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Bv Jo









iT lN lvll55l55lPPi. its rn if-life g ti-lenr c t't s-iii a!* -i e nr o n a e Aol uti o n. Tl'ie co nt tl i r




lras t:a nsfor"msd H-12 classf {'or1-1s ihrou$houi ihe $iagiroiia Sialc fllilr il]e t:ast clecade antl a iialf hasn't coffe \'|,;ilr il'je i:enefii of arrv liroiessionai teclt suppcr:. Proviriin$ thiii -qlistlol'i ts igc erperrslvf n Jrrcpcsitrct:r-sta$g*;iii-:$1v so. if '.'ol.l fic, ri righi-:+l btrcigei-strapl:r:cl tjistrilts frtnr Tuirelo to Greetlrill*. .rnc! fronr l{attiesbtlrgl to Colr-rmlria. are enlisttecir no! og'., ili

irrg stuCents to f i!i


tltt g-its'

ihis is no ail-itcc Eei:!'i gi'; 'the disil'icis are participatittg in a siaie-silonsorei 1 itiaiii'er cn I iecJ Clrallenging Regiona i Ecj ucaiors to,*enci: Technclc{1 i:i Ee{t.tcaiiarr icREATri isr fi4ississil:pi. Lauitc!rerl in 2SCl ttlrcie r ilrc eirspices ci ihe Cenier for [dtrcltiane! arrri Trarnii'l$ Technol'r$i' iCE'TTi at Mississinpri S'tate Univer*cit"" t!re initiative prcr'1des. ilrr"lo*3 othtrr things' sl<ills'dev*i*pnrent nrogrnms {oi" cndi.':s oi coi:rilr.iiev-Eavr.:! nridrilc a;.'tl hi{lr sclior:l stuF iJenis. r.,,lro ir$tiirlrsir.c*i iirr:.iT ir:32 rlis?.licts acfr:)ss l,is sii';i*BLrt


CREATE's Student Tech Team Program is a disciplined example of a generally less formal phenornenon with which ntost K-12 schools are verv familiar' ln

embrace the technology. saYS Latimer. "It's a win-win tbr the schools and the students," she says. "The program bridges

that tech-support gap while giving the

tact, in 2002 the National School Boards Association reported that students were providing IT support in more than half the country's school districts' Groups of specially trained or simply

kids a chance to develop important skills, take on some real job responsibility' and even learn to deal with the accountability that goes with that responsibilit.v " The CREATE Tech Teams have also

specially inclined students have been helping teachers with their electronic equipment since the AV club began

classroom. say-s Dan Brook. CETT's project clirector, which has helped to

rolling 35-millinieter projector carts into 1960s classrooms on film day' Of course. there's a big difterence between untangling a strip of perforated celluloid anrJ sorting out computer glitcheshence the ernergence of tbcused programs such as CREATE. Through CREATE. full-time technolo-

gy facilitators stationed on-site at


school level train and supervise the Stucient Tech Teams. The TFs also provide

ongoing ' just-in{ime" technical


rnstructional support on a daily basis ttl teachers as they integrate technology into curricula. The TFs train Tech Team members, selected by the school atier an application process. to handle a range of tasks.

updatin-q antivirus software to installing computer hardrvare and trou-


bleshooting malfunctioning gear. The stu-

dents sort out printer and plojector problems, burn CI)s and DVDs' and even create instructional PowerPoint presentations designed by teachers. They also nrentor their classnrates to help them develop their own technology skills' The average size of a CREATE lech l'eam fbr a schocll rvith 200 to 300 stutlents ranges between 12 and 16 kids' says

CETT Prolect Manager Betty l,atimer' "sometines they meet during a particular class period and pick up assignments there." she explains. "ln some schools' they come in during their free periods and see what's needed. work on computers with the teachers, or go out into the classroorn. lt depends on the school."

