Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Student Technology Team

Our elementary school was lucky enough to win a $1200 WEMTA PET Grant from our state association for library media and technology.  This grant will allow us to implement a STAT - Student Technology Assistance Team.  We got the idea a few years ago, but are really seeing the need for it now.  Our school is blessed to still have a half-time library media specialist.  Teachers are starting to use more technology and our district has embraced more mobile devices and web 2.0 tools for use with students.  These are all wonderful things!

What we found as a struggle was meeting the needs of the teachers and students at the exact time they planned to use the technologies and other tools.  Even though our LMS has a flexible schedule, she cannot be in our building every time a technology project is going on.  Hence, we decided to leverage the knowledge of our students and their enthusiasm for learning technology!  We are planning to recruit 2 or 3 students per homeroom to be trained as STAT members.  They would be extra helpers and trainers in their classrooms.

This month, we are gathering names of interested students. They need to have teacher and parent approval to be considered for the STAT.  Although our student council requires students to be up-to-date on all homework, we don't want to exclude students because of that.  We are hoping that some disengaged students may want to participate, thus hoping to increase their connection to school.

Our LMS is going to check with the classroom teachers to find out what types of technology projects they are planning on implementing yet this spring.  Each classroom is also getting 2 iPads, so we can use the STAT to help implement and troubleshoot those.  I am very excited to get this started.  We are hoping that most kids can stay after school for training.  If not, we will use their noon recess/lunch block as that is our only other time to meet with them.

Do you know of any schools that have implemented a team like this at the elementary level?  I would love to hear what they have found that works well and any challenges they faced.