Wilton High looks to add student-run technology help desk next year

Wilton High School is looking to add a Student Help Desk course next year as part of a collaboration between its library learning commons and applied arts and computer studies departments.

Computer science teacher Amy Korn, author of the course proposal, and Wilton High School Principal Bob O’Donnell presented the proposal to the Board of Education during its May 12 meeting, where it was well-received by board members.

“This is a course that would build the capacity for our students in the realm of technology,” said O’Donnell.

“It will empower them to resolve technology issues, help our teachers ... resolve software and hardware issues throughout the building.”

O’Donnell said the students would also run the technology help desk, which would be located in the library media commons.

Korn said the class would not be “a traditional course” and would have three different components.

“Each student would be working on an individual pathway of interest. It could be software; it could be hardware; it could be a coding language that we don’t offer as part of our curriculum,” said Korn.

The first component, Korn said, would involve students developing “their pathway in either receiving certain certification or [learning] skills to help us with different hardwares around the building.”

Manning the student help desk would be the second component, she said.

The front desk in the library would be turned into the help desk, where students would “learn the different skills in order to work with the staff and students to help them facilitate their devices and things,” said Korn.

“The third component is that they will all work on a passion project … where they’ll develop an area of interest of their own and really hone a project in something they’re interested in related to technology.”

As the school district and high school continues to transition to “a digital learning environment,” according to the course proposal, a student run help desk “would be a logical next step in order to build the capacity within [the] students to solve real-world technology problems.”

Wilton High School students and staff are “progressively using technology tools to expand their education and interactions with one another, to collaborate and to perform nearly every function that is necessary to run a successful school,” according to the proposal, and the Student Help Desk course would help resolve technology issues “in a more timely fashion” by providing assistance to teachers and having students assist with some hardware issues throughout the high school building.

According to Korn’s proposal, the course would help students become competent in technology skills and “utilize a variety of learning experiences and 21st century learning expectations,” including inquiry, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving in an authentic real-world environment.

O’Donnell said the course would receive federal funding through a Carl D. Perkins grant and require no additional full-time equivalent (FTE) staff.

If approved, the course would be implemented in September.