Enlisting trained students to provide techniual antl instruclional support in Mississippi classrooms has provided unique learning opportunities tbr stutlents, and given many teachers the inthe-trenches support they need to fully

reduced equiPment downtime



improve the integration of technology in those very classrooms. "something as siniple as the teacher's not being able to get the projector to

run, or the resolution being wrong. can hold up the class in ways that cause the teacher to say. 'Forget it' this doesn't wor* for me,"' he savs. "lf teachers have problerns ',vith technology' they'll drop it instantly irnd go on teaching the lesson without it. But when you have students who can step tn and get the class rnoving again with a t-ew keystrokes. you see a real change in that attitude. "[t's tair to say thllt this progranr is rnaking the best of a bad situation' hut this particulal batch of lemonade has turned

out sweeter than even we expected"' In other words, stuclent tech support has evolvctl from a stopgap nreasure into

something with real benefits for students. teachers. and school districts'

[-ove them or t-ear them, plograms like CREATE for Missrssippi aren't going away any tinre soon. They can'tl tech-support staffing simply hasn't kept pace with the grass-fire spread of lnlbrrnation technology rn our schools. How far behind are we'.r ConsitJer this: IT industry analysts at mintet researchel Fot rester tnaintain that' cunently. the typical ratio in large corporations of one tech-support person per 50 PCs is inadequate. According to the Center lbr Education Leadership and Technology. in larger school districts that ratio rs closer to one Per /,500. "l sometirnes n'rention that Forrester

statisric tluring sessions with district tech-support guys. and everyone .iust laughs," says Sylvia Martinez- president of Genetation YES (Youth antl Educa-



tors Succe edin! ). '.1-hcsr. arc pcoplc lr l)u urc \rrpForlinr hultdreds antl hLrntltcrls {}l'nlirchirlcs----j(} uouirl hr'r lurrrlr l '

(jcncnrlron YI-S is ln ()l\ ntptit. \\'.\ lrlr:r:cl c(rlnrtlitt' iril

prOvidrr partr"s



llrlship of'lrring.

tce hnolrrg]' nf()Srtnts. Tlrc e orn (ienYt-rS. is billcd us l "solutiorr lirr-

selttniu idt' tcchnolog) inte.gratirrrr."


rrtiallr.^ it pror rtlcs alr

online plutlonn irnd t(xrl-\ through * hich srude nts un(l t.ilchf r\ collul.roralc lirl pro.jcct-has!'(l Ltafllirlr uncl rtitll'dr'\clrlililont. (icncrttion Tcch is the c(ltnptn\ s \tudcnt tr'll)-\upport Jrr(rlrurn. l-lt pr()!nut) ollers trlrining lirr -.1trtlcntr lurd staf'l aintcd lrl rlcVc-ltlpins rr "sustitinahL'studr.nt {cclrn(]ltitr pr.trgr.arn" *ilh,

itr.i scltoc!. Il cort:isls ol l urrrtictrlun) t\)l tritinin! sluilcllis gradcs lt trr



onlinc tools lirr pr()ir'ct trilckillu. social nctuirrk, ing. lnd coIllhor:rtirinI lintl rnurrr tithcr :rltpiicirtions.



bc(tcI strrrtr.gv thun sctting thc hrrckcrs on urrrr.ridr.

ship 1rl 1hr'



''\irrr harc to usc it littlr- hit ttl"coniluorr sense in th\: icJl)\upport tusks ron tssigl) i() stuijcnis. etlrl: thc CETT's l-alintcr. ''\'orr \oulcln't itsst!:n the nt [r) \\i)t k on lnr nris:iLrncrilicirl 5\stclns-. -c-rniiil or thc pavloll. \iru.1ust i'stablish policir.s lntl rctluire the rrt to lbirlc t-* thern if'thcl u:ult to st;l\ r)n thi'tr.rrrrn. \\'c hlrr'* t).\'r:l hird a s{udent lbusc thc pl.ivrlctcs oi bcitl! .rn thitt tcanr. N|) orle has tIicd t() l]ct lnt() it ttitchL'r \ f orltpUi!'r. ()r !:\,dn :tr r' {'etl


trn.tccr-ittill_1iC $,ebsi tc'."

