The Student Tech Expert Development Core Component helps ensure students, teachers, and families have additional technical support.  Students participate in an elective class or after-school club to develop the tools, technical knowledge, and “soft skills” to serve as technology experts. Participating students strengthen their technical expertise, and they also help classmates and teachers become part of the “change management” effort at their school. The student experts are also available to collaborate with teachers to design project-based experiences based on real-world youth interest.

The benefits of having student tech experts are boundless.  Students actively address a challenge for the school community, develop a vested interest in device care, and become knowledgeable about upkeep and digital applications. This, in turn, reduces breakage and repair costs and provides an additional level to both students and teachers in applying technology for learning.  Regardless of the program is provided, it is most effective if the Student Tech Experts solve real problems or fill a need in the school.

Implementation Process

The School Leadership Team needs to determine specific goals for the Student Tech Expert Core Component in the planning phase. The goals will drive the particular implementation activities, which generally include the following:

Determine Structure of the Offering

Determine Structure of the Offering. The Student Tech Expert training can be presented in an elective course during the school day or extracurricular activity. Schools with a seven-period day or a regular focus time, such as "Genius Hour," could include an option for the Student Tech Expert Core Component. Other schools may opt for after-school clubs.

Secure Funding for Stipend, Curriculum, and Supplies

Secure Funding for Stipend, Curriculum, and Supplies. In addition to securing a modest stipend for the Student Tech Expert Lead, schools should set aside funding for curriculum development and supplies.

Select Curriculum

Select Curriculum. The Student Tech Expert curriculum should be one that evidence-based. Certified programs, such as Youth and Educators Succeeding (YES) or Mouse, provide course work, web resources, and student learning modules. Some schools have developed their curriculum to align the curriculum more closely to the technology goals and needs of the school.

Determine Process for Student Enrollment

Determine Process for Student Enrollment. The recruitment process depends on how the class is structured. Often, teachers reach out to specific students they think would benefit from participating.

Establish Tech Support Procedures

Establish Tech Support Procedures. Specific procedures should be established for the provision of technical support by the Student Tech Experts. Some schools have students set up regular "tech office hours."

Work in Collaboration with Tech Support Lead

Work in Collaboration with Tech Support Lead. To ensure efficiency and best use of resources, the Student Tech Expert Lead collaborates with the Tech Support Lead when conducting student-led tech activities and completing computing device repair requests.

Schedule a Variety of Student-Led Technology Activities

Schedule a Variety of Student-Led Technology Activities. The most productive and enjoyable student-led technology activities conducted by schools include tech Tuesdays, tech clubs, e-sport teams and tech competitions.

Evaluate and Adjust

Evaluate and Adjust. Student and teacher input should be collected throughout the school year to determine if technical support is adequate.

Other Tools & Guidance