In April 15 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
A class that has caught the eye of many in recent months at Russell County High School is the new Student Technology Leadership Program, led by Chris Godby, the high school's technology coordinator.
"We've been working for a few semesters," Godby said. The specialized course allows students to participate in computer maintenance, troubleshooting and repair, especially in computers that may have become outdated or replaced at the school.
The students take these older computers and "image" them, meaning they install a new operating system, and perform all of the necessary security updates.
"We get them back to where they are good little working computers," he said of their refurbished machines.
"Most of these computers are 5-7 years old and are not going to be used for video editing or anything major, but they're all fine to get on the Web with."
These computers are then offered to teachers who may need extras for their classrooms.
Last week, Godby and some of his students, Chanson Davenport, Whitney Grider and Patrick Ellis, installed several of these revamped machines at Russell Springs Elementary, much to the delight of Joel Wolford, one of the elementary school's tech coordinators, who said the school was getting low on capable machines.
"These were some surplus computers that we had and there was a need here for them," Godby said.
The STLP class has its own office at the high school and answers requests from teachers who may be having network, printer, projector or computer problems. STLP also manages mobile laptop carts that teachers can check-out for their class use.
"I see if my group can fix (computer problems) based on what they've been trained to do and if not then I will try to repair it myself," he said.
If both of those attempts are unsuccessful, Godby turns to the school district's network specialists for answers.
The class also plays a big role in updating the high school's Web site and announcements on the school's closed circuit television system.
"Right now we are focused on service," Godby said of the class.
"As school tech coordinator, this class lightens my load a little bit and the network guys at the district level will tell you it lightens their load quite a bit too."
With more than 800 students at the high school, the STLP class expects to stay busy now that they've gotten their word out.
"For a school like us to have a group like this it keeps things running a lot more smoothly," Godby said.