TODAY I presented at VoicEd 2014 at Davidson High School with loads of other ahhhhmazing and inspirational educators who are positively moving and shaking practice and processes in their schools and classrooms.
My presentation today was all about sharing and reflecting on the use of students as leaders, when I blogged about it last year I had an idea of WHY I wanted the program to run, and HOW It was going to look, but I REALLY underestimated the positive impact these students would have on our 1:1 program.
In todays presentation I explained HOW the Students Techies function so effectively at Gilroy, WHAT they do and WHY:
- Students had to apply to become a class techie using a google form: applicants were chosen at the end of last year based on their ability to solve examples of tech problems like “What steps would you go through to fit a Wifi connection issue”
- All the work they do counts as community service: all the “work” they do contributes to the community service program so they benefit for doing something they love!
- Students assist on Edmodo: year 7/8 have a “tech-support group” that the Techies (and I) monitor, they respond to questions online, between 9 of them they manage the workload of this WONDERFULLY!
- They do not miss out on class time: these students are academic, they want to help but not miss out on class time, so the program does not EVER impact on their learning.
- Visit homerooms twice a week: I found that most technical problems arose overnight when they were trying to do something at home, if students don’t get the help they need on the tech-support page then they have face to face access to the techies of a morning, this is prime time to solve problems before the school day starts!
- Young leadership role: year 8’s get forgotten as young leaders! We then expect them to step up in year 9/10?! Will eventually run well with Duke of Ed, SRC and captain program.
- Empowers clever kids in the playground: this program gives them cred! year 7’s chat to them in the play ground (not just in the library!) and they are known as being Techies.
- THEY LOVE TECHNOLOGY! they like solving problems, making other students as confident as them and helping out!
- I can’t possibly solve every technical issue! even as a singular member of a big technical staff we still teach, our allocation and volume of devices prevents us from being accessible to students all the time. Between Edmodo and homeroom visits, these guys have got it sorted!
The concept of peer coaching is a no-brainer. I know from experience that students helping students peer-peer in a classroom or school context works. It builds confidence, relationships and in a busy classroom it can ease the demand of teacher centred assistance and keep the pace of a lesson moving forward. Some students even PREFER to have peer assistance. Yeah “there are no silly questions”, however, putting a hand up and a spotlight on yourself to ask a question can feel daunting for some – so if it wasn’t for peer support questions sometimes by shy individuals may never get asked!!
The program so far is a HUGE success (because our Techies are brilliant kids of course!), I have taken a few snapshots of our Edmodo group so you can see these guys in action!