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Doing more with Less: Empower your students to help

It seems that everyday Technology Professionals in schools are asked to do more and more with less. We've grown to an age where the majority of schools are now supporting as many devices as a large size business. In most cases this is being done with a significantly smaller staff than the large business can throw at their IT problem.  

So how do you go about creating a larger workforce without adding significant staff expenditure? Train your students to help you!  In every school across the country there are students who are sharp and wanting to be pushed.  The next generation of hacker is already sitting in your classroom, are you properly training and incentivizing this student? Is he bored and causing malicious harm to your network already? There are several great programs out there you can get the individual involved in to keep his idle time to a minimum.

The first program can become either a self-guided class for the student or, with complete lesson plans provided, can be taught to a whole class. The program is run by Test Out and they specialize in preparing students for the whole CompTia suite of certifications including A+, Network+, Security+, all the way up to some base Cisco courses. You could easily set this up for a semester class for a student's Junior year and then have three semesters of entry-level help desk available from the same student. You will provide the student valuable experience to build on their resume and they can walk out of high school with several professional certifications. The only limit is the student's drive.  To review the Test Out Program click here

The second program for your truly gifted students is the Cyber Patriot program. This program was created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or STEM disciplines critical to our nation's future. ​The three CyberPatriot Programs are, the Competition, Cyber Camps, and an Elementary School age initiative. Teams for the next Cyber Patriot X Competition are open for registration now

I hope these are a few great options to help lighten your work load each day, and provide an outlet for your gifted students to shine. 

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