District Implements Tiger Tech Program

District Implements Tiger Tech Program
Posted on 03/29/2018
Tiger Tech

It is no secret that gaining real-world experience is an important facet of education, and there is a new way in which Spencer High School (SHS) is helping to immerse students in the area of technology.  Starting this school year, SHS implemented the one-to-one Chromebook initiative, meaning each student was assigned their own Chromebook, and soon thereafter, it became apparent that additional technical support was necessary for minor repairs.  Spencer Schools Director of Information Technology, Landon Allen, and Elli Wiemers, SHS Principal, worked together to create the Tiger Tech program, and students were encouraged to apply to help maintain the Chromebooks.

After reaching out to show their interest, freshman Briseyda Rosales (Bri) and senior Hunter Wassom, were hired for the one hour per day position.  The students worked closely with Allen and Charity Mueggenberg, from the tech department, to get training on how to change out a keyboard and screen and make adjustments to the motherboard.  Evolving since the start of the program, the techs are at the point where they are starting to repair all damaged Chromebooks district-wide, due to their efficiency and need for additional work.  They have an office in the Learning Commons at the high school, and it is equipped with a desk, workbench, cabinet for parts, phone and a large monitor.  Bri is available during second period, and Hunter works during sixth period. 

Both Tiger Techs are enjoying the position, and Bri shared that the process is simple.  “If a student or teacher has a Chromebook in need of repair, they fill out a ticket explaining what happened or what is wrong with the Chromebook,” explained Bri.  She added that they review the ticket and then send out a cardboard laptop mailer box.  The Chromebook goes into the box and gets sent back to the techs through the inter-district mail system.  “If it is a broken keyboard or screen, we replace it.  We can also adjust the motherboard,” Bri said.  When the Chromebook is fixed, it goes back into the box and is shipped back to the teacher or student accordingly. 

Mueggenberg spent time with both students, demonstrating how to complete the various repairs, and after repetition, the students were able to fix the issues on their own.   Hunter said, “I like being well-rounded, and I think computers and technology are definitely here to stay, so it is to my advantage to be good with them.  I have enjoyed the hands-on part the most.  I like getting to take apart computers and replace the parts that are broken.” 

From Allen’s perspective, the realistic internship is benefitting the techs, and it will also positively impact the districts ability to resolve Chromebook issues in a more timely manner, getting devices back into the hands of the students.  He added, “Research suggest that graduates with real-world experience are more desirable to employers than those without.  These Tiger Tech students are receiving hands-on experience in an entrepreneurial environment where students are essentially providing a service to the district.”