Virtual Tech Assistants Keep Students Learning
Adapting our highly interactive in-person program for virtual lessons does not go without some obstacles. But with the help of our Tech TAs, students at High Jump’s summer session are supported with technical assistance at any time during their class day.
Following Morning Assembly, where Campus Directors encourage students and help get them ready for the day, Tech TAs are on-call and available for the remainder of the day. By easing the burden of technology issues that students or even teachers might face, High Jump’s virtual summer program can stay focused on students and what they’re learning.
“The positive attitude and the willingness to learn has certainly made my job easier,” says Rashail, Tech TA at the Latin Campus, “and it’s made me enthusiastic to continue working for the program.”
“My day usually begins with morning announcements by Mr. Miller and the teachers. We discuss things such as Spirit Week, tutoring opportunities, and other ways to engage in our community online. I stay on the zoom call with Mr. Miller and Jessica, our Special Projects Intern, answering and assisting any students who come on to request help. Typically, we get around 5 issues a day, though that number has been waning as the students adjust to online learning. I’m also available to go into other zoom classrooms if the teachers and TAs have any questions.”
Hector, Tech TA at the Parker Campus, has been creating and sharing Tech Tips at the daily Morning Assembly session. Hector has helped students navigate Zoom, Schoology (our e-learning platform), and individual devices and connections– and all of this is being done remotely. With regards to troubleshooting, Hector shares, “I’ve been able to handle it overall with the help of my team here at Parker. Ms. Thomas and Josué (Special Project Intern) have been very kind and great help!”
Acknowledging that this experience has been difficult and, at times, uncomfortable for many, their outlook is still positive. Rashail is “proud of how well High Jump has been managing it,” and Hector feels it has helped us “take newer approaches to teach and prepare our students for the future.”
High Jump is just the beginning of a successful educational journey for many students. More than ever, we must continue to build equitable learning opportunities for Chicago’s middle school youth.