-Sylvia Martinez, Generatian "l:tgr-r:c tllrt

it: a riin-*in. \,lariirtcz sars. '1'hr:

ttectl thc help.:rntl thc stuilcnts utc


l.itnlitlg rtilLrahle ikiils.'lcch

supp()rt is crccllcnt training firr prohic-rrr solVing irr gc'ntral.

Trtrrtblerhoolittl is soltething tllilt \iu(lcnt\ ear) tfap\littl] t1 ttthcr :ubjects llr(l itctiliiies. Altrl sturlenl\ ulxr liare a knack lirr it al'c Srttin! ir hcrd start ()n deVcl(rpilt!t a rnar-kctlrhle .1olr skrll." -flte Gr'rrcratiolt cutriculurn clxcrs lroth harelriarr- itntl sollu;rlc. lireusins rrn tltirrgs like ghost nrachines. c()nrpr)r)cnt e lcntting. untl rnve iilorr. \lorc thirn h:tll ol' thc crrrrie riltrnt rclirtcs t(l drictrtttrritlrti()n iiltd cust()ntcl. scrr icc. Bul u'hat irlrout thc lisk l It-rlistricts irllou r-or ing harrtls ol tcch-sirr r ! studr.nls Idose in thoir s\'\tctils iilld ne l\\t)t.k:. ilrL.n t lhcr .iust bcsging to hrrcketl ) "ll t,.nr rrant to rr'tlLtr.r- :tudtrrt hlrckirru in vorrr di:tric{. I c:rn't


Journal February 2OO8


slns Nlartinez. "Students irrc krrkcd iit lrs thc'ot)!.nt\. \\'htit schools lnlkc tlrc. stullent\ $ho hiive thesr ktrrds of lhilitics pijrt ol'tlrc tcurn. \\!- \cc inctc(lible rc.iluctittns in heckrnr: ;intl er,brr rltttditlisnt. l( rrorks hccaLrsc \'(lu tifL'suppo61i11q stuclcltt (l\\tttr-

LLrcr Nliller-fitrnlirltl. 'Ir.chrtologr.(S\\.,\'l').


r.rlrrr rurrs

Stut[.nts \\'orkins to.\tlr.incr.

ll nalion\\tdr.

pr(igtlllt ainrcrl at Pt.()nt0ttn!

