Youth Technology Support Collaborative Releases Decision-Maker’s Guide to Student Technology Support Programs
Press Release – For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
Elizabeth Weaver Engel, Vice President, Marketing
Consortium for School Networking
202/861-2676, ext. 120
C. Blohm & Associates, Inc.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 21, 2004) – The Youth Technology Support Collaborative (YTSC), a coalition of nonprofits, associations and companies today released A School Decision-Maker’s Guide to Student Technology Support Programs: The Power of Learning & Leadership.
YTSC was established with the goal of creating a national dialogue focused on the emerging trend of students providing technology support and leadership in their schools. The Collaborative has examined the growth of technology support programs, in which students in all grades provide organized assistance in the deployment, creation, maintenance and use of technology resources, and offer mentoring for teachers, other students and schools.
“Use of students for technical support in schools is a growing national trend,” noted Bob Moore, CoSN Board Chair and Executive Director, IT Services, Blue Valley Unified School District in Overland Park, KS, and co-chair of the collaborative. “Our goal is to make sure that administrators think through the key issues before starting a program so that students have a good educational experience, and the district defines the key purposes for the effort and ensures wise policies and practices.”
”This innovative resource for education decision-makers on the rapidly emerging trend of student-led technology support is the result of the first effort to bring together a national coalition of corporations, education non-profits and school-based practitioners,” said Calvin Hastings, Senior Director of Programs for MOUSE and co-chair of the collaborative. “The Youth Technology Support Collaborative sees this guide as the first step toward informing effective decision-making around the role of students in supporting the use of technology their schools.”
The Guide outlines the goals of a student tech support program and discusses factors for success and the benefits which can accrue to the entire school, including student success, teacher confidence and improved IT. “Participating in technology leadership programs provides students with valuable skills necessary for success in the 21st century,” said Karen Bruett, Education and Community Initiatives Director, Dell Inc. “Students benefit by learning real-world skills, becoming valued leaders and finding their niche in the school community.”
“Student tech support programs can also increase teacher confidence,” added Kim Mulkey, Technology Director, BellSouth Foundation. “Teachers are more likely to incorporate technology to facilitate learning if they believe the technology will work when they need it. Thus, having students on site and skilled to address various tech support issues give teachers that extra assurance there won’t be down time in the classroom if they choose to use technology.”
While student tech support programs cannot replace traditional IT staff, students can fill a staffing gap in the classroom. “Schools face a lot of resource shortages, but one natural resource they have in abundance is smart, tech-savvy students that can help with their increasing technology install base,” said George Warren, Director, K-12 education, HP’s Public Sector Organization. “In many classrooms, students are already the technology experts. They can provide immediate response to troubleshooting problems and other valuable assistance to their teachers.”
Student involvement in tech support programs also prepares them for a 21st century work environment. “Students taking ownership and responsibility for their school’s technology program can help build the sustainable models necessary for effectively using technology in the classroom,” noted Jane Broom, Manager of Microsoft U.S. Partners in Learning. “The experience can even ultimately function as a career exploration opportunity for participating students.”
A School Decision-Maker’s Guide to Student Technology Support Programs: The Power of Learning & Leadership was written by Karen Greenwood of Nimble Press and is designed to be used by administrators considering implementing youth technology support programs. For more information, or to download a free copy of the Guide, visit www.studenttechsupport.org.
About the Youth Technology Support Collaborative
CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking), MOUSE (Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education) and Apple established the Youth Technology Support Collaborative during the summer of 2003. YTSC includes 20 non-profit organizations, technology companies and professional associations. The Guide was underwritten by grants from BellSouth (www.bellsouth.com), Dell (www.dell.com), HP (www.hp.com) and Microsoft (www.microsoft.com). In addition, Apple provided leadership and in-kind support. YTSC plans to conduct bi-annual meetings in conjunction with major ed-tech conferences and to continue to develop and implement activities that promote informed and meaningful roles for youth as technology leaders in their school communities.
About the Consortium for School Networking
Founded in 1992, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), a national non-profit organization, is the premier voice in education technology leadership. CoSN’s mission is to advance the K-12 education community’s capacity to effectively use technology to improve learning through advocacy, policy and leadership development. CoSN members represent school districts, state and local education agencies, nonprofits, companies and individuals who share our vision.
CoSN leadership initiatives include: Cyber Security for the Digital District (www.securedistrict.org); Data-Driven Decision Making (www.3d2know.org); Safeguarding the Wired Schoolhouse (www.safewiredschools.org); Taking Total Cost of Ownership to the Classroom (www.classroomtco.org); and the development of the Council of School District Chief Technology Officers (CTO).
Visit www.cosn.org or phone 202/861-2676 to find out more about CoSN’s programs and activities supporting leadership development to ensure that information technology has a direct and positive impact on student learning in elementary and secondary schools.
MOUSE (Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools & Education) was founded as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1997 to be a catalyst for the integration of technology and learning in public schools, by empowering students and schools to succeed in the Information Age. MOUSE’s primary initiatives are MOUSE Squad, a student-driven program to address technology needs of elementary, middle, and high schools; and TechSource, a comprehensive information and research program that will provide an accurate, overall picture that describes how teachers and students are using technology in schools across New York City. For more information visit www.mouse.org.
BellSouth Corporation is a Fortune 100 communications company headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and a parent company of Cingular Wireless, the nation’s second largest wireless voice and data provider. Backed by award winning customer service, BellSouth offers the most comprehensive and innovative package of voice and data services available in the market. Through BellSouth AnswersSM, residential and small business customers can bundle their local and long distance service with dial up and high speed DSL Internet access, satellite television and Cingular® Wireless service. For businesses, BellSouth provides secure, reliable local and long distance voice and data networking solutions. BellSouth also offers online and directory advertising through BellSouth® RealPages.comsm and The Real Yellow Pages®. More information about BellSouth can be found at www.bellsouth.com.
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is a premier provider of products and services required for customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures. Company revenue for the past year totaled $43.5 billion. Dell, through its direct business model, designs, manufactures and customizes products and services to customer requirements, and offers an extensive selection of software and peripherals. Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com.
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended April 30, 2004, HP revenue totaled $76.8 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.