist Joan Kollewyn. This amazing workshop exposes girls to the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math to get them excited and passionate about typically male-dominated career fields. Future robotics designer or scientist that uncovers the cure for a little-known disease?

At the end of the day, I’m comforted knowing that RVS is incorporating innovative practices and technology to help my daughter connect to her passions and interests, as diverse and various as they may be. She’s building skills in areas that will help her develop as a change maker and have the confidence to seek out a career that will challenge and meet her own high expectations. It’s incredible to see how far education has come since I was a student. It’s further heartening to know that RVS is opening doors and avenues for strong girls to pursue their passions who will go on to change the world - boys too.