Name: Dennis Joel
School: Riverside Secondary, BC
Years with FIT: Ten years (veteran)
“We piloted the project and have been running it ever since. When I learned about the program I thought it will bring a framework and structure to what I am already trying to do.”
How did you get involved with FIT?
I have been involved in the fit program from the very beginning. I like trying new things, taking a risk; it keeps life from getting boring. We piloted the project and have been running it ever since. When I learned about the program I thought it will bring a framework and structure to what I am already trying to do.
What is the value of teaching ICT skills?
ICT is all around us, fast becoming a part of everything we do, and often in ways we don’t understand. We need people to manage and maintain all of this. If we can find the right people, for the right jobs, their passion will make them the best in the business.
How do you incorporate FIT into your curriculum?
Fit matches up to the BC curriculum very well requiring little change to make it work perfectly.
Why would you promote other teachers getting involved with FIT?
There are a lot of students who love technology so it is not too difficult to build excitement for learning. When students love this something it is easy to teach and many students will continue on to work in the ICT world. This is very fulfilling for a teacher, I just love it.
How has FIT benefited your students?
It really is all about getting the right students in the right courses. Helping students find their passions and direction in life. Often students would say, ‘I had no idea what cool stuff was behind ICT,’ and how interesting it was.
What is your background with ICT?
I have always been interested in technical things, so this comes to me naturally. My formal education was in Mechanical Engineering and then teaching; finally I received an MA in education leadership. Along the way I took the Cisco CCNA program and have been teaching the CCNA program since 1998.
Where would you like to see ICT in the future?
ICT is an important part of our society; we need the right people in the right jobs. Letting students discover their passions for this area is a prime function of ICT in high schools. FIT can do this – guiding students to a career they will thrive in.
Why do you think ICT is education is beneficial for Canadian industries?
If we can find the right people for the right jobs, their passion will make them the best in the business.
How do you promote the FIT program to prospective students?
We have built a culture in our school which attracts the right students. To create this culture it took one-on-one time with students and after about three years we had two full classes of very keen students. Now it seems word of mouth through students is our best promotion
At first, we did presentations at career events, wrote articles in the school papers, had noon hour clubs/open classroom etc. We did anything to bring attention to the cool stuff that was going on in our class. It was fun. Also, we had the local newspaper write about us. Every bit helped.
Dennis’ Quote on ICT in Education:
“It’s all about passion, passionate teachers inspiring passionate students. With the right passions anything is possible.