LCUSD: Tech: LCHS /Help Lab in High Demand

From a casually visited resource to the new hotspot at the high school.

Last year the LCUSD Technology Department started their transformation of the high schools’ old Student Store into a resource for technology help for teachers and students, a place that is now known as the “Help” Lab or “/help”.

LCUSD’s Director of Technology, Jamie Lewsadder, knew that with her plans of putting more technology in student’s hands and offering new teaching tools to teachers, the creation of a technology office on site at La Canada was crucial. This space was utilized last year mostly by technology staff and some teachers, but nothing compared to its frequent use this year.

Lewsadder’s design decisions were based on providing spaces for meeting and trainings for teachers and students as well as having a Genius Bar area for walk ins. Also attached are two offices, a storage area, and a workroom housing wall to wall benches for technology repairs. Kiwanis helped fund the furniture for the space and some of the technology used for leading trainings.

 “I feel like I need to hire someone just to run the lab”, Lewsadder said with a big grin. “Our team is handling the traffic right now, but as we increase the amount of devices in students’ hands, things start to get really exciting and we are busy!”, she said. “With the rapid adoption of technology in the classrooms, we have to start creatively planning for the staffing needs. One of my hopes is that someday within the near future, students can help run the Help Lab. We have one student now for one period a day. I could use 10 more as a tech TA, or tech intern.”

Lewsadder currently has a team of 8 made up of technicians, system administrators, specialists, and technology integrationists. This team has gone from managing about 1,200 devices about 3 years ago to now over 2,500 devices and just under 5,000 users. Next year the device count will jump by another 600 with new 1:1 programs and that means more users relying on the Help Lab. Having access to resources and training as well as a place to run for help will be critical to the continued integration in the classrooms.