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Friday, May 15, 2015

Student Tech Team

For the past several years, before 1:1, my school has had a student tech team. We have learned a lot about managing it throughout the years, although we still have a lot more to learn. 
In my school, I am one of two tech teachers who helps the other teachers out before we have to call out IT. We do our best to take care of little problems, but were having troubles getting to everything so we call in the student Tech Team.

Every year I hold a meeting for those interested in Tech Team and a lot of kids sign up, but only a handful remain steady. We train these kids in phases.

**Note: Our school is now 1:1 with Acer laptops running the Ubermix. The students have their own WiFi network that is separate from the staff network.**

This year we started just going over the basics: how to connect to the internet, how to troubleshoot a connection or a basic computer error.  Once they conquered those we moved on to more difficult tasks such as reimaging a laptop (our student laptops run the Ubermix so reimaging restores original settings), troubleshooting printer errors, and even checking networking errors.  My students blow me away with how quickly they catch on and how they're always eager to learn more.

With the school year ending, now when I receive an email request for help I can quickly go over what I want my students to check and look for and they can troubleshoot it before I have to! This has made the turn around time on tech help requests so much faster!

Here are some of the crazy things my students have done this year with Tech Team:

1. At the beginning of the year, one of my 4th grade teachers was having networking issues and her student laptops would just not hold a connection. Two team members went to her room, troubleshooted all of the connections and then found the issue was with the router placement in the room (they knew this just from hearing me talk about it in class from a conference I went to). My girls then disconnected the router, placed it elsewhere in the room, reconnected all the laptops (including the teacher) and the network was up and running again!

2. I received an email about a teacher having an issue with the sound on the projector. I showed my Tech Team member what cords to look for, what buttons to check, and how to check the sound output and then I sent her to the other teacher. My student came back with notes to report what all she checked and the cords that were or were not connected. IT was contacted to check on it further for the missing cords, but the problem was solved within 10 minutes of my Tech Team member going over there.

Tech Team doesn't only troubleshoot and help with problems, they also teach classes!

Currently, two of my girls are working with a 2nd grade class and teaching them how to use their laptops. They have taken the kids through Google Docs, Slides, and Drawing as well as Edmodo and Moby Max. Those little 2nd graders are flying through their technology lessons!

Moral of this story: Do not be afraid to turn over power to your students! I have been amazed at the growth of my Tech Team members. They are starting to learn things on their own because they want to understand more of what is going on with the technology.
Does your school have any type of technology team set up?
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