From the educator perspective, the first priority in implementing a student tech squad should be to expand the competence and confidence of your student leaders. Support of the school community, financial savings in technical support costs, and other benefits should be secondary to meeting student needs. Your students will not only have the opportunity to hone skills in their area of interest, but they can be central in transforming their digital learning experience in their core classes. They will need support to accomplish this. Check out how Shelly, Caren, and Sandra went about doing this. You can also review this guide Michelle developed to support Indiana start-ups.
Building Skills & Capacity in Montana
Shelly's students achieved a lot, including:
Building Skills & Capacity in New Jersey
Caren's school invested in a large amount of Chromebooks this year and using Google was very new to most. She spent the first two meetings going over the basics of Chromebooks with them as well as how to troubleshoot Docs questions that seem to come up often in classrooms. She also gave them "homework" that required them to use their Drive for various tasks as well as comment on their stream in Google Classroom. This helped make them more proficient and able to help others in their class. As the year went on, the clubs focused on the following during their time together so they could bring their knowledge back to their classrooms:
- Be able to troubleshoot all types of Google Drive issues for students and teachers
- Learn how to project Chromebooks to help teachers in the classroom with projection needs
- How to fix issues with logging in, frozen screens, and "missing" documents
- How to change passwords
- Website reviews to add to the school website
- Testing of websites for any broken links
- Helped teachers with the maintenance of Chromebooks in the classroom when using them
- Upkeep of the computer labs (cleaning, bulletin boards...)
- Bi-monthly collection of all Chromebook carts to clean up the carts and sanitize the Chromebooks
- Introduce willing students to coding during our "Week of Code"
- Posters in hallways to promote digital citizenship
Building Skills & Capacity in Ontario
Sandra's students operated for the most part on a project-by-project timeline, and so much of the skills that students were learning related to the projects.
- Introduction - In the beginning of the year much of the time was devoted to sorting out the various equipment, taking inventory and understanding the various hardware components.
- Google Apps Training - Several sessions related to learning Google Apps for Education since many teachers and students were utilizing this in their classroom.
- Hour of Code - In December students did several lessons on coding and familiarizing themselves with the Hour of Code & Code.org websites in order to prepare themselves to host the Hour of Code. Students also learned about organizing a large scale event that included guest speakers, an assembly, and mentoring younger students to code.
- Computer Lab - Then in January, because the school was migrating from a computer lab setting to mobile laptop carts, the tech squad learned about setting up various work stations (desktop & laptops) and how to troubleshoot for problems.
- Digital Citizenship, Kano & Beyond - The next phase of the tech squad was to move into sessions on digital citizenship, as well as curriculum set out through Kano. This was made possible through a generous sponsorship by a donor interested in working with inner city children. There is also a possibility of getting involved with MouseSquad in the future.