My question was, how can students learn and help with the process of troubleshooting? There is a common trend of students being more tech savvy than some of their teachers. Students can be a great tech support resource for teachers and peers. The article I found gives an example of a successful program called Generation YES (Generation of Youth and Educators Succeeding). It started in 1995, and since then has helped train many students on providing technology support in their schools (over seventy-five thousand students in two thousand schools all over the world). The program involves developing technology skills, project planning and mentoring. The Gen Yes curriculum is a combination of lessons led by the instructor and student help desk. It advances best practices as well as good digital citizenship. The students learn how to troubleshoot hardware and software problems and build their digital literacy skills. Some schools offer it as an after school program, and others offer it as an elective class. A lot of things the students learn are professional and life skills, which means they have many applications outside of the program. It is empowering for students to learn troubleshooting skills and then use those skills to help others. They are more likely to be engaged because of the hands on nature of the tasks. It is a great program for students who are interested in technology, and it gets them involved in the school community while doing something they enjoy and feeling like they are contributing in a meaningful way. The program is designed “so that students bring technology into myriad initiatives–peer mentoring around tech literacy, student-led community workshops, helping teachers retool their lessons–as a way to get the entire school to embrace technology”. Putting students in leadership positions in this way can be very effective. They are likely to be excited to share their knowledge with others. Students may be more receptive to help from their peers than their teachers. That being said, it important not to assume that all students you have will have strong technology skills based on their age. Not all students have access to or interest in technology. It is also important that students do not develop learned hopelessness when it comes to technology. It can be tempting when working with students that are very low so simply take control and do it for them. Instead, teachers should walk them through the appropriate troubleshooting steps so they can do it independently in the future. It is important that teachers are comfortable with the technology that they use in their classroom with students. Technology can be empowering for both students and teachers when executed successfully.
Pierce, M. (2013, October 1). Student-run Tech Support Programs Advance at the Speed of Technology. Retrieved August 12, 2015, from http://thejournal.com/articles/2012/11/06/student-run-tech-support.aspx?=THE21