3 ways tech clubs, classes boost IT capacity and student opportunities

educationdive | March 25, 2019

In most households, children are considered the resident IT expert by the adults. Need help programming that LED light display? Ask the 12-year-old. Did the phone update mess up all your apps? The 15-year-old can straighten that out for you. Need help setting up the the WiFi router? Just wait until the 7th grader gets home from school. Understanding how technology works seems to come easy to almost every person under the age of 21. Now, some schools are using tech clubs and classes to give students with these skills and interests the opportunity both to feed their thirst for knowledge and to gain valuable real-world experience assisting educators and others in the community in a tech support role.This approach not only helps cash-strapped school districts grapple with increasing demands on their IT departments, but meets a need for career and technical educational (CTE) opportunities, with some students even able to earn accreditation in the process. Those who venture out of their schools to assist in the community are also learning the reward of helping others while honing their own skills. Jacqui Murray, a former K-8 tech teacher, taught a service-learning class that brought 8th grade students into a senior center to help residents use the technology they already had. The senior citizens wanted to learn how to do things like take a photo with a smart phone, make videos and use Skype to talk to their families.

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The purpose of training is ultimately to improve organizational performance in order to meet business goals more effectively regardless of the industry, audience and skillset. The importance of training is never contested, however, the effectiveness of training is up for debate. Collaborative research suggests that training design, on-the-job training, and delivery style all have an impact on training and development, which directly affects organizational performance (ref. 1). Therefore organizational performance goals will not be met and learning gaps will not be filled efficiently unless the training process itself is optimized.In order to maximize organizational benefits, the learning process must be optimized. The quality of the learning experience is dependent on factors like: how the information is delivered and accessed, what information is present and to whom, how the information is applied and assessed, and how it can be accessed or revisited in the future.

Spotlight

The purpose of training is ultimately to improve organizational performance in order to meet business goals more effectively regardless of the industry, audience and skillset. The importance of training is never contested, however, the effectiveness of training is up for debate. Collaborative research suggests that training design, on-the-job training, and delivery style all have an impact on training and development, which directly affects organizational performance (ref. 1). Therefore organizational performance goals will not be met and learning gaps will not be filled efficiently unless the training process itself is optimized.In order to maximize organizational benefits, the learning process must be optimized. The quality of the learning experience is dependent on factors like: how the information is delivered and accessed, what information is present and to whom, how the information is applied and assessed, and how it can be accessed or revisited in the future.

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