by Carlos Guevara
In the fall of 2009, the Office of Educational Technology (EdTech) started to train select students to serve as EdTech design consultants on campus. These students not only help their peers navigate the technological innovations in courses and programs at Hostos, but also help EdTech expand its reach to faculty, so that additional technological enhancements can be made to support teaching and learning at the college. Furthermore, this initiative seeks to help interns take advantage of professional development opportunities to strengthen their academic skills and performance, as well as to better prepare them for potential job offerings as they enter the workforce.
EdTech design consultants are selected through a competitive process—a reward for students with advanced technology skills. During the first semesters of this initiative, EdTech targeted students in the Hostos Digital Design program, and now has expanded to include students from all majors at Hostos and other CUNY colleges. Thanks to support from the Perkins grant and Technology Fee, 8-10 students are selected and receive stipends, as well as a MacBook Pro for the duration of their internship. Interns provide 10 hours per week of tech assistance to their peers and faculty.
As EdTech design interns, students are assigned different web and multimedia design projects, and work closely with the EdTech specialists. Interns assist faculty in designing and/or developing educational content (graphics, presentations, podcasts, rich media, etc.) and guide / train students to create and design their ePortfolios.
The EdTech design interns’ website (https://commons.hostos.cuny.edu/oitinterns) was created to showcase the various designs and projects created by the interns, as well as to share their ePortfolios. Below are some of the comments from students who have been part of this initiative:
Ruben: “I learned how to work in a professional environment, as well as the importance of deadlines, and having projects accomplished on time, overall it has been a great experience.”
Andre: “We have had the opportunity to add something unique and intuitive in the work that we have created”
Jose: “The internship has helped me to improve my resume, [I] am really happy, and hope to continue being an intern”
Eduardo: “I learned how to deal with clients, how to share an idea, and work with it, and also work within a setting”
Adam: “I learned how to correct my design and to improve my overall work…and little by little my artistic skills are growing”
Michael: “This internship has taught me a lot…I’ve learned new things that I never thought it would be within my range of skills”
Matthew: “I definitely like it, I think it is a great program. It does give you a hands-on field on what to expect in the digital field, and see what is expected of you”
For EdTech, the experience working with the interns has been rewarding and refreshing; their energy and new ideas have contributed to transform the work environment to be more dynamic and engaging. For the EdTech specialists, working with the interns helped them to be more productive and open to new ideas. For faculty, the support provided by interns has helped them reconsider technology adoption in their teaching. In a nutshell, this initiative has been, and will continue to be, a nurturing experience for everyone.