With the school going 1:1 iPads, we need to ensure that we have a manageable, sustainable model as far as supporting the devices go. The district sends an IT person once a week to the site who has to manage all the technology helpdesk tickets that arise. The problems with iPads are not necessarily those that require an IT person, in fact very rarely. Teachers have simple questions such as forgetting a password, or photos cannot be accessed from an app or any other simple query or problem that needs a change in the settings. With that in mind, and the fact that for the first time we have a grade level that has already gone through the 1:1 process last year, hence understands the responsibility and the expectations of them, we decided to run a student-lead iPad Squad.
What? After going through various iterations in my head, I decided we had to use the school mascot, which is a bee, and find a positive word that begins with “b”, so came up with the term “The Brilliant Bees”
When? For now, we meet on Wednesdays at lunch.
Who? The fifth graders to begin with. The two fifth grade teachers invited me over to talk about this with the class, describe the process, and we just asked for volunteers. I let the students know that they will be rewarded but that I don’t do any food rewards 🙂 The students were super excited about this job and about 15 students showed up.
Collaboration? This takes place in person and online through an official course on Schoology, which the students have used for a year and are used to.
Every week the students will have assignments. The first assignments were those to get them excited about the project. They are designing logos, using their iPads of course, for The Brilliant Bees, and they are creating short movies on the student expectations (for the school).
The hope is not only to have the students learn to deal with basic trouble shooting jobs, but to also be able to model best practices, digital etiquette, logging in procedures and more, whilst learning to empathize with different groups of students.
We have to see how it goes. This is work in progress and we are all learning together as we go along. We are trying to implement the lessons we have learned from the last three years to the best of our knowledge. It is a team effort and all the classroom teachers are on board with it.