Seniors Danyel Monk and Jared Paratore showcased their technology skills by each producing a video as a final project for their Canajoharie High School’s Computer Science Internship (CSI) course.
Danyel created a music video parody based on Benny Mardones’ hit “Into the Night.” She developed the concept after Mr. Mardones’s visit as a guest presenter at the school’s STAR activity last fall. To complete her project, she learned video editing software, how to use a green screen, and mastered flying a drone.
Jared created a senior farewell video featuring photos and interviews with several graduating seniors. He took photos and conducted interviews, and compiled it using video editing software.
CSI is unlike most other classes. Teacher Tammy Jones acts more as a guide or facilitator than as a teacher who stands in front and delivers content. The class mirrors the modern workplace.
Students begin by sitting down with Mrs. Jones and talking about an area of technology they want to explore. They commit to teaching a lesson on their field of study to their fellow students. They work out final project to demonstrate what they learn. In addition, they agree to work at the student-run IT Help Desk and resolve at least 25 TAPS (Technology Assistance Projects). Teachers and fellow students routinely use the help desk to resolve problems with computers, phones, printers, etc. Students who complete 100 TAPS earn an IT Help Desk certification.
An additional component is community service. This is not picking up trash along the highway; it is sharing their expertise with others. Danyel, for example, lobbied the district to purchase a drone and then helped develop the policy to ensure it is properly and safely operated. Jared created the video to share with parents and classmates. Others have conducted IT help sessions at Arkell Hall.
All of this is drawn up into a contract for each student, which the student must sign. It clearly creates a timetable and expectations for each student.
Mrs. Jones developed the framework for the class around the skills most demanded by today’s employers—the Seven Survival Skills of the 21st Century: 1) Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, 2) Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence, 3) Agility and Adaptability, 4) Initiative and Entrepreneurship, 5) Effective Oral and Written Communication, 6) Accessing and Analyzing Information, and 7) Curiosity and Imagination.
She believes those skills along with an understanding of customer service and a willingness to help out in the community will prepare any student for whatever career path he or she chooses.