Ben Hommerding Projects: These are a few of the projects I feel have made the greatest impact on my life and the lives of others.
The Tech Bar was created as a service and a place on our campus at St. Norbert College to help our students, faculty and staff gain digital literacies and competencies. It started as an idea to enhance the student experience, but greww into something much more. We expanded our service to staff, and faculty. We further began offering all training for digtial skills on campus to faculty and staff through the Tech Bar as well. This effort has led to saving our staff and faculty over 300 hours to date in effciencies. This has also impacted the student experience by providing better communication to students, more robust processes and much more. I helped to form the Tech Bar and lead a team of 10 students consultants who work for us. I also lead the planning of staff trainings.
Services at the Tech Bar
- Domain Setup
- Web Development
- Word Press
- Video Production
- Digital Graphical Media Creation
- Digital Mapping
Technology Innovation Problem Solving
In 2013, while at Winneconne Community School District, I was fortunate enought to be able to create a course about problem soliving. The course immersed students in the problem solivng process. We first needed to learn how to fail. We did this through things like Rube Goldberg machines, learning to program, and many other smaller projects. The final project of the student was to attempt to sovle a real world problem in our schools, disctrict or the community. The students had to find someone outside of our classroom to get guidance on their projects and to eventually present their project too as a final. It was incredible to see what our students came up with in these endevours and how passionate they were in working for a solution. There was never a better course offered and I never had so much fun as an educator.
Some of the Problems We Solved
- Flexible High School Scheduling
- Better Wind Power Production
- Creating a 3D Pac-Man Game
- Creating a Video Production/News Program
- Suicide Prevention
- Adding an Auditorium at Winneconne
Radical Hospitality + Staff Training = Success
When I started my job at St. Norbert in 2015, G Suite had already been adopted for a few years. However, when the college switched to G Suite, training was limited. As I started talking with different departments on campus and began helping them address some of their pain points, often using Google, I learned that there was not only a need, but a hunger for training around using Google. Our team met, and put together the first ever all staff training events on campus around technlogy.
We started with some basic and advanced trainings around Google. They were wildly successful. We were able to get about 60% of the staff to attend the trainings. Since then with a consistent feedback loop and the addtion of our Tech Bar, we have evolved our trainings to continue to get high attendance and very positive feedback. Giving proof to the idea that trainings can be impactful, useful, and fun!