Firelands Local School District Announces Student Technology Internship Program
FLSD Director of Technology, Ms. Amy Matotek, has developed a new program that directly supports Firelands students. Matotek identified an opportunity for our students who are enrolled in the Cybersecurity and Networking program at LCJVS to intern at FHS. Matotek recognized that these students could gain real world experience right on our campus, while providing much needed technology support.
FLSD currently has approximately 1,800 Chromebooks in its inventory. Technician support is needed in many areas during the lifespan of the Chromebooks. When received, the computers have to be set up in inventory, labeled, configured, operating systems installed, filters added and eventually issued to a student or staff member. Previously, the District maintained and fixed broken Chromebooks with help from a third party as needed.
After reflecting on the expense related to the third party technicians and realizing that she could create a program that would directly benefit Firelands students, Matotek created and proposed a FLSD Student Technology Internship Program to Superintendent Mike Von Gunten. The responsibilities of this position is to diagnose and repair the stream of broken Chromebooks. In this position, interns would also receive on the job training, gain experience working with students and staff, enhance their soft skills, build their resumes while still in high school, receive letters of recommendation and be compensated for their time. Von Gunten fully supported the opportunity for our students.
Mr. Tim Reeves is the Cybersecurity and Networking instructor at LCJVS. Together, Reeves and Matotek identified outstanding Firelands students that are currently enrolled in the program and Matotek invited them to interview for the Firelands positions. Students Eduardo Diaz and Jared Drury were both offered part-time paid flexible positions as FLSD Technology Interns. Both accepted and have been working for several weeks in our technology department.
Eduardo Diaz and Jared Drury, FHS Tech Interns
Students in grades K-12 are permitted to use Chromebooks at no cost, but families are financially responsible for repairs such as broken screens or missing keys. When issues arise, students create technology help tickets and if necessary, they drop off the computers in the school office and new Chromebooks are issued immediately. Matotek stated, “the office staff are essential partners because they can immediately issue replacement Chromebooks for students, which allows them to have minimal time without a computer. All of the student data is stored in Google Classroom which supports the students being able to quickly move from one Chromebook to another.” The technology interns are able to retrieve the Chromebooks, run diagnostics (if necessary) and repair or replace any broken hardware. This streamlined process permits broken Chromebooks to quickly return to service.
Lori Roemer, Director of Educational Services said, “We are always happy to have an opportunity to employ our Firelands students. In addition, we know that learning does not stop in the classroom and this innovative program allows our staff to assist in building on the skills that are being taught at LCJVS. It’s a WIN-WIN opportunity for Firelands and LCJVS!”
Reflecting on her concept, Matotek stated “The pilot program has been extremely beneficial to our small technology team at Firelands. The interns have exceeded our expectations and have proven their positions to be helpful in the day-to-day challenges associated with technology.”
Looking forward, the FLSD Technology department will employ summer technology workers that will have the opportunity to apply for the internship program in the fall!