New School Year, New Initiatives for Students

Sixty new tech support experts are ready to start this fall in National City, California–and none of them has a college degree or even a driver’s license. The “Student Tech Squad” is National School District’s new initiative to enable teachers to get support with technology from those who know it best: their students.

“When I visited one of our 6th-grade teachers to observe how they used their panels, the teacher (Jamie Hill at Palmer Way) had a small group of students show me everything. They were her junior tech team within her classroom,” explains Wendy O’Connor, Director of Educational Services for the district. “I asked what she would think of having similar support for teachers across all grades and schools. She agreed that it would be a great idea.”

Building the Student Tech Squad

Together with Nathan Bland, the Tech TOSA, O’Connor arranged for the selection of a squad of incoming 5th and 6th graders to receive extra training on the district’s new Promethean ActivPanels the day before a Promethean Summit offered training to more than 70 teachers. The selection process involved student applications, teacher recommendations, and parental consent.

“When Wendy told me about this idea, I was so excited,” says Julie Porter, Education Consultant for Promethean, “It’s such a natural idea, but I haven’t heard of another district doing this! I just knew that Promethean would want to be a part of this! We provided t-shirts, buttons, and, of course, training for the Tech Squad members. They are a great group of kids, and we really enjoyed working with them.”

Finding New Ways to Support Teachers

About 50 students received training from Promethean’s Education Consultants. They learned about the basics of the ActivPanel and how to use Promethean’s screen mirroring and apps. Several squad members then demonstrated their new knowledge to an appreciative group of teachers at the Promethean Summit the following day.

The students will be available to help teachers through the use of a pass system, and designated “runners” to locate the Tech Squad member on call at the time. While clearly excited about their new roles, they also seemed relieved to hear that the adult tech team will also be available should they run into a problem they do not know how to solve!

“We are excited about the opportunity to build levels of support for the use of technology in the classroom all the way from the student level to the district level, “says O’Connor. “We also feel privileged to have the venue to grow our students as leaders while simultaneously supporting our teachers in the world of technology.”

We at Promethean are excited to partner with the National School District in this new endeavor, and we look forward to continuing to support the students of the Student Tech Squad!

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