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West Ada schools are teaching students to repair their fellow classmates' laptops

Posted at 4:49 PM, Feb 05, 2024

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Imagine every secondary school student in West Ada facing similar challenges with their devices. To tackle this, the district's tech team has come up with an innovative solution – the Tech TA (Teacher's Assistant) Program.

  • Students learn to manage a repair shop to help their fellow students with laptop issues.
  • West Ada uses Lenovo laptops, and each TA gets certified to fix them.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

As technology continues to evolve, it’s no surprise that schools are having to keep up with the change.

I’m your South Meridian Neighborhood Reporter Allie Triepke here at Victory Middle School where students are helping their fellow students with tech issues.

The Tech TA Students at Victory Middle School are all about solutions.

"Alright next a WIFI card," says Connor.

Kobe Fields, of West Ada's IT department, says they started their 'Tech TA' class to alleviate the amount of tech issues reported to librarians. Instead, students are now helping fellow students.

"The amount of traffic that librarians and schools were having to deal with broken laptops and different things that they just had no way to handle. We had to find a way to try to take over that and take accountability for that as the IT department," said Fields.

While Kobe Fields oversees all of Victory's fixes, Tech TAs also are officially certified to fix Lenovo laptops, that's why so many fellow students head to the 'Device Den' for their help.

Students like Nicholas say the opportunity to learn such valuable skills in middle school has inspired them for their future careers.

"I think that IT would be really fun, and I also am really into coding. It's really fun to be able to fix computers," Nicholas says.

And with one-to-one laptops, students have newfound responsibilities.

"When a kid walks in and sees another kid fixing their laptop, the Tech TA does all of it from check-in to repair to check-out, it definitely shows all the students that this is something they can take accountability for," says Fields.

After spending a few hours at Victory Middle, I asked Tech TAs about the craziest repairs they've taken on.

"There was a really interesting one where they managed to crack the plastic touchpad," Nicholas said.

"This person got banana in all of the ports on their laptop," said Jacobi.

But the most common, "Broken screen on a laptop or broken charger on a laptop are probably the two most common things," Fields said.

I had another question for 8th grader Connor, why do they call it a motherboard?

"It's the mother of all boards, it's where everything happens, and controls everything. It's the biggest most essential part, kinda like the mother of the family," said Connor.

West Ada is hoping to expand their Tech TAs program in more middle and high schools in the coming years.

Reporting from Victory Middle School, I’m your South Meridian Neighborhood reporter Allie Triepke, for Idaho News 6.