Everyday students in TSI take apart and repair Chromebooks. The Chromebooks they repair aren't limited to those owned by students at York, but ones used by students across the district. (Photo by Murphy McFarlane)
Everyday students in TSI take apart and repair Chromebooks. The Chromebooks they repair aren't limited to those owned by students at York, but ones used by students across the district.

Photo by Murphy McFarlane

TSI: The unknown necessity of Elmhurst CUSD 205

January 15, 2020

In a society heavily reliant on the ever-changing forms of technology, school systems accommodated for this transformation. Specifically in Elmhurst CUSD 205, where students connect digitally through use of a personal Chromebook, a policy first established in 2016. As a result, the district must account for troubleshooting of flawed device, their solution–Technology Service Internship.

York’s Technology Service Internship, better known as TSI, is a course which utilizes hands-on experience to prepare students for real-world jobs–all while helping the district as a whole.

“You’re not walking in and sitting at your desk waiting for your teacher to talk,” senior TSI student Brenton Russo said. “We’re jumping in and going right to our roles.”

Everyday, students rotate through a series of four different jobs: certification, runner, help desk and repair– each task entails something different. While the skills required for TSI may appear intimidating, in reality students can join the class without having any prior tech experience; they learn everything right in the classroom. 

“The first few weeks we spend learning the different models of Chromebooks, their parts and then the most common repairs,” TSI teacher Kristen Bartholomew said. “There is also an independent study component where students choose a tech-related subject and study it with the goal of being certified. This means studying anything from a programming language to Microsoft Office programs to IT Fundamentals, all of which have a professional level certification.”

At the end of the year, students have the opportunity to become certified through these programs after passing a test. This certification not only builds experience, but serves as a reliable demonstration of skill which potentially may be utilized in a student’s future, whether that’s seen in the college admission process or future employment.

“TSI can be a benefit for what you want to do in your future,” junior TSI student Danny Stoddard said. “I want to be an electronic engineer and fixing technological problems helps me focus on one step at a time.”

Not only does TSI benefit the students enrolled, but their work significantly impacts the student body. Without the services they provide, academics at York in such a technologically centered curriculum would run much less fluidly. 

“One time my Chromebook fell off my bed and the plastic shell cracked, making it unable to be opened,” senior Steve Chornij said. “I took it to TSI that morning, they gave me a loaner and a couple of days later, I got a pass saying it was ready to be picked up. I know a lot of people complain that it takes so long to have TSI do a repair, but, for me, everything went really well.”

TSI students continuously work each and every day to aid the building. However, their efforts extend beyond York, increasing their workload immensely–something that may be unknown to many students stuck with a loaner Chromebook.

“We actually repair and are in charge of all Chromebooks in the district,” Russo said. “That is from grades two through twelve, so we have a lot of devices that we keep up and repair.”

TSI students develop skills through hands-on participation. This fact alone establishes TSI as a completely unique course.

“Overall, in TSI there’s a lot more doing,” Russo said. “It’s a really neat opportunity and its totally different than a lot of other classes at York.”

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