IN 2021, a working laptop is a student's lifeline at school… everything from homework, assignments, team discussions, to learning about the modern programs used in most careers today.
So, when technology doesn't want to play ball, and let's be honest we all know how frustrating that it, it's important things are up and running as soon as possible.
At St Mary's College, Maryborough, that's where Jacob and Jordan come in – as the College's newly formed TechCrew.
As part of a program offered by tech giant Dell, the two students are the College's first fully certified Dell Technicians, an opportunity St Mary's Technology Lead and eLearning Coordinator Kirsty Patterson says is a “valuable way students can gain real industry experience".
“The students were coming to the end of their Certificate III of Information, Digital Media and Technology. I was presented with the opportunity from Dell and knew they would be very keen," Ms Patterson said.
“The Dell certification is industry-recognised – the students are now qualified to log and undertake Dell-approved repairs and warranty jobs on the College's Dell laptop fleet."
“As part of this, they've also set up a student-led helpdesk, offering their time during the breaks to help other students with that first line of troubleshooting.
This not only frees up our IT staff to complete other jobs, but it is giving the students fantastic experience that will be valuable to employers," Ms Patterson said.
Year 11 student Jacob, who was the first to gain his certification, says he has always been interested in IT and “this has been a good opportunity to continue learning more about laptops as well as working towards job opportunities in the future".
“As part of the TechCrew, I'm able to talk to students about their technical issues, troubleshoot devices, log requests and complete the repairs," Jacob said.
“This is definitely an industry I would like to follow in the future."
Jordan says besides fixing the computers, he enjoys “helping out and being relied on by others".
“I think this will be helpful to me no matter what career I choose."
The Dell partnership course is being offered to schools Australia-wide, as well as internationally.
Ms Patterson says the certification required about 45 hours of training in the classroom and in the lab.
“I'm so proud of the students. They are doing such a great job with the repairs and helping other students. Recently our IT Technician was away for a week and the boys were a fantastic help."
“I already have some students in the younger years asking when they can complete the Certification."
Ms Patterson says the College already had a Tech Team “where students run the set-up of presentations, audio and lighting for assemblies and events including the awards night, as well as helping out with everyday classroom troubleshooting including the use of the interactive whiteboards – the TechCrew is an extension of that for the really keen IT students".
“It's something we can offer to those students interested in an IT career in addition to our ICT Gateway Industry Program."
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