Friday, September 16, 2016

Creating an Elementary Tech Team

For a couple of years I've been trying to figure out a way to have an elementary tech team...I wanted an opportunity to mentor a few "go to" kids that have a natural bent towards all things techie. This year my wish came true. Our elementary school is piloting the idea of elective Friday's for fourth and fifth grade students. For six weeks I will have the opportunity to lead 15 students that chose to be in this elective to become technology leaders in the lower school.

What does this look like? I've mapped out a plan of attack associated with each of the six weeks the students will earn badges in the form of stickers that they can place on anything they own to show others that they have earned the right to be considered lower school technology superstars. Today was the first day stickers were earned and immediately I saw fifth-graders put them on their iPad cases for everyone to see. That was exactly what I was hoping for, the pride in their accomplishments! 

The following is an overview of the plan.

Week one: 
Students were introduced to the idea of a tech team with excitement! I shared with them that this has been my dream for a long time and that I was so excited to be able to work with each of them. I had created a Google classroom for this TechTeam (I told them part one of being on the TechTeam was being my guinea pig to try new things out... they like that). Lesson one was all about digital citizenship. The students started working to earn their digital passport on the common sense media website. For the past four years I have been a common sense media digital citizenship educator.

We talk about the importance of each of them being good digital citizens in order to be on the team. I also told them that there was a possibility that they might help me decide what should happen when bad digital citizenship choices happened at school. They love the idea of being empowered to help make school decisions regarding technology. As students complete the assigned games on digital citizenship, they receive their "digital citizenship" sticker. 

Week two:
Today students were broken into two groups and one group worked with me to learn troubleshooting for devices. They learned how to do a hard turn off on an iPad, how to swipe open apps closed, how to close tabs that were open in a browser, how to use the airplay setting to turn on and off Wi-Fi if there seems to be connection issues. We then opened Chromebooks and made sure everyone knew how to log onto them, how to access Google Chrome, how to refresh a webpage, and how to look for help on a webpage such as being aware of ❔and ℹ️ icons, as well as help menus.
The other group was learning how to troubleshoot projectors in the classroom with our director of technology. He taught them about the different modes, how to use the remote, and how to clean the filters. He also taught the students how to add print drivers to a computer.

At the end of the class the students took a quick three question quiz in Google classroom to earn their "troubleshooter" sticker. 

Week three: 
Students will learn how to troubleshoot iPevo interactive whiteboards. These are new to our teachers and having a student that knows how to help in the midst of the classroom is an exciting option for me! In this week students will continue to work towards gaining their digital citizenship sticker and also they will receive their "helping hand" sticker after completing a short quiz in Google classroom regarding iPevos. 

Week four: 
Students will begin to map out what resource they want to create to help technology users at our school. I'm leaving the options fairly wide-open on purpose. Maybe they want to create a how-to video on logging into chromebooks? Maybe they want to write a song on digital citizenship? Maybe they want to create a Google slide on how to troubleshoot interactive whiteboards?
This is the day to allow them to creatively consider options for sharing and to use a graphic organizer to make sure they hit the main points for their resource to be most helpful. At the end of this session they will write in Google classroom what their plan is and share it with each other. They will also have earned their "seek me out" sticker. 

Week five:
This week we will start creating our resources! Students will be able to work on their resources of choice with me working the room and helping them if and when necessary. The goal will be for students to upload their resource into the Google classroom at the end of our session. They will receive their "resource creator" sticker when they are done. 

Week six:
This is our last week together. At this point all the resources should be mostly made and we will put them on a Google site and share the link out to all the Elementary teachers so that they have access to them when they might need them. As each student finishes up their resource they will get a quick tutorial on how to use Google sites and we will put all the resources on one page (Link to resources to come when done). When the students are happy with the way the site looks they will receive their last sticker "Super Stars," to proudly display the completion of our time together and the fact that they are now a CERTIFIED MEMBER OF THE TECH TEAM.


  1. Very inspiring and such a wonderful way to involve and empower students early to become technology resource people.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am excited to see if this becomes a culture change for our students!

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