GenYES is a program that prepares powerful teams of Student Technology Leaders (STLs) in K-12 schools to work with educators, peers and IT staff to integrate technology in ways that improve student learning.
Schools typically implement GenYES as a technology class or club and require a teacher or qualified adult to facilitate the program. Generation YES has supported the GenYES program for 20 years. We provide consultations and online tools to help foster a sustainable and effective program.
Student Technology Leaders
Students participating in the GenYES program are typically called Student Technology Leaders, or STLs. Art students, “techies”, students interested in community service, gifted students, and students who have IEPs all make excellent choices for STLs. A program where a variety of student interests come together makes GenYES a truly transformative addition to your school.
What Student Technology Leaders Do
STLs provide professional development, maintain technology, and create digital content. GenYES supports these activities with 21 units of curriculum, web tools, and ongoing support for program facilitators. Each unit of curriculum includes student-driven activities and modules which focus on critical thinking, leadership, communication, and technical skills.
STLs provide a greater return on investment by increasing the effective use and efficient maintenance of technology purchased by a school while learning the valuable skills required for work and college in the 21st Century. As STLs learn and practice new skills, schools benefit by having students take a more active role in school improvement.
GenYES and Beyond
GenYES offers a powerful model for students to be meaningfully exposed to real issues involving technology. STLs learn to be digital producers instead of consumers. By bridging the ‘digital use divide’, STLs are started on a path to AP Computer Science, coding classes, and other high-level technology courses. Although STLs assist with technology in schools, the skills they learn in GenYES provide an excellent foundation to pursue any discipline.
TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE PROJECTS
Technology Assistance Projects, or TAPs, are the heart of the GenYES program. STLs create a TAP when a teacher, administrator, or IT staff needs technology support. Each teacher, school, and district have their own unique technology goals and priorities, resulting in different types of TAPs emerging at every GenYES school. These different types of TAPs fall into three main categories.
Teaching teachers about new technology
Integrating technology into lesson plans
Leading PD days
IT Support TAPs
1:1 configuration, deployment, maintenance, and learning integration
Hardware and software maintenance
Network infrastructure support
Preparing devices for online testing
Content Creation TAPs
Artifacts or resources for staff and students
Tutorials on how to use school technology
Projects that prepare STLs to provide better support in other areas
TAPs are more than a trouble ticket system. They collect data on how technology is being used in a school, persistent issues with specific technologies, and are an assessment and grading tool. Each TAP a student completes is added to a portfolio of accomplishments which can be shared with employers and college admissions staff. TAPs not only show what an STL knows, but what they’ve actually contributed to their school.