Expanding Educational Horizons- WNYIT 2020


Rayahna Tryka, Reporter

WNYIT 2020

By: Rayahna Tryka

The first Annual WNYIT Conference was held at Erie community College on January 10th. It brought together students from across Western New York to share their knowledge of technology in schools with their peers. Twenty schools and approximately one-hundred and fifty students from as far as Grand Island to Ellicottville and downtown Buffalo gathered for the first annual Western New York Informational Technology conference. Students chose sessions to participate in and they received information from their own peers. This student ran conference was just another element to the Education Under Construction program ran here at Alden High School. Different workshops were taught by students and educators to change the educational technology model throughout the region. WNYIT brings out the true potential in student’s education and knowledge- it’s much more than just a test or another grade in the book. Just a few of the sponsors of this conference consist of Microsoft, NYSCATE, Seimens, Lancaster High School Techsperts, the Depew Tech Support Team, the Holland Tech Support Team and our very own Atlas Team here at Alden. Our students presented on major similarities and differences between Microsoft and Google Enterprise solutions. A few also discussed the importance of our One to The World Initiative with the surface pros encouraging others to build better habits and set goals to start implementing similar practices in other schools.  They also focused on understanding the capabilities of Google’s sources versus Microsoft’s Outlook Email, OneNote and more. Aidan Hart and Sophie Turton covered a presentation about how to prepare students for jobs after high school. They gave fellow peers a look into the Atlas Team and explained the befits of having a student led team. Other students explained how to make android apps and add them to an android phone and some sessions discussed drone technology for students interested in becoming drone pilots in the future and students were able to participate in digital scavenger hunts around the campus using the web-based platform app, Goosechase on their phones. Presentations ranged from learning how to properly communicate through social media to focusing on mental health to learning the basics of 3D modeling. Dr. Andrew Wheelock is a Technology Integrator at Western New York Regional Information Center. He’s interested in educational technology, and k-12 education as a whole.  He was a huge part of making the conference possible and developing the activities taken place that day to their full potential. The WNYIT Conference was a true display of many students and leaders coming together from all different backgrounds to share knowledge with each other. This terrific conference was for students and ran by students.