studcnt lcadcrship throuuh tcclrntrlogv tntining. sri\s \lle hctr-\ ''the sct'uritr tluc:lion ' all (lrr- tiruc. 'Whcn xru r.rrlist sturlcnts firr tech s!-rpll()rt. \1lu d()n't let thcrrt run \oilr ncirrork.' qhc :avs. "\'tru tion'1 Ict thertr ilrtrr urcas \\'itit l)ti\iltc tnlirrnratiori. \iru tlon't girc thcnr lhc kc\\ t{) c\cr\ ciosr-l. \iru gire thern lirnrtc.l -il1!'trcliltrrlog] ilcce:;s. allosr \rlr trt givc thcnt ill)[)ropriiitd tr)lc5 lrtd rr\l)onsibilitics. I1'\ou (hln'l lltvc scsrctat!-rl lt'aers to lour sarrcrs irrrd -xrur criticul datir. vrtr'tc u()t nluch brgucr prtrblcrn.. ' i\lorco,,cr. studcr)t tcch \upp()rt idilnt\ bcailtltc st:rkcholtlerr in theit orirt cciucalirrn. l\lillcr-(ilnfiekl srrs. u'hiclr nt"rkc. thenr !'\cn lcs\ ol'I rr-curiiv ri:k. "Stirtlc'nts /ilt, hclpinr peoplg ln115 thC tCchttirloUt'." sitr' rtrr s. 'll bte 0tttcs I r,Crt natutal i,,,at litr thcttt io slep irtto a icadcrslrip role. 11 iiilttri s titcrl to o\\ li il. ' Nlillcr'(ianiiclti lrcglrr to criclilr hel rdcls uhout sturlenl tccli srif porl hack in l9t)6. She had.iust star'{cd a.ioh tetchlllS firurth alrrl lrtth::riit['rs;it [)aris Drirc l.]lementarl School ilr (lrrr. N('. [:rLrslrrle'tl hr.'thc lack rrl'tcch support firr thc crrrrrputcrs tu'cd in her ulasses. shc cilluc close [o quitting. hut hcr prirrui pal trlfi:red hcr tlr('tcchn{)lru\ e(x)tdit.}irt(tr position. j\{orc lrustrution lirilourd: "l ir:rtl so niuch hitting nrc Ijust couldn r kt'r-p tup." shc rr'eitlls. "l tlitln't hlrc thc lltllc oL the rcsourcrs lirr thcjob. ro onc tiln' I asked il'thcrc ncr.' .tn\ ki(h ul thc school u ho nlirht hc intcrcstcd iri hclpin:i *itlr thc technoloqr'. Onc trunilrcd thirtr-lirc:tud!.nts clruii to nl(r ilnd said. '\tah!"' Scrctttr-firc itf thosc slucierrtr lirilred l\lrllr.r Canfieltl's iirst S\\',\'l'tcanr.'fhrr took on rclativclr siniple.johs. such ls clcalr inS pnnlers. Rut thel lrlso hcipecl q'iih onlin,: l'csL.arch. uorkctl ()n thc \clt(\)l's $ebsite . lrlrrl hce arric nlelltot\. tcaching r'ithrr' stutlcnts h()$ t() use it conipUtr.f ttotc-taking pr()-qtitn) t() \ir\e prtper. !liIlcr-(lanfjelil's \\'()rk c;r!-ned h!-r rrlc()!lliti{)lr rs \atit--rr -[.:clinologr ai Telchcr r]l the \ttr in 1997 front li.r'lurolr,.q.r'.t





I.ttLrrtirtq lnilgszlnc atrcl Nlicrosoft. Shc llrter slruck {)tlt ()n hcr r)\\lt. alld tl\)\\ I'Lllls S\\'\T as 't l{rl-PlUht r-lllclpllsL'tltilt prOviilcs rcltltc(l cont!'l)t illiLi rc\()urec\. Regis{ct-ccl tlscrs (}l thc pl(}-

grirnr rcccr\c ir Sl\'-'\'f Kit- r'vIich incliitics pltrgl'ull] gtttdes' telttn tliotiels. lirrrns. prcscttt.tttr.rnr. 'tltd I'tilcl llliitcrlill\' l\'lillcr-(ilrlt'it'id sces students its 'il nilttirill tesource



:r'hool coltttttttnitv." hut atlds that it r'rotrlcl lrc a lllisixkc t() \ir\\ tlrerr as licc labttr. ''lt riotrltln't hc lail to thi''trt Lrr tllc school"' shc sls. "fhis has 11r lrg 11[ir111 irnproi itrt itlrlltng filr ercfltrnt'. \'(ru'\e \pcr)t u l0t ilf l)lLllla\ ()l] it Lil trl'c(luiplncnt thal tlot'rtt't

lrart thc tcch stlpll)()rl ()l tilc Set usc(! hccaLl.,l tcachcr\ tlon't ' tririnirg thet' ttced. It's.iust 'l tact ol lilc lltitt studcttlr citll tlclp '\rtd thotrsh shc's ll()t stlggcstin:: that S\\iA-l' ttitllt: call clolltnent. shc hlts lirund thlrl $ hclt :ttttiettts atrotrl techlttllt)g\. thc tcilchcr\ Pie k it tlp lastcr. "\\'ltcn tciictlcrs;rrc paitcel *'itlt strtticirts' it elttt bc li lc:s intirilitlating sittrtltiolt." shr \a\s. "ilnd lllc\ lc 111()rc !('llll('1table *ith thc tc-chnoltlgr. Antl thc sttld'llts ilrt- lllolr likcll'trr hc trgr on tht eutting-ctlgc sitlll:--things Iikc social llct\\ofkill!'

