You have likely heard about student-led help desks and “Genius Bars” being implemented to support 1:1 technology implementations. In these situations, students take a leadership role in providing support to students and teachers trying to use hardware and applications central to technology integration plans at their site. You can use a similar approach to support a Wixie implementation.
Many students today gravitate toward technology, spending countless hours at home playing with technology devices and tools. Student-led technology teams take advantage of this often untapped know-how to provide additional front line support for often overwhelmed and understaffed IT departments. Rather than have to submit a support ticket and waiting for a fix, teachers can call on student experts to solve the problem much more quickly and often with face-to-face interaction that builds their own technology expertise.
This approach benefits the participating students as well. Students learn to listen carefully to others and break down complex issues into language and solutions these "customers" can understand. During this process they build their own problem solving skills and gain confidence in their own abilities as they become aware of just how much expertise they have acquired.
You can use some of the tasks completed by these student-led help desks to support your Wixie implementation. You don’t even have to have a space or help desk people visit, just a way to designate Wixie student leaders and a process for deploying their expertise.
Here are some ways student experts can support your Wixie implementation.
Support classrooms using Wixie for the first time
While students and teachers are getting more tech-savvy, getting an entire class of first graders logged into Wixie, especially the first time, can be a challenge. Bring on Wixie leaders to help students connect to Wixie through their browser or a tablet app and enter their log in credentials.
These tech leaders may also have great ideas for helping create shortcuts and organize apps to make it easier for younger students to find Wixie the next time they use it.
Students love to paint pictures and add stickers to support their written ideas in Wixie. But once they discover they can capture a picture of themselves and add it to a project, students really engage with the content!
On tablets hardware is part of the device and integrated into the OS, but on laptops the microphones and web cams often have to be set up using control panels. Student Wixie leaders can login and test from their own accounts to make sure devices are connecting to hardware properly.
Laptops and Chromebooks using Wixie in a browser also require additional permissions to access web cams and microphones. In addition to giving Wixie permission to use the web cam.
Answer how-to questions as student are working
Often teachers are hesitant to use a new tool because they fear their students will have problems they won't know how to solve. Encourage these teachers to bring in Wixie leaders to answer these questions for students so they don't feel this responsibility.
Often this is a matter of solid tech expertise more than specific Wixie knowledge. For most Wixie projects, especially first ones in the classroom, students simply need to know where to add a text box and how to open the library, search for an image, and add it to a page.
If you want to make sure Wixie leaders know the basics, have them:
Rewarding Wixie Leaders
Students serving as Wixie leaders should be shown appreciation for their expertise, effort, and additional responsibilities. Consider extra software and hardware training, a space for them to work together, additional technology permissions, and even extra course credit. You might also consider giving students extra credit for badges earned and/or support completed. These badges often serve as a source of pride for students wearing them, and help other students and teachers identify their expertise.
Leveraging the technological know-how of students, placing them in a leadership position within the school, and taking advantage of their desire to help others makes perfect sense, not to mention how much your IT department will appreciate the extra help during a large-scale 1:1 deployment.
It's time to give your Wixie experts wings!