Reflecting on my time as an Intern
I am taking the opportunity to reflect on my time as an Intern. This reflective enquiry has resulted in what can only be described as self-encounters; I have realised that I have gained more than I anticipated from this internship and for that I am grateful.
So why did someone like me, who has very little technology experience apply for this internship? I applied because of my own experience with the interactive essay. During the 2nd year of my degree this particular assignment was ‘sprung’ onto us. My immediate reaction wasn’t one of happiness. It was completely out of my comfort zone, especially after years of standard written essays. However, I begrudgingly embraced it, which was the best decision I made. My views and opinions regarding education were transformed; no longer was I concerned about the final grade, I realised my desire for learning, which was crushed during high school, had been re awakened.
However, I also applied for this project as I knew my people skills were somewhat lacking; an internship in a research project was the perfect opportunity to learn how to work with others. I was recently asked what had been the high point of the research project so far; I replied, “Possibly the day I now refer to as the ‘brain storming day’. Peter, myself and 2 other interns were throwing ideas around for a concept for a video, out of nowhere I mentioned a written essay being made into an aeroplane then being thrown by a student, and the aeroplane travels to all sorts of people, collecting a vast range of knowledge and feedback. At the end the student receives the aeroplane back and it unravels and unravels to reveal a multitude of information. Whereas the other students just have a marked B+ or C on their written essays. In this moment ideas were being bounced off each other and I came away from the meeting thinking wow! Point being- this was the day I realised the true benefit of group work”.
This experience has challenged me, but I embraced the challenges, such as the group work. The presentations have been without a doubt the most challenging aspect of this experience. I avoid situations that require public speaking, yet I accomplished this! Attending Digifest was another challenge, again out of my comfort zone, but I accomplished this. More importantly, look at me now, posting another blog on the website. The technical skills I have acquired will be of great advantage in any future employment.
Another high point of this research process was after we presented the interactive essay assignment to the Year 2 students; a student said we had inspired her and provided her with ideas for her assignment. A student has also requested my opinion on her assignment many times, instead of instructing her, I guided her to develop her thoughts. It was here that I realised I have gained a huge amount of perspective from working with the year 2 students. I believe I would make an incredible teacher as my passion for learning would inspire many students. There are 2 key words there, learning and inspire. Not teaching, not dictating. I haven’t taught the year 2 students, I haven’t told them what to do. It has been a collaborative process and this is how education should be. I am excited to see what the students produce, I’m not quite sure I would feel the same excitement about reading 30 written essays?
Each student I spoke to had different skills and different ideas, some preferred the traditional written essay format, whereas others were excited to present their assignment in a video or blog. Yet this is where the problem lies; educational institutions prefer the traditional written format. I can’t be a teacher in an institution where students are assessed in such a traditional way. There is one thing I have gained through my time as an intern and also my time at university, and that is, we live in a digital age where knowledge surrounds us. I hope that in 5 years, when my child goes to high school, he will not be restricted to the traditional written format. I hope he will be inspired by a teacher as I have been and I hope he will have the opportunity to complete an interactive essay.