Move to online education creates opportunities for student tech internships

18 Nov 2020

Student tech_mainThe pandemic has meant a move to online education and work for many. At Mount Allison, this shift led to the creation of a number of new tech internships for students, including three Digital Technology Learning Assistant positions and four Digital Hub Internships, also known as Student Peer Tech Support. Funding was coordinated through the Office of Experiential Learning from the federal Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) and Future NB.


The Digital Hub Internships started in late October and these students provide after-hours peer tech support to students, including assistance with Moodle, Microsoft Teams, e-mail, printing, and accessing online resources.

Second-year aviation student Kyle Hilario says this internship is an opportunity to learn and grow.

“I wanted to be a part of this internship to help improve my problem-solving skills, reinforce social and interpersonal engagements, build my workplace confidence, develop my work ethic, and deepen my understanding in technology,” says Hilario.

Third-year psychology student Eli Wood believes technological literacy is a growing necessity in today’s workforce.

“While I intend to enter a counselling field, I feel it would irresponsible to not be prepared for an everchanging digital landscape,” says Wood.

The Digital Learning Assistant Interns started in May. They provide support and training documents to faculty and staff for Moodle, Microsoft Teams, and other applications for delivering online courses.

Educational technology consultant Keagan Hawthorne provided hands-on training for these students to prepare them for their internship. The student interns also self-trained in certain technologies and programs to be able to support the University’s Computing Services Department.

“These interns have been invaluable,” says Hawthorne. “I really don’t think we would have made it through the summer without their assistance.”

Third-year Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures student Emily Ahmadvand was interested in this internship so she could assist with course planning and help provide a smooth transition for herself and her fellow students.

“I have learned a lot about pedagogy and the different thought processes that go behind delivering course content, whether it be online or in a traditional, in-person setting,” says Ahmadvand.

This internship has helped her figure what career path she would like to pursue after Mount Allison.

“I think these internships are valuable for students to learn what it will be like working in a certain field as opposed to only studying it,” says Ahmadvand. “Having opportunities like these internships to gain some experience in the working world is very valuable to prepare students for what will come after their studies and also to better understand what they enjoy doing.”

Faculty and staff can connect with the Digital Learning Assistant Interns by e-mailing helpdesk@mta.ca or submitting a request through Samanage.

The Student Peer Tech Support Team can be contacted via e-mail at student-peer-tech-support@mta.ca during the hours listed below:

Mon-Fri 4:30 p.m.–9 p.m.
Sat 12-5 p.m.
Sun 12–9 p.m.

During University business hours (Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.), please contact the Computing Services Helpdesk at helpdesk@mta.ca or 506-364-2473 for assistance.


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