Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Student Interns Wire Up School's Computers

The school district in the article below didn't exist when I was a child; it only came into being a couple years ago, when a few elementary districts merged with one 7-12 district to form a unified district. Of my 13 years in K-12 education, I spent 11 1/2 of them in two of the districts that merged--so I'm always glad to learn of something good being done in those schools:

Instead of turning to costly vendors or overloading district support staff, Twin Rivers brought in high school interns to help prepare the technology-focused junior high, which is fitted with computers at all 32 student desks in all 35 classrooms.

And the results have district staff and the teens smiling about the partnership.

What? They used non-union workers? And they only paid $8/hr, not the "living wage" of $10/hr?

And yet both sides are happy with the arrangement. Good for them!

Snark aside, my own alma mater is mentioned in the article:
The idea stems from a pilot program at Foothill High School. Last spring, Foothill started MOUSE Squad of California, a student-run IT help desk that offers the district computer support while training students.

This fall, Foothill plans to build on the MOUSE Squad, which comes with its own curriculum. After further training, Foothill hopes to offer community members computer repair services and also will accept e-waste for recycling.
This strikes me as an exceptionally smart thing for schools to do.


Pomoprophet said...

I know thats a hard area... good for them!

Ellen K said...

What a great story! I have long thought that child care issues could be assuaged by using teens in childcare courses to provide care for an on site work program. What a great opportunity this would be for students who seek to teach or for expectant students to learn about child development and how to handle kids. Plus if you offered this to the teachers and parents in the community, it would provide community services and offer a real option to working parents.