WHS Educational Technology and Digital Media Helpdesk


Course Name:      Technology Innovation in Integration

Course Number:   TBD

Adviser:  Jenn Lowton, Educational Technology Coordinator (IT Office and TRC)

Adviser: ?? Linda?, Donna?, Jason?

Students today rely on technology more than ever.  Technology is forever changing, rapidly.  Since technology is everywhere, teachers need to use this technology to teach 21st Century students.  Schools need to provide the resources and training.  But where does the school get the money?

Winnacunnet HS’s population of students, faculty, administrators and support staff is approximately 3600.  Winnacunnet HS recently has become a Google School.  The school is in year two of a three year plan to make the large campus WiFi accessible to faculty and students.  More and more classrooms are getting mobile computing carts.  Last year the school switched to a new Web 2.0 Student Information System (Aspen) for faster reporting from teachers and response from students and their parents.

With the fast pace technology changes, the school hired an IT Technology Integrator, Jenn Lowton.  One of Jenn's many roles is to facilitate the need for technology and digital media in the classroom and training for teachers.  How can one person train students, teachers, administrators and support staff for approximately 3600 people?

To address such a large population and a finite budget, I proposed a student run help desk.  There is an untapped potential of resources at Winnacunnet HS.  Many students have the raw knowledge and desire to learn more about technology.  Within the structure of a virtual classroom students can learn and train others.  Students can practice soft skills such as, but not limited to research, communications, customer service, and leadership.  They can use these skills to train others.  

The educational technology student run help desk is new.  Jenn Lowton and   along with a number of students, Library, ELO and IT will develop and support the program.  It was so successful that we had asked to propose a virtual course to be offered to ELO or other students by Will McGowan.  The new proposed course was reviewed and should be offered 2016/17.  

The current Help Desk consists of a group of eight (8) students who work together to assist the Winnacunnet community with Google Applications, Chromebooks and iPads.  The three methods normally used to help the Winnacunnet community are, short how-to videos, informational PDF’s, and one-on-one direct instruction.  Our students are present at large Google or technology workshops for teachers as well as working on answering questions by creating Google Hangouts with organizations outside of Winnacunnet HS.  They are often requested for one-on-one guidance as well.  We also manage and maintain the Chromebook Carts for the different departments and, on occasion, Chromebooks and iPads for the Winnacunnet community.  Our knowledge has become so well known, that we are being requested by technical conferences around the state to present and manage their help desk and we are being requested by other schools in our district.  This past summer, five of my students were present to help at the Google Summit hosted by Winnacunnet HS.  Because of their success and knowledge, we were requested to run the help desk at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Educational Conference.  At the end of running the help desk at the  Christa McAuliffe Technology Educational Conference, we received praise and recognition by the organizers and those who attended the conference.

All students on the EdTech Help desk are required to have an updated resume, about me page, business card, professional Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and are encouraged to have a QR code on their business card.  

Course Rationale

There is a growing need to link digital tools with students and faculty.  There is a need for students to research, problem solve, and use critical thinking skills to resolve a plethora of educational issues using digital tools for themselves, other students and faculty. With this new course, students will take their current interest in digital technology to a new level.  

Students Receive

School WiFi access

Access to chromebooks and iPads

        EdTech T-shirt and Polo

        Business cards

        Customer Service Skills

        Work on Professional Social Skills

        Make industry connections

Strong resume building experience

Recognition by school and community

Create and Maintain

                Professional Resume

                Business Card

                About Me Page

                QR Code

                Twitter Account

                Linked Account

                Professional Blog

Alignment with Winnacunnet HS Learning Expectations and Grading Policies

Project Based Learning and Assessments

Take and pass the Google Admin Level 1 exam

Create and manage at least one Google Hangout

Attend and participate in at least three Google Hangouts

Apply a variety of problem-solving strategies

Communicate orally and write effectively

Read technical articles and obtain, evaluate, analyze, and report their opinions

Review educational applications and post

Create short how-to videos and post

Create how-to PDF’s and post

Visit classrooms to help teachers and/or students

Promote good digital citizenship by example

Attend, present, help after school workshops

Attend, present, help technical conferences

Be prepared to give interviews for local news

Work one or more periods each week manning the help desk (media center)

        Demonstrate self-control and respect privacy for all individuals

Manage time and multiple projects effectively and collaboratively

Course Description for the Catalog

The Student Technology Innovation and Integration course is a hands-on study of technology integration in an educational context. Students will be required to assess problem sets throughout the day and define the best approach to addressing or solving the problem. In addition to solving problems for students and teachers, students will be required to complete and maintain several running projects that address problems or solutions in educational technology integration.

