Tech Buddies South Devon CollegeAnd part of an LSIS Collaboration in Technology Project
What are Tech Buddies? A voluntary A peer role for A range of support role staff and roles to help others students available in using depending technology to on the level support of support on learning offer
Not everyone can be expert at everything! The idea is that the Tech Buddy programme will helpeveryone to get the help they want when they want it. Extending the support available (not just support services).
Types of Tech Buddy• Quick Help An entry into the Tech Buddy database on using software or equipment. This could be anything from a single element of a piece of software or full support on using some equipment.• Guides The Tech Buddy chooses a specific, or multiple, area of interest.
Types of Tech Buddy• Classroom (local) Supporting own teachers or colleagues in the classroom or in preparation for lessons (such as using the voting pads or presenting a YouTube video).• Classroom (c/c) Offering support to other teachers in the classroom or in preparation for lessons.• Coach Providing 1-1 training for other students on the course (eg: how to present essay etc).• Deliver Deliver ‘how to’s’ to the class (eg: how to create pie-charts for the presentation of data, putting together presentations, using forums on Moodle, using the interactive whiteboard etc).
Levels of Tech Buddy Advise• Research Providing research support to a member of teaching staff (such as finding useful websites).• Developer Creation of support resources, development of Moodle courses or develop new ideas to support and develop the use of technology.• Advisor Advise on training required, new ideas for using technology.• Reporter Reporting faults to IT helpdesk.
Areas of Expertise – 1 or many!Moodle iPads, smartphones etc IT skills Multimedia Interactive whiteboards Specific software Creation of support materials Social networking Anything else!Technical support with using equipment
Benefits… to using support from a Tech Buddy• Get help with the one thing you are stuck with• Get tailored support for your needs• Develop skills• Live support database
Benefits to being a Tech Buddy• Provide work experience (good for student CVs or personal career progression)• Improve experience of working others (and formal peer support and mentoring looks great on CVs or personal statements!)• Develop own IT skills as well as the IT skills of others.
Appointing Tech Buddies• No recruitment criteria other than desire to support others!• Self-regulation initially – may develop over time• Initially sign up to the database – reviewed by LTRS team member for content• We also need to formalise how tech buddy activity is captured
Getting started… Tech Buddy Database• Database of people who are willing to support others• Main focus on ‘quick help’ but people can choose an alternative role.• Staff and students can add entries into the database – approved by LTRS team member• Database can be searched when support is needed
Promotion to date• Initial promotion and testing of database with specific college teams (such as administrators)• Tech Buddy day on 23rd May• Promoting core services (Computer Services and Learning Resources) and Tech Buddies• We spoke to 71 people in total. 44 of these were students interested in the Tech Buddy programme and 17 interested staff. We signed up 4 staff into the database and 2 students! The rest all enquired about the services that LTRS and CAS can offer.
Common QueriesI haven’t got time to help lots of people! If I put my name into the database, will I have to do lots of training?• You can choose the level of support you want to give• You could sign up just to give help on one element of technology rather than full software packages• You can opt in and out at any time depending on your workloads / capacity to support others
Common Queries What if someone asks me a question I don’t know the answer to?• Don’t worry too much and just be honest! No-one knows everything!! Someone else in the database might know the answer.• If you encounter this you can amend your database entry to refine the areas you can and can’t support.
Common QueriesI know a bit about some technology but I am not an expert!• That’s OK! You are the sort of person we want in the database.• When you add your details you can say the specific areas you are happy to support.
The Tech Buddy database is aboutinformal peer support not a databaseof experts.We only need 1 person with theanswer someone else needs in orderfor the database to be useful!
Next Steps• Focus on classroom buddies• Teaching staff to identify member of course to be the class tech buddy• Training provided for core.. – Interactive whiteboards – Moodle• Specific training could also be offered (eg: if a teacher wants to use more multimedia)