The Tech Kids Team was initiated by Riverview’s Elementary Instructional Technology Specialist Karen Mayfield, in 2007. She identified the great need for more hands and more minds working together with technology-rich project-based work, so she drew upon the greatest free resource in schools; the skillful and motivated students themselves.
During the fall of each year, students go through an application process that involves acquiring both their classroom teacher’s and their parents’ permission to serve. They are then assigned as assistants to a partner class and they work with that class for the entire year.
The Tech Kids program is a win-win for everyone involved. The teachers have many hands of assistance to make the challenging environment of working with many students on technology-employed projects a happy, productive one.
The students enjoy and appreciate the help the Tech Kids give them, and the quality of their work improves.
The Tech Kids strengthen their tech skills, learn to appreciate the work a teacher does to make things clear to students and they garner the appreciation of the staff and the student body.
Karen Mayfield shares, “The Tech Kids are one of the strongest assets we have in our efforts to employ the use of a wide variety of technologies in authentic, value-added ways. They are eager, capable and dedicated. They wear their Tech Kids T-shirts with pride and they look forward to their opportunity to serve each week.
“I get the wonderful privilege of being part of the teaching staff at each school, and I also have the wonderful privilege of being part of the Tech Kids’staff. I treat them with the respect any educator deserves and they puff up with pride as they work alongside me to teach others.”
Tech Kids provides multiple opportunities for growth, and not only in the area of technology. As 4th grade teacher, Orlene Olson, noted, “The opportunity for students to be Tech Kids is a chance for them to work with others in a service capacity, first and foremost. The fact that they strengthen their own technological and instructional skills is not the only benefit of being a Tech Kid. They also develop an inoculation to the entitlement mentality that is becoming more prevalent in our society.”