Students Work with I.T. Dept. to Support Connected Classroom Initiative

Student repairs laptop computer with small tool

A few high school students gained hands-on experience by helping the I.T. Department prepare hundreds of Chromebook laptops for student use.

The Chromebooks, which are part of the district’s new “Connected Classroom Initiative,” must go through a setup process before being distributed to students. With hundreds of devices, the I.T. Department saw an opportunity to provide hands-on experience to high school students interested in working with computers.

Four student volunteers were recruited to assist with tasks such as logging inventory and adding devices to the school’s network. In addition to helping fellow students with Chromebook support, the experience provides hands-on learning in their field of interest.

“It’s cool because I get to help my classmates but I’m learning at the same time,” said Zackary Abrams, a ninth grade student who helps I.T. during study halls. Abrams, who has always been interested in programming and robotics, said the experience is beneficial and will be helpful if he decides to pursue something in the computer science field.

When asked what he likes most about computers, tenth grader Harry Baldwin replied, “Everything!” He enjoys fixing computers in his free time and was able to help replace broken screens on older Chromebook models. Students Phebe Cunningham and Ethan Acker have also assisted the I.T. Department during study halls.

Other projects include maintenance/preventative maintenance on Chromebook carts and applying creative solutions to save time in the classroom. For example, on the carts still used in classrooms, the I.T. helpers used zip ties to organize charging cords. This effective solution saves valuable instructional time otherwise spent untangling a mess of wires.

Since August 2017, school-owned Chromebooks have been distributed to all Cairo-Durham students in Grades 7 and 9 as part of the Connected Classroom Initiative. The goal is to expand the program to all students in Grades 6-12 over the next few years. The I.T. Department plans to continue working with student helpers throughout the process.