On a day trip to Heritage Woods Secondary school, Mona Behrouzian, a grade 12 Riverside Secondary school student, and Mr. Anthony Ciolfitto – principal of the school, got the chance to meet Mr. Rick Glumac, the MLA for the Port Moody area. Glumac was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Port Moody-Coquitlam in 2017, and is currently the Parliamentary Secretary for Technology. He served as a city councilor for the city of Port Moody from 2011 to 2017 and has led efforts to improve funding for Eagle Ridge hospital, expand space for childcare and preschools, and increase park space in the community.
Glumac attended the information session to learn and observe the way that Riverside has been utilizing technology, as it is one of few public schools in British Columbia that are fully digitally immersed. He also toured Heritage Woods and met with other administrators for School District 43, but overall, he wanted the learning opportunity to be able to pass on to the Ministry of Education that it is possible for all students to be able to acquire a device, whether it be through funding or by bringing their own. It has been established that it is a good investment and can help future generations.
At the technology integration and education session, Behrouzian presented a video made by two Riverside alumni that showcased digital immersion at Riverside; the video was also shown at the University of British Columbia. They then asked her how she has benefited from technology. “I’ve been using it for all of my classes in the past four years and I think the firsthand experience is really important now and for later in life,” said Behrouzian. Her student perspective, digital portfolio and her participation and leadership on the Riverside Tech Team have given her skills that will last her a lifetime.
Behrouzian also shared about the feasibility of technology and how it can be well implemented in the classroom. The session included discussions to try to find ways to incorporate any student despite their social economic status. They saw presentations such as Heritage Woods’ ways of working with technology, as well as iHub, which is a school with about 50 independently learning students who focus year-round on innovation through projects. These students apply their teachings from school directly into the world, and require drive and passion to succeed. It is hard to say if iHub’s system would function in a school such as Riverside, since a great number of students need deadlines and more structure.