Possible Projects Going Forward

Help Desk students will research the latest developments in educational technology. They will identify the best types of technology tools to use in an educational setting. They will design a tutorial demonstrating how to use the tool as well as an example product, and share their product with a global audience via their individual and/or Help Desk blog.

Help Desk students will take a proactive approach to problem-solving through experimenting and designing digital products. Help Desk students will also troubleshoot technology problems (both hardware and software) for students and teachers and will offer multiple solutions to technology-related problems.

Help Desk students will author content for the Help Desk blog. Types of content include written blog posts, screencasts and podcasts. Students will also host Live Google Hangouts on Air, deliver classroom presentations for teachers and students, and may have the opportunity to present at local, state, and regional conferences.

Through ongoing research and the development of a personal learning network, Help Desk students will be on the cutting-edge of trends in educational technology. They will curate useful educational technology resources and tools for teachers and students.

Help Desk Blog (Collaborative Digital Portfolio)

In order to support teaching and learning in a 1:1 Chromebook and iPad environment, Help Desk students will be responsible for authoring content and contributing posts to the PA Help Desk blog on a consistent basis. Posts are expected to occur at least four per quarter and should be ready for review prior to publishing at least 24 hours prior to the due date. Students have freedom and flexibility in the types of posts they publish.

Help Desk Live-Google Hangout On Air

Another possible activity is to have Help Desk students collaborate, create and host Help Desk Live. This is a Live Google Hangout On Air that will allow you to report on the latest developments in educational technology and/or what is happening inside the classrooms of PA in terms of innovative technology integration. Additionally, you are encouraged to seek out appropriate guests outside of the PA community to be featured on an episode of Help Desk Live. Another option for HD Live is to do a live screencast demonstrating the use of a tool. An outline of the broadcast must be completed prior to airing. Episodes should be promoted through our social media channels. Our YouTube channel showcases episodes we have broadcasted so far. Suggestions for episodes include:

1. Highlighting the creative work of teachers, departments, students, staff, and administration at PA. This could be done through interviewing someone at PA or discussing an innovative learning experience/project you recently completed

2. A tutorial-based episode where you would screen share and walk viewers through how to use a specific web tool or application.

3. The use of digital communication tools, including social media, in an educational setting

4. Any and all aspects of digital citizenship; cybersafety, digital commerce, health and wellness, information and media literacy, digital etiquette, digital footprints, etc.

5. Industry expert panelists; app developers, career-specific episodes

6. Conversations with other student-run tech teams to share & discuss best practices with tech integration

Effective planning and preparation is required to produce a high quality live broadcast. The theme of the broadcast and the stories to be included should be determined in advance. Additionally, scheduling of interviews and the writing of a script and/or outline must take place at least one week prior to broadcast. The goal is to broadcast an episode of HD Live every Friday. Help Desk students will rotate through who will host each episode. Due to the logistics of scheduling, students must be flexible and willing to host multiple times.

TED Ed Club Membership

Help Desk students are encouraged to become members of professional communities. Club meetings will occur after school. The time commitment is a minimum of 8 hours. Meetings will be designed to prepare students to deliver TED-like talks at the conclusion of the “season” January for first semester and June for second semester. Being in the TED Edu Club will not only allow you to pursue an individual passion, you will also dramatically improve your public speaking skills. Explore a relationship with video productions.

Help Desk Office (Jenn’s old office)

One period each week

During idle time working on App reviews

Other requirements TBD

        To Do List

              Research and choose an overarching document or certification for this course

                Write six to twelve competencies based on Enduring Understandings

                Write corresponding rubrics to aforementioned competencies

                Develop core curriculum for this course

        Develop capstone projects

                Develop Differentiated Instructions for a virtual course

Develop Formative Assessments

                Create a course syllabus

        Running Start


        Competencies - WIP

  1. Ethics
  2. Communications
  3. Leadership
  4. Training the Trainer
  5. Customer Service
  6. Social Media
  7. Time Management
  8. Capstone Project

These competencies will be designed to spread over 3 quarters, except #8.  Number 8 is designed to completed in the last quarter.