Technology has made a big difference in my classroom. It has also changed the education of the students at our school. Because of this, I wanted to get the students involved in more than just using it for academic subjects. Most teachers on our campus are using computers with various levels of ability. One of my adjunct duties on our campus is to share the technology leader position with another teacher. This means that whenever a teacher has a problem with anything tech related one of us sees if we can troubleshoot it before we put a work order for IT. Sometimes we can get to the other classrooms right away and it's a quick fix, other times it takes a while just to go check out what the problem might be, depending on how busy our own classrooms are.
Over the last few months, one of my students (See that-kid.html blog), who the staff affectionately calls "the Hacker", has been going around school fixing issues whenever the teachers need him. His ability to problem solve the issues a lot of times is beyond what I can do. Apparently he even solved an issue our IT (who do a fabulous job by the way!) couldn't fix. Because of his being in high demand, I decided it was time to see if there was an interest by other students to help as well.
I sent out a quick survey to students in all the upper grade classrooms, expecting a few students who would be willing to try it. The students were told they would have to make-up any work they missed while out helping the teachers and commit to trainings during their lunch period. Their response exceeded my expectations. I basically ended up with a classroom of kids who wanted to show off their tech skills or learn more themselves. They would be fixing issues with student Chromebooks (sign-in issues, screen suddenly goes sideways), teacher laptops (sound went out, internet goes off), Smartboards (lack of interactivity, writing skips) and software or website issues. The final topic they would be in charge of would be Google Googles Expedition information (Another blog about that in the future for sure!). They would be in charge of helping the teachers set-up and run the Expedition if the teachers needed help. The students were really excited about the last one!
I shared this plan with the teachers at the last staff meeting. Not only did I need their buy-in to make it work, but it would require them to fill out a Google Form to notify me of any issues. Since the students have different strengths, I am using the form information to help send the right students for the job. The teachers were receptive to trying it. I even had a request for tech support by the next morning. (Yes, the tech squad was able to fix it!)
This is going to be another interesting adventure. I love that the students are wanting to show off their skills and that the teachers are willing to give it a shot. The hope is not only will it help our students increase their skills, but IT will now be used for the complicated jobs that can't be fixed in less than 5 minutes. I can't wait to see where it takes our school! Will keep you posted as the journey continues.
20+ year teacher, mother of 2 kids and 2 dogs, wife, lover of all things M&M, interested in tech in the classroom, and changing up my teaching