New to the high school this year, the Student Technology Help Desk has been a beneficial addition to the educational electives available to students and a helpful resource for staff as well.
Led by history teacher Michael Linane, student members from all four grades spend one block of their school day at the help desk answering calls from staff that may need assistance with a piece of technology or taking classes online to better understand different programs that they may use. The group runs very independently, with several members stationed at the desk for each period.
“Whether you want to learn to build a website from scratch, or take a Chromebook apart and put it back together, you have a team there to help you figure it out,” junior Lauren Gonsalves said. “If you’re thinking of doing something technology related in life, then this is the perfect opportunity.”
The position opens up a number of chances for students to delve into the world of technology, computer programming, and engineering.
“Sometimes I go down to visit Mrs. Wheeler in the junior high to learn how to make certain things work,” junior Alice Bednarczyk said. “Just last week, she taught me how to set up a projector and fix any issues that may pop up.”
Opportunities can occur closer, as well. Within their home base in the school library, members have access to Chromebooks that they can practice repairing before actually applying their skills on malfunctioning equipment, as senior Jacob Juneau was doing with an exposed Chromebook circuit board during one of his shifts. When one laptop refused to charge despite numerous attempts, junior Gheorghita Battaglia successfully corrected the issue and sent it back into use.
Tasks like performing repairs are determined based on ten assigned roles within the group: tech bloggers, IT agents, digital media designers, social media coordinators, app developers, digital citizenship, Google app specialists, Google app/extension reviewers, and website administrators. Each title describes the overall type of work undertaken by someone in the position.
“My role is tech blogger, where I’m supposed to create helpful articles people can read so that they understand how to use certain apps and websites,” Bednarczyk said.
“I’m a web admin, so I build websites,” senior Noah Petitpas explained. “It’s something I’ve always had an interest in doing and it might help figure out future career options.” He was in the process of uploading an article to the help desk’s website which he, Linane, and a third member collectively run.
Petitpas has created a website for a gaming community while also running two personal sites, something other members do as well. Gonsalves is one of these individuals and stated that, not only did it give a chance to use skills learned from time in the technology team, but it also gives a space to publish achievements “right where colleges can see them.”
Bednarczyk agreed. “The help desk doesn’t just look good on a college resume. As I help other people understand the technology around them, I learn more and more every day.”
The benefits of being involved in such a group are not just seen by the members.
“The Student Help Desk is a great program that provides students with the experience to their expand technological abilities,” said school librarian Allison Barker. She has the chance to observe students on their bi-daily shifts as they work out of the library and agrees that the work they have done so far has been immensely helpful to the school community as a whole.
By Jo Caynon