By: Cas Powell
As the school year took off, Wayne County began its technological advancement by making sure students had access to technology in their classes – the one-to-one Chromebook initiative began at WCHS and WCMS. Students were each provided with their own Chromebook. These Chromebooks became the student body’s responsibility. They were in charge of caring for and keeping track of these Chromebooks.
With so many important pieces of technology out and among the student body, someone would be needed to take care of them. Among the new Computer Science classes of the High School, IT Help Desk became the caretaker of the 1:1 Chromebooks as well as other tech in the school. The class was chosen from the high-achieving students that had already taken part in the technology classes previously offered. The twelve students became the IT Help Desk, and throughout the year fulfilled such duties as Chromebook repairs, Day-loaner checkouts, and general tech maintenance around the school. As the year progressed, the students began managing middle school Chromebooks as well.
A strong class comes from a strong leader, and Marsha Bertram knew her technology classes would need a significant amount of materials to learn. What better way to learn than with hands-on material such as coding programs, 3-D Printers, and Virtual Reality sets? In Mrs. Bertram’s classroom, she allowed her students to work with these things and become familiar with their complexities. They were able to print many items – such as personal trinkets for themselves to test how the program worked, to bigger projects at the end of the year in which they printed items for all of the WCHS staff members.
Technology is becoming a staple in the lives of the Wayne County School District students. With the work of people such as Mrs. Bertram who are willing to teach the students what to do with these interesting devices, students are able to utilize resources that they wouldn’t have been brave enough to touch in earlier years. As the world becomes a more technology savvy place, Wayne County students are being given the skills they need to keep up.
Another of Bertram's successes was pushing students to be active with the MakerMinded program. The program serves to influence the use of technology in schools, and during the past school year they hosted a competition to see which school could get the most points. They earned points by participating in technology related activities, such as field trips and club competitions. Wayne County High School placed first in the competition and was rewarded a VR set, with the Wayne County Area Technology Center right behind them in second.
The district is hopeful that in years to come the program will only expand. The tech is not only being used on computer science-specific classes. Art classes and classes at the Area Technology Center are also incorporating more advanced technology in their programs.
Humanities instructor Tim Withers is one such teacher that has begun capitalizing on the technology the district has been using. In his classes, students work with the 3D printers regularly. Students are able to express themselves creatively through the use of technology in their art form. Mr. Withers teaches a course specifically on the printing aspect in his classes. This course was honored by EKU, who sent Professor Dr. Scott Townsend to check it out. While on the visit, Withers showed the professor the tech by 3-D printing a replica of Miss Kentucky, who was also visiting WCHS. “His students were true professionals showing me how the system worked,” Dr. Townsend stated.
The Wayne County School District’s desire to teach students about technology is paying off. Students are learning skills that they otherwise wouldn’t have. They are becoming capable of using technology to their advantage, and we can only assume that these skills will expand as more technology is implemented.
Chromebooks ready for pickup
Senior Desiree Corter receives assistance from Johnny Chaplin
Eighth grader Amanda Harvey visits with Middle School Media Specialist Sharon Hill
The WCHS IT Help Desk
Colby Corder dismanteling a Chromebook for parts
IT Help Desk students Dakota Morrow and Colby Corder checking out a Day Loaner Chromebook to a student
WCHS Principal Justin Alley visits one of the computer classes and watched student Halen Pharis show off his skills
A group of students tour Toyotetsu America, Inc. Students have also toured university engineering programs and electric power plants this semester.
WCHS Teacher Marsha Bertram presenting a slide explaining the instruction related to the technology pathway with senior Computer Science student Colby Corder
Wayne County students who are interested in the computer science classes and attended the board meeting included: (l-r): Cas Powell, Eric McCartt, Crystal Lair, Austin Gregory, Colby Corder
Wayne County High School (l-r): KAM President Jackie Hogan, Wayne County IT
Instructor Marsha Bertram, Senior IT Student Colby Corder, Senior IT Student Austin Phelps,
National MakerMinded Coordinator Jacey Cavanaugh