Talented tech students in District 30 teach peers the ropes
Willowbrook School fifth graders 10-year-old Saya Bawa of Glenview works on a visual for her tutorial that will assist in teaching other students. Bawa is one of the fifth-grade members of the technology trainers called "tech deputies" who make videos wit
Updated: December 31, 2012 11:49AM
GLENVIEW — Talented computer students at School District 30 are showing peers and even teachers how to use and learn more about video technology.
Known as Tech Deputies and Tech Avengers, techwiz students at all three schools often visit the classrooms, said Daniel Rezac, technology integration specialist for District 30 in Glenview and Northbrook.
“We’re keeping it away from being a tech club because the kids are mostly in classrooms trying to integrate technology,” he said.
Rezac said 12 students at Maple Middle School and 50 from Wescott and Willowbrook elementary schools were participating in the program’s first full year.
“And we’re really trying to make kids be teachers. If they can show third-grade teachers how to use technology, they’re more motivated to adopt those skills themselves.”
Such skills being taught are as simple as cut, copy and paste with a computer mouse, while others cover educational applications, Google documents and filming their own YouTube videos.
Last week, Willowbrook students spent an hour producing a “kid-friendly” YouTube on an acceptable use policy of technology, starting with written storyboards.
Some topics they publicized through the tutorials were downloading unauthorized software on home or school computers, for example, cyberbullying and stealing passwords.
Student Tommy Tsaganos of Glenview is a Tech Deputy and has been in the program for three years.
“I’m really into technology mostly because my third-grader teacher inspired me. I think it’s nice and polite to help people,” he said.
Elizabeth Greene, a district tech integration specialist, said students find useful Google documents that teachers often use daily.
Students also know how to manage Edmodo.com, a design similar to Facebook that allows teachers and students to connect and share content, such as discussion boards, posting grades and assignments.
The kids love it, and they’re actually helping to get other students to use it and help teachers,” he said.
“We sent a YouTube Playlist to a teacher, which is a great way for these kids to become effective in creating screen casts.”