Kempsville High School’s has its own IT department, and it has to look no further than the students in the hall.
This year, the school started a new program, Chief Squad. Led by John Baumgardner and Bridget Mariano, the school’s computer resource specialists, eight students take turns working throughout the day to respond to technology issues and needs around the building. All the while, students are learning a variety of troubleshooting skills for various operating systems employed in the building, including Windows 7, Windows 8.1, iOS for iPads and OS X for Mac.
“The Chief Squad is the exact hands-on training we want our students to experience,” said Ramesh Kapoor, chief information officer for VBCPS. “These students are not just learning about today’s technological systems; they are learning to analyze problems, think creatively and work together on finding solutions. No matter what career they choose, there is no greater experience for today’s workplace.”
Taken as a business elective course, Chief Squad members are learning to install network printers, update drivers, install software from a variety of sources, use Office 365, manage iPads and use the Windows 8.1 tablets that Kempsville is adopting as part of the e-Learning Backpack program. Additionally, when not busy solving problems, students research instructional technology tools and blog about their experiences on their blog.
The inspiration behind this new initiative is the Burlington High School’s Help Desk, located in Burlington, Massachusetts. To follow along with the Chief Squad, visit their site, ChiefSquad.wordpress.com.