rrplacr \txl'l !due


il thr' teachcts

hlricgrng. potlcasting. atrtl otltcr thitt*s ltssoctatcrl ri ith Wclr l.{i Itt rr'rtttc instltnics. l'rc.:lcn ttrcottragcd 'schtrols 1tr prilridc crtrlit lirl t\llchtrrs u lttl lc:trn n ith stutlct.rts'

t'-liLine ll.rrristrn. ctxtrclitlator lirr-tltt- KertrLrck)' [)epilrtnl'nt of lirlucatiott's Stuile nt Tee hltdlogr l-eildersltrp ['Lttt:ritttt IS-l'l-['i'

;rgrcc' tititt slLir['llt\ rlitcn pt'tlre to hc tlrc trcst lriiincts 'r1' lcirclicrs. '\\'c stattttl lhc flr)glrlll hceitttsc rre lelt tlrat stutltnts $trLrld hclp rrs to ge t tcrrchcr': in!olrctl u ith the tccltnol(u\. shc sltrs. "lt is rt rctr nitttlrill rcliltiollshif

\drlti()rlitl ellls:rrlonlt ottcil flottrish in rht Sl-l-P tnr iiiinnlent' \\'5r .) Uce uttsrl thcl'r'c tltlilg strlne t|in;: thL-\'rc g{)(1d at' itl)d lhci g.t't to shilre thcir cxpertise uitlr thcir pec'rs lnrl tcltchcrs' ':Tcrh st,1,p,,rt is tltlrnitell a pitrt oi this prrrrrant' irttl thc "Studr--nt: learl"-r:hip Pir'ce i: lhsoltrtel) csscntixl." shc srvs inrrrheti bc not ot nlight st;tr\ the'sports rtcccssarilV $ho urcrr't in rlthct. tttainstreanr school activities c()lllc tc STLP antl fiild tlrrl .iusi ubr)ut clct\()nc \r'ants to do tlringr uith tcchnrtlogr'' " ri hich rpcn: trp itlt dvenuc tbr Ihii:e rtudents ttl ctcll llenis()n \itvs thcrc llrc ilctivr S'fl [) pro.ulatns in nruglih 900 ol Kcntuckr''r l.l()() K-ll schttols \\'ith lll lhcse \ludents ()lit thcrc pitchin,q in ttl pro'idr- lT hclp' $1)n't rli\tricts lrc tcn]ptc(i u, aun,p trll sltrdeni tdch-suirp()rt Prtlgtal]ls t(r \iI\c tllollt! ltlld r.plilcc piri(l tcch-\tlpp()rt sral'f'l Hlrtristttt tlistrtisscs the i'lee "'l'ltere's ncrcr cltough teclt sulrprlrl.' shc rlirs "lt's a cltchll: l'hc tll()re techn()h)q\'\1ru e\pict \r)ul'lf;rchrjrc t() usc' 1ht tuorc tcch stlpp()rt thcv nr-eLl- Yotr ltavc'to bc lhle to providc crplndin,r 131l1111rlilg1 :tlpllort * ithout r'\l-aanrlilld vtrttr budgel


rntinrtclr'-*ltcrcr rtrintl that htl(lgtts kcep getting ctrt For districr: crlnsitleting ll lllilr(' tirlllrill apprttach to lt relati('n\hif tlrlt plohllblv alrcatlr crists in tttatlr" if nol nlost' ilI thc-ir \chix)ls. Flitrrisitt.t \tr()llgl\ rec{tlll!llctld: gctting hu\ -in ir'rn1 p t'

erli\ i!rtrl thc lldnlilli\triittt'n lir-sl. tSut $ltrtt it colnc: tit)lc li' rce luil thc siutlctrt:. shc siI\'\. g() ti) lhc tr-il'h'rs' "At'ttr all." shc sals. "the s{lidcnts arc goitts to bc uorkirtg rrt lirc icirchcrs cli.l:srotrlns. anti ihcv knori thctrl bcttcr lhan ltnr'()tlC cl\C.


