Leveraging Student Tech Teams - Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

Leveraging Student Tech Teams

Leveraging Student Tech Teams

A student technology team is comprised of students from your school and is led by a program sponsor, teacher, or another adult from the school environment. The school’s student tech team plays a large role at the rollout event and even more so in the ongoing support of your 1:1 program for the upcoming years.

The following are benefits of the student tech team to the students and the whole community:

Benefits to students

  • Empowers students to become leaders in helping to solve technical issues of both students and staff at school.
  • Grows students’ professional communication and leadership skills.
  • Builds a community and a sense of belonging for students.
  • Allows students to work with teachers in a unique way by serving as their technology advisor.
  • Builds essential technology skills for a possible career path.
  • Helps students build relationships with other students by serving in this helping role.
  • Provides opportunity for students to be on the “cutting edge” by learning new digital resources and creating content to teach their peers how to use them.
  • Grants additional opportunities for young women and other traditionally marginalized groups to participate and excel in STEAM-related fields.
  • Allows students to recognize the value of using technology to serve others as opposed to just knowing technology for their own gain.

Benefits to the school community:

  • Provides level 1 technology troubleshooting so that only higher-level technical issues move to your district IT support team.
  • Allows technology teams to be eyes and ears out in the schools to see what teachers want to learn to use in the classroom so that instruction and support can be done by the technology coach to meet their needs. They can bring forward technical difficulties that their peers are experiencing in the classroom so that students can learn how to solve those issues and also help to uncover “workarounds” students have devised to get around pre-existing technology systems like filters.
  • Just-in-time technology resources made by the student tech team can be made available for students and teachers so that they can find help when they need it.

Schools should first decide if they want their student tech team to be a course or a club. An advisor should be identified and times for the course or club should be added to the school’s primary schedule. The student tech team advisor should not be an instructional coach because an instructional coach’s main focus is to support students and teachers in instruction and pedagogy. The student tech team advisor will support students as they support the school’s technology. Skills like how to reset devices, basic troubleshooting, and app navigation should be taught to the tech team by the advisor. Many schools use other individuals in the building to serve as advisors, like the library media specialist, a building paraprofessional, a site-based technician, or the parent engagement coordinator. If the student tech team is a course, a teacher with a technical position of record would be a good candidate for the advisor.

How to get started with a student technology team

Mater International Tech Team Website (parent resources, digital citizenship, tips, and tricks)

  • Have staff help identify students who work well with technology or have an eagerness to learn with a can-do attitude.
    • Don’t necessarily choose the most obviously technology-savvy.
    • Make sure you have a mix of students from different grades for sustainability.
    • Select students who are learning both virtually and in-person so their learning situations match those of your students.
    • Actively recruit a student tech team that matches the makeup of your student population, paying special attention to recruiting girls and students from traditionally marginalized groups.
  • Encourage students to apply for the student technology team.
    • Students fill out an application form. Examples of application questions include:
      • What is your experience with technology besides gaming?
      • How do you communicate with adults?
      • How do you manage time?
      • Create a Flipgrid to share how technology has affected your life.
      • What makes you uniquely qualified for this role?
  • Once students are selected…
    • Students should help design the tech team program.
      • Solve real world problems
      • Collaborate
      • Compete
    • Build out digital citizenship lessons for students, made by students.
    • Students identify pain points that their peers are experiencing and create direction sheets or videos to help solve the issues.
    • School IT teaches basic troubleshooting tips/tricks to students on the tech team, such as troubleshooting connectivity or power issues, finding resource guides and self-help, and how to hard reset devices for end-of-year collection.
    • Teach customer service skills. Customer service does not come naturally for adults or students. It’s a skill that must be taught.

How your student tech team can assist during your 1:1 rollout event

It is essential to give students ownership over the event and a chance to lead others. Students can help with everything from handing out devices to running learning stations. Make sure that your student tech team is formed and trained before the rollout event so they will be able to help during the session and show guests just how excited they are about the new program!

  • Helpdesk: Let your student tech team run a ‘Genius Bar’ or helpdesk during the rollout; they can demonstrate helpful tips and tricks, while also assisting with general directions and program information when people stop by to see them.
  • Run a Rollout Activity: Your technology team can guide students through STEM-related activities at various stations at your rollout, like showing students how to use Mini-Spheros.

How your student tech team can assist throughout the school year

  • Do basic Tier 1 troubleshooting
  • If the repair needs help from IT support, they could escalate it by filling out a repair request form.
  • Create how-to videos
  • Work with teachers to demonstrate how to use specific digital resources in the classroom

We have heard from Verizon Innovative Learning Schools districts that the formation of a student technology team has changed the landscape and culture of the school. Students’ ownership of their devices and their dedication to helping others solve tech issues is transformational in helping everybody succeed.

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