As members of the Elkhorn Technology Team (ETT), high school students throughout Elkhorn Public Schools (EPS) have a unique opportunity to earn class credit while also gaining hands-on experience working with the hardware and software systems utilized throughout the District.
Prospective members must express interest in ETT as part of the annual class registration process, and those that become members forego a study hall option in favor of this highly sought after student aid position. In its second year, over 40 high school students district-wide are dedicating a portion of their school day, and sometimes volunteering after-school time, to ensuring that student devices are up and running. Once assigned to ETT, students work with members of the EPS Technology staff and the school’s media specialist to ensure accuracy of repairs and receive weekly training and daily guidance in both repairs and varying software programs and their uses.
Primarily, ETT members work on repairing student Chromebooks distributed to 6th-12th grade students as part of the EPS 1:1 device initiative. Members take part in varying types of repairs, including both hardware and software, and must diligently document their processes and any repairs made. From there, a supervisor reviews their work to ensure accuracy. In addition to working with Chromebooks, ETT members also assist with building-level technology. If a projector needs maintenance or a staff member is encountering audio problems, ETT members are able to work through their processes to correct them.
ETT provides many benefits to both students and the District. Members are able to gain career experience, while also improving valuable skills in customer service, problem-solving, and detail-orientation. For the District, providing adult training and repair supervision allows ETT members to be a great resource and front-line response to Chromebook and classroom repairs while also allowing students to continue building their resumes.
According to Jessica Ethridge, Media Specialist and ETT Supervisor at Elkhorn High School, one of the biggest benefits to ETT is the opportunity for students to become acquainted with others of similar interests which has allowed the forming of the tight-knit family that they have all come to appreciate and rely on.