Let Students Assist Teachers with Technology

Mike Fisher

Mike Fisher is a former middle grades teacher who is now a full-time author and educational consultant specializing in the intersection between instructional technology and curriculum design. He actively blogs for the Curriculum 21 website and ASCD’s Edge Social Network. Find his books published by ASCD. Find Mike on Twitter @fisher1000.

In this day and age, technology knowledge and understanding isn’t limited to any particular stakeholder in a school. While teachers sometimes feel the need to know all the ins and outs of technologies that may potentially use with their students, the reality is that their students may be their own best resources.

At a recent EdCamp in Buffalo, I had a discussion with other teachers about the creation of Technology SWAT Teams, or Students Who Assist Teachers with Technology. I thought this was a fabulous idea and that it really brings student voice into the curriculum design arena in a specific and purposeful way.

The picture here is of my daughter, who, at 4 years old was teaching two adults how to operate and navigate an iPad. They had, at the time, never seen one before and Lily was all but elated to share what she knew.

She taught them how to turn the device on, how to swipe to access apps, how to open and close apps, how to multitask, and how some of her favorite apps worked. She even played some of her favorite music for them!

Technology SWAT Teams empower students, they enrich teaching, they engage the entire learning process with new tools and new explorations. When students have voices and choices then schools have students who believe and work for the system, because they are a valued part of it.

So what’s the quickest way to fill your technology toolbox?

Ask the students! Assemble a Technology SWAT Team of your own, maybe even have T-Shirts made! Recognize the contributions of these students and leverage their techno-expertise to bring the whole team into a new realm of modern learning awesomeness.

If you’re interested in seeing more about the potential of having your own Technology SWAT Team, you can see my related post on Speed Geeking Your Faculty Meetings at SmartBlogs.


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