Ideas and Projects for Student Technology Clubs
- Names for Tech Clubs
- "SWAT" - students working to advance technology.
- Tech-Know Kids
- Tech Sherpas
- Tech Corps
- Student Technology Advisors
- clever students
- Nerd Herd
Books & Articles About Student Tech Support/ClubsEdit
- Tech Team by Peto, Onishi, & Irish from Linworth publishing
- http://www.swatweb.net/ by Lucy Miller
- http://www.ncsu.edu/meridian/jun98/feat2-5/feat2-5.html also by Lucy Miller
- The A+ for Dummies book has some great basic info
- Read the approach discussed in this CSM article. Not only does this help in school, but is a good way to address concerns of youth hacking. This puts the technically proficient young people in positions of respect and gets them onto a career path.
Comments & Thoughts on Computer ClubsEdit
I did a boot up camp in middle school before I went on to high school. Here is a link to the web site. The camp is still going on, even though I am not a part of it anymore. We also invited parents to join us in learning the basics of computer programs. I always enjoyed it. http://www.dowlingcentral.com/techteam.html
This past school year I had a "tech club" at my school. The tech club involved a small group of fifth graders. The club met twice a week for 1 hour intervals. During "tech club" time, the students learned how to use software, like PowerPoint. The students then served as "technology experts" in their classrooms
Ideas for Activities for ClubsEdit
- Programming Languages: We offer after school clubs teaching Squeak programming language to 4-8th graders. I just finished an after school robotics club...Grades 4,5,6...used LEGO Mindstorms kits...It was TOO much fun!!! Zooming down the empty halls! The kids wanted to burn CDs with tunes from Itunes and program the bots to dance (1st project)... Which is what we did and it was great!
- Curriculum Support: We offer periodic clubs for Oregon Trail and Amazon Trail to 5th and 3rd grades, respectively. The clubs are held at the same time the students are studying Westward Expansion and the Rainforest in their classrooms. It's a great enrichment.
- Open Lab: I have done one for many years which is really an open lab where students can use any software that is available. It is open to second through sixth grade students. It is always filled with the maximum of 20 students. I find that these students progress very well in their use of computers and it is nice to see the collaboration across grade levels that occurs. I have a Middle School student help (for community service hours) and this student often inspires great interest and enthusiasm among the younger students.
- Digital Cameras: One thing I have done in the past is put some digital cameras in the hands of the club members, and come up with some sort of project based around that. For example, once with 5th graders we did a project where you they took pictures of items they saw every day, in the school, but they took pictures at different angles, and close up, so that the viewer might not recognize what the item was. Then they created a school wide scavenger hunt based on these pictures. The students felt really rewarded by this, because they had taken the picture. But digital cameras, in general, are a good tool for a club -it is a tool that is hard to use with an entire class, but with a small club, the members each get to feel a lot of instant gratification with their pictures, and the number of different projects that you can do with photos is pretty much endless, spanning many grade levels and abilities.
- Digital Image Editing: I recently did a mini-club with grades 3-6 teaching the kids some BASIC Photoshop tools. They took a variety of pictures with our digital cameras. I then taught them how to extract, scale, and rotate parts of pictures which they then made into a collage. Those who finished with their collage were shown some of the filters in Photoshop that they then played around with. It was very popular, and the kids kept asking why I didn't offer a regular club like this! I did give the students who signed up for the workshop two extra "open lab" sessions to work further. Once the initial instruction was complete, it was a very = independent activity...and a fun way to interact with the students.
- Clay Animation: I have also done a Clay Animation Club for a very small group using Tech4Learning Clay Animation kits.
- Server Administration: For upper school kids, they run their own linux web server. They are in charge of accounts, setup, maintenance, upgrade, security, etc. We also do computer programming competitions.
- TECH CORPS: RECRUITMENT -Student recruitment in 5th Grade and continuing to 6th grade. A two year program with two distinct phases. -Voluntary with attendance being the only membership requirement. COMMMITMENT -Students would spend one recess/lunch a week in training with me. -Separate Network Services Agreement with more privileges. -Some ownership of a long-term task dedicated to improving technology here at school (e.g. Producing/maintaining class web pages). ACTIVITIES -First responders to technical issues in the classroom. -Assistants when introducing new technology in the classroom. They would get pre-training. -Audio/Visual Support in the classroom for projectors, etc. GOALS -Provide students another way to be leaders and expose them to privilege / responsibility model. -Give students who may not excel in other areas (sports, art, etc) another outlet to distinguish themselves. -Another set of hands to help teachers resolve technical issues for students.
- Student Technology Advisers: Our Upper Level STArs Club (Student Technology Advisers, and hopefully next year the Junior STArs for Middle Level grades 6-8) has three goals: 1. Help Desk (equipment fixes, software tutorials) 2. Train (students, faculty and parents) 3. Advise (input for tech planning). When we started implementing a 1-1 environment for UL 3 years ago, we knew that we needed to reach out to tech-interested students and needed help with the routine fixes and training that take as much as 90% of tech support time. Although it's not perfect and we're still evaluating Help Desk duties and on-the-job training, the girls are just wonderful helping their teachers and peers and working during the in-coming freshman laptop camps and faculty and parent training, too. Additionally, they help us keep our fingers on the pulse of what's happening. The STArs have their own discussion board forums on Moodle and are responsible for the Technology Bulletin Board which has timely topics such as specific How-To's for care & feeding issues, such as spyware, and software program tips, Internet Safety (for instance, MySpace), and general interest "in-the-news" technology articles. Many of our STArs are members of the Robotics Club, too. Neither the STArs nor Robotics clubs are offered for course credit or community service which is required of all students to be fulfilled outside of school among the less fortunate. Some of our students, however, have capitalized on their interests and training through related community service projects and jobs, and we have great pizza parties!