K. ll(rters i.\{'(ltttl({'

tt t

rlr'r lnttt't! itt

llrttltlttttt I'lr'rr" ( l{

"h) prroiect hased icalning pr(!rritnl tlc:l!ll)cd cnrp()\\cr siudants in all gradc lercls ttr tlsc tL'chut)l()g)'to lL'ilrll lurtd uchicvt." lt r.r'rts t':trlhlishcd rll lt)(.)4 hl thc. STLP Statc

-fhc STI-P is


Arlrisorv (louneil. rihich is c()IIlpose(i rrl tcachers' sttl(lcnt\' ;rntl cttrilrttunitv iclt.ler.s. llaIIistln. li fitrtlter tcache r, $ as ltttt'tl ri\\il\ lrortt hcr clilsstottttt to hclp lirrnr th!'llr()$rillll' "1'ttc progrartl is ltbotrt l)lorc thlrlt .itrst tcch support' shc srNs.


'\\t thttrk ltbotrt all this in lcrlll\ t)lstttdcl)t

l)r()icct5 that

inr,, fi.)ut ,llita!t()ric\: ill)truLtl()n.rl. c(rltltltttt)tl\'- tcchnielll.

3n(lL-lllfcp[cneur.ial.Whc-nr'trttlirtlkllttlrtlrtlltrclis.rtltll.ind ibal- 1t'ottt prilnal\ scltotll tir lltir -ullrdc' llle i'c ltrc studcllts rvorl:itrg: on pr(lccts thilt llliike ;t tliticrcrrcc- ili lhL'if eiil\\ftx)lIl\'

s.hirol:.:tnd cilnttttttttitrts. Arrr-l alortg llit'\\J\ thil :trc provitl irrc sclriccs -'*ltethcr it's nc\rsltttcl pLlhlislrirre' I lrclp dcsk " thcr're tr i ing 1() lllan. ot tlt'itrg ttlintlr tcpltirs ilt tht: t:lltsscs 'fhc \l'l-l'pr(rsl'itlll is opctl to itll stutlt'nts irr lrll gradc letcls in .:tct1 :chrlol in Kettttlckr' ilntl it cltcttrtrlger 'tctir iticr ltcloss gratle lercls ;tnd geograpltics lt's tlc-'rgrlcd til ;lrtttittee gotrrl rtl-e;rllcrl \ttl(lcnl lcchnoi0lr Ic'litL-ls- \til(lL'llts tr ith 'l

tcchttolo{r. c()lt)111tll)iciiti(ltr. .in.l 'tcatrlitrg" :kills lrc S'fl-: hcip ro ttrin othel slrttlent:. tclleltcrs. lttrtl ttrcttthcn Lrl' thi' a()nrn1u'litI in the trsc trl tcuhntrlrrgt ttt atltl 0Ltt 01 1hc clit::l'(]()ln. .\ll(l rltcl' elso ptrNttle ntuch ol' tltc tcchnle lll \LlFllttrl nctde(l t() ntitintaitt thc rcchttologr 111 1r'h1rt)lS llrlrl distlicts' Ililrti\on sil\\ thill \ttlLlcllts rl'hrl tltltl l \t-llll t() tlttirc itl tillt' www.thejourna

Triump Of the Nerds  
Triump Of the Nerds  

Read about the award-winning Students Working To Advance Technology program at in T.H.E Journal