When I reflect on my role as a library media specialist, I think about the many 21st-century skills I try to foster in my students. My district’s Information and Technology Literacy Curriculum mirrors these same skills and was written to ensure that all students in our schools are effective users and producers of ideas and information. However, I don’t want my students to just know how to use technology; I want them to become technology experts, or “tech-sperts.”
Tech-sperts is the name of a popular club for 4th- and 5th-grade students at my school. Since I began my position last fall, this club has grown tremendously. The Tech-sperts have many responsibilities in the school, and it is considered a huge honor to be a part of this group. There are many ways you can help your students become tech-sperts, too.
Computer Lab Support
Have your students help out when the younger students are in the computer lab. My Tech-sperts are each assigned a kindergarten or first-grade class, and they come to the lab and assist when I’m teaching these classes. This is a great way to foster leadership and confidence in your tech-savvy older students.
If your school acquires new technology, this is an excellent opportunity to help your students become tech-sperts. Have those students be the first to learn how to use the new devices, and then let them share that knowledge with their peers. My Tech-sperts have become experts in using the technology in our MakerSpace, and they are then given the responsibility of teaching their peers and younger students how to use it. Knowing they are going to teach their friends gives these students the extra motivation to become the tech experts.
Teach the Teachers
Another great way to inspire your students to become tech-sperts is to give them the chance to swap roles with their teachers. This year, my Tech-sperts are going to be teaching the classroom teachers how to use the coding program Scratch. They are extremely excited to turn their teachers into students and show the adults something new.
These are just a few examples of how you can create tech-sperts out of your own students. All it takes is finding the right motivation, but when it comes to technology, that usually isn’t very difficult. While my suggestions focused specifically on children in elementary school, these ideas can easily be applied with students in both middle and high school.
What are some ways you are already creating tech-sperts in your school?
Author: Jenna Grodzicki
I have been in education for the past 15 years. Currently, I am the K-5 Library Media Specialist at Thalberg Elementary School in Southington, Connecticut. Prior to that, I taught kindergarten, first grade, and third grade. I am also a picture book author. My first book, PIXIE’S ADVENTURE, is coming out in early 2017 from eTreasures Publishing. More than anything, I LOVE to read! I also love skiing and cheering for the best team in baseball, the Boston Red Sox!