F-M High School students assist with district tech repair

The Fayetteville-Manlius School district is enlisting the help of F-M High School students to fix damaged laptops.

Chromebook Repair Club, a new program at the high school this year, offers students in grades 9 through 12 the opportunity to learn to repair the specific models of Chromebooks the district uses. Students participate in an interactive e-learning course offered by Acer, one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world.

Student working on a disassembled Chromebook
A student works to replace the trackpad on one of the district’s Chromebooks.

The course includes an overview of computer components, component replacement, quality assurance testing, hardware reconfiguration and hardware repair best practices. At the end of the course, students take a technical skills assessment to demonstrate their ability to resolve real-life situations, such as a bad battery, cracked screen or missing wireless. Upon successful completion, students earn the Acer Service CRT Certificate, a professional certification.

Laurel Chiesa, F-M’s Director of Instructional Technology and Amy Fiorito, F-M High School Technology Integration Specialist, started the club with the help of Jim DiMatteo, the high school’s local area network (LAN) technician.

“The online coursework is easy for the students, but applying the skills is more of a challenge,” said Chiesa. “Fortunately, Mr. DiMatteo has years of experience working with damaged devices and is able to provide the students with insight and helpful tips as they continue to fine tune their skills.”

Teacher overseeing the work of two students.
Jim DiMatteo helps students identify the parts of a Chromebook.

Every student at the high school has their own district-issued Chromebook and throughout the district more than 1,500 Chromebooks are distributed between students and staff.

“This program has been beneficial for everyone. We’re able to repair more Chromebooks in a shorter period of time,” said Chiesa. “At the same time, students are getting hands-on, professional experience in a field that’s in high demand.”