Summer IT program arms OFA students with experience and skills
When the school year starts in September, the Owego Free Academy school district will be equipped with some new software on its computers, but those installing the updates might not be who you'd think. YNN's Chris Whalen has the story.
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OWEGO, NY-- Usually high school students will stay as far away from the classroom as possible during summer vacation, but that is actually where these Owego Free Academy students are spending theirs.
"We're just, as of right now, preparing for the coming school year, and reprogramming all of the computers, which can be very tedious," said OFA senior Rachel Hunsinger.
Tedious might be an understatement, as a team of eleven students is responsible for adding new programs and software to computers in all four of OFA's schools.
"During the summertime, often times we have will have 1,700 machines throughout the whole district that need to be reprogrammed and set up," said program supervisor Fermin Romero.
All the typing, scrolling, and clicking will result in improved technology for improved learning inside the classroom for students across the district.
"We had to get Quicktime on to all the computers because there's videos that certain classes need to be played, sometimes you just can't do that, so we run around to all the libraries and computer labs hooking that up to all the computers as well as the latest version of Microsoft," said OFA senior Tommy West.
The student staff is paid for their efforts, but in the process are taking something with them that is perhaps far more valuable than a paycheck.
"It teaches you how to be not only an independent thinker and problem solver, but also how to go back and have feedback from your teammates and understand the problem fully so you can finish it as quickly as possible," said OFA graduate Nate Skiff.
Some students say they may consider a job in the IT field, but even if they don't, it's almost a guarantee they will need to know their way around a computer for any job.
"Computers and technology is just advancing so fast that if we don't know what's going on with the different trends and everything, we're just going to get left behind, we're not going to know what to do," said OFA senior Nigel Deakin.
The program at OFA has been running for two years, but future students interested in participating can likely rely on some job security in our ever-changing technological world.