We have just started into another iteration of the Business Information Technology (BIT) industry project course. We hope to continue giving students great learning opportunities building solutions from inception to delivery where all the things that can happen on a project – can and do happen.
I have found that some of the most valuable learning experiences that come out of project are born from, as one instructor described, “chaos in learning.” The unexpected will occur, assumptions that you made about the products you are creating turn out to be wrong, technology doesn’t co-operate, and communicating and dealing with your project team turns out to be harder than you thought. The students have to deal with all of this, and have the added pressure of interacting with and delivering to a real-world client. All of these aspects give the students the learning experiences that we can’t give them in the confines of a usual classroom setting.
To date the students who have taken the project course have almost always succeeded in completing projects and learning the fun, but sometimes hard lessons that a project course has to provide. The majority of the projects have met or exceeded the expectations of our industry clients, and provided members of the Winnipeg business community, and non-profit organizations with IT solutions.
This project term the students will be taking on a third iteration of PanoPla. Dan Blair, our entrepreneur in-residence was recently quoted in a Free Press article describing PanoPla as “the YouTube for spherical panoramas and virtual tours.” When I checked in at the space today one of the students was working on getting the spherical panorama videos to work inside PanoPla (very cool). The technology stack that the students are using will be different from what they have used in their previous courses and they will be exposed to technologies like Laravel, a PHP coding framework, and Google App Engine among others.