Students are the teachers at Techie Tutorials

Posted Tuesday, Dec. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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In a recent after school session of Techie Tutorials at Indian Springs Middle School, eighth grader Greyson Harshman showed Marcus Yoo, a seventh grader, how to use the iMovie program on one of the school’s Apple MacBooks.

“I heard it was fun to do, so I decided I wanted to learn it,” Marcus said.

Greyson showed him how to combine video, audio and graphics to make videos and presentations. Greyson is one of the founding student instructors in Indian Springs’ Techie Tutorials.

Brenda Riebkes, an ISMS seventh grade English teacher, started the group last year.

“I noticed a lot of kids not knowing basic computer skills like making charts or creating word documents,” Riebkes said. “I saw them asking each other for help and kids teaching kids.”

After a while she asked a handful of kids experienced in computer skills to help other students. They voted in her classes about what subjects would be covered in the sessions. Last year, the group offered help during the school study period; now it meets after school every other Thursday.

Greyson said, “I enjoy doing it. It’s definitely different from learning. You get to pass on your knowledge to other people and see it making a difference.”

Students with Techie Tutorials also have helped ISMS teachers sharpen their technical skills like putting together presentations or installing iPad applications for their students.

Riebkes hopes to have the group teach a rotation for teachers at an upcoming staff development day, and she is looking for kids to become instructors to continue the program next year.

At a recent session seventh grader Shelby Szabo created a pie chart about Thanksgiving foods to work on her knowledge of Excel spreadsheets. Riebkes asked Shelby to join the group after seeing her help other kids with computer questions.

Shelby said, “It’s fun. You get to play around with computers.”

Riebkes was honored at the October school board meeting with an Innovative Teachers Inspiring Students Award. The “IT’S” Award is a new monthly honor recognizing KISD teachers who are using creative learning methods in the classroom.

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