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Andover High School Puts Digital Instruction in Students' Hands

Students can earn credits while helping teachers and staff with technology.

In the 21st century, much of learning has moved from the desk to the desktop, and kids often know more than adults when it comes to technology.
And Andover High School is embracing that whole-heartedly.

The school has created a student-run help desk to assist teachers and staff with hardware technology.

"On a day-to-day basis, we are able to assist staff at the high school with the learning curve of adding new technology such as MacBooks Pros, Apple TVs, Epsom Wireless Projectors and IPad and Macbook carts for the departments," Daniel Downs, Andover High School's digital learning specialist, said.

AHS Help Desk also allows students to work on independent projects and make connections in the tech industry.

"I recently travelled with one of the help desk students to the MassCUE (Massachusetts Computer Using Educators) conference at Gillette stadium and introduced the concept of internship opportunities or interview opportunities to many technology companies in the education sector," Downs said. "The conference also included a 'Learn Launch' area in which we were able to touch base with tech entrepreneurs. This is exactly the type of first hand opportunity I hope students can culminate their experience with at the help desk."

The program offers students academic credit for going to the help desk, and it gives students a hands-on alternative to study hall.

"Students also have the opportunity to take the course over two semesters and in the second semester work on their own independent technology driven project, which could include developing a mobile application, game development skills or a even an entrepreneurship opportunity with technology," Downs said.

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