Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Student Tech Team "Genius Bar" is Launched!

One of my big goals for this year is to start a "Genius Bar" - type program for student - run tech support.

Well, after almost a month of meeting and planning, we are officially launched!  Welcome, the Beckman Tech Team!  We have 13 students from a variety of grade levels who are excited and ready to start helping their peers and teachers.

You can follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.  We will be posting information about the services we offer, but also tech tips, program reviews, and other good stuff.
Logo Designed by Timm, BTT Member
One of the big points that I have been emphasizing with our group of students is that not everything will be perfect, not everything will go well.  We are setting things up and planning but we know that we will probably "fail" in some aspects of how we initially decide to run things.

That's one of the reasons I'm blogging now... before we actually begin.  I want to have record of how we began and what we started with so we have a place to look back and reflect on where we've gone.

Our first couple of meetings focused on defining who we are and what we do.  Here is our initial Mission - Vision - Goals - Expectations and Commitments, which will probably be modified and adjusted as the year goes on and we define more who we are and what we want to become.

One of our opening activities was "When a student or teacher leaves our room after getting help from one of us, what do we want them to say about their experience with us?"  I asked them to give adjectives that would complete the sentence of, "Wow, that Beckman Tech Team member I worked was was very ___________________."  Here are the 11 words we came up with:

For our 3rd meeting, each of the students chose a group and had tasks to complete.

- Design & Logo Team - These students used their Graphic Design knowledge to design our logo (at top of post).  They are also working on our ID cards. - Publicity & Social Media Team - These students were in charge of creating our Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as designing the flier that we handed out this last week. - Logistics & Records - These students were in charge of editing/modifying the Google Forms for BTT team members to sign in when they are "on-duty" as well as for students/teachers to check in and evaluate our support.  They will be updating these forms with a custom heading soon. - Calendar & Scheduling - these student were in charge of making the schedule for the first 2 weeks of "on duty" time, making sure there was a variety of grade levels for each day. - First Week "Intro Speech" - these students wrote the "script" for what students needed to cover for our launch day when they went around to all of the classrooms.
For our 4th meeting, we followed up with each of the groups and planned our "launch" of walking around to the different classes during the tutorial period to spread the word.  There was a conflict so we only had half our team able to participate, but we were able to cover about 90% of the campus.  We were able to debrief for a couple of minutes before they had to head to class and they said it went great.  There were some classes who just stared at them, but others that seemed really pumped and excited!

So... this is the week!  We will have students "on-duty" during tutorial, which is a 30 minute period on Tuesday and Thursday.  As you can see from our "goals" above, our eventual goal is to expand this to before school, lunch, and after school.  However, we thought starting small at tutorial would be a great way to start.

Here are the "on duty expectations" for the team members.  Right now we just have four students on duty for each tutorial period, but depending on how that goes, we may increase or decrease it.  

Our first "techtorial" is next Tuesday for some of our students who don't know how to send emails and attach files yet.  So, one of the English teachers asked if we could help a small group of his students learn this skill in a low-risk, supportive environment.  We'll see how that goes as well!  Our room is actually a computer lab, with space/tables on each end without desktop computers, and then a big central space with computers.  That should be conducive to being able to have "techtorials" as well as the individual support stations.

Well, with that, I will blog about how everything goes for the first week next weekend-ish.  I'm hoping for the best!

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