Hingham Tech Squad Comes to the Rescue, Students Learn in the Process
When I returned to teaching after leaving the corporate ed tech world, I was gung ho to start spreading classroom technology throughout my school. I knew that technology had an important role to play in education – that it could engage and motivate students by making the classroom more exciting. But I soon realized that not every teacher had the resources to make that a reality. Some had little or no background in technology. Some weren’t sure where to start when it came to incorporating these new tools into their lessons. And almost no one had the time to learn to use new technology.
Have Tech – Will Travel.
At the same time, I saw that many of my students loved everything tech and were eager to do more with technology in a hands-on way. Taking inspiration from a former colleague, Dr. Roland Rios, who was running a tech intern program at his Texas school with great success, it came to me. We had just what was needed to create a force to be reckoned with: the Hingham Tech Squad! Bringing tech-savvy students to the rescue of busy teachers was a win-win idea that today enjoys great success at Hingham High.
Here’s How It Works.
The Hingham Tech Squad program is set up as a semester-long course for students who are interested in teaming up with teachers who want help with Technology Assisted Projects (TAPs).
Program activities include the following:
- Tech support for setting up and working with interactive whiteboards, computers, printers, etc.
- Helping teachers build websites, and assisting them with new technologies (Google apps, etc.).
- Writing a weekly blog about hot ed tech topics, which helps the students understand the industry as a whole, as well as the broader applications of what they are learning in the program.
- Each student also completes certifications and coursework
that interest them (coding, gaming, Web design, etc.).
Founded on GenYES
The program is built on the foundation provided by Generation YES (GenYES), designed by Dr. Dennis Harper, an international leader in the educational technology field. GenYES helps schools recognize that students can help to solve the common problems schools face when they try to integrate technology. Having students help out with technology is not a new idea, but the goal of this grant was to show that students could do much more than just provide free labor and fix computers.
Giving and Learning
The Hingham Tech Squad is making meaningful contributions to the school's technology goals. And in the process, the students are learning how to choose and use the right technology to complete a TAP. Students are not only developing technology skills, but also such crucial 21st century skills as planning and collaboration.
If you want to read the blogs the students have created or just get more information about the program, visit our site, http://hinghamtechsquad.weebly.com/.