Student Tech Aides and How I’m Cloning Myself

#TCEA16 was an awesome experience that gave me more ideas than this digital learning coach could shake a selfie-stick at.

One of the best sessions that I went to was on the idea of the Chrome Squad.

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At Royce City High School in Royce City, Texas, a student staffed Chrome Squad is responsible for helping students and teachers with technology issues via a Genius Bar-esque help center.

Currently, the high school is 1:1 with Chromebooks, and having the Chrome Squad has improved the efficiency of technical support on their campus.

Tech issues range anywhere from connecting to the wifi, turning work in via Google Classroom, and how to utilize feature of Google Apps for Education.

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After TCEA, I came back home to Lehman High School and began planning. How could this look on our campus? What kind of students could I look for? What would they do? How would a class period look for them?

Like so many great things on our campus, I started with our librarian. She coordinates student aides from the pool of seniors who have an off period. I asked her to advertise the “tech aide” opportunity and see if there was any interest.

Two students, who I will refer to as D and M, had an interest in technology and were assigned to me as my tech aides — one during 3rd period and one during 6th period.

Instinctually I created a Google Classroom for us to stay in communication. I can never guarantee what my day will look like and where I might be, so this has allowed me to assign tasks, evaluate performance, and offer feedback when I’m not physically there.

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They submit photos then they’re turning in assignments which is really nice when I’m across the district.

We can ask questions to each other, follow-up on tasks, and hold each other accountable for what we said we would do via Google Classroom.

So far, D and M and invaluable. They can check the IT kind of things and record issues via Google Form that I later turn into formal tech work orders for IT. Teachers are getting service faster and technology can tackle multiple issues while on our campus on one trip now that work orders are submitted in big bundles.

They have been checking computer labs to increasingly their usability as learning environments.

We’ve even incorporated NewsELA articles because they are now aligned to our State adopted curriculum (TEKs) and they don’t need to submit work order every day.

This is brand new to me, so we’re still getting the ball rolling.

I’ve asked them to put together a shirt design for us (they’re both enrolled in the graphic design course), we need a better name (Tech Aides just isn’t cool), and I’d like to get better routines established (like MOOC learning opportunities).

Please share any thoughts or insight you might have! I’d love to expand this program!

 

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