Berwyn Success Stories: Morton High School District 201 TSI Program

 J Sterling Morton High School District 201 is recognized nationally as a leader in technology integration for their students!

For the past 6 years, Morton High School has implemented a comprehensive Technology Service Internship program that is making a difference in and out of the classroom. TSI is a student-led, real-life tech support program. Microsoft identified Morton as a Showcase School for their TSI model. Not only does Morton get bragging rights for their exclusive title, but they received a $10,000 award towards continued program innovation. A Showcase School is an honor bestowed to just 41 other schools in the world, and it is given to schools that Microsoft believes are educational innovation leaders in the world.

What is the TSI program? What are some success stories from this program?

The Technology Service Internship Program, or TSI, is a year-long student-centered class that helps support Morton’s 1:1 environment. Students in TSI experience working in a real-life tech support environment, while earning certifications that will assist them in their future technological endeavors. TSI students learn professional skills that will support them in any career whether technological or otherwise.

Many of the TSI students also participate in a summer TSI opportunity, where the district hires and pays 12 TSI students to work with the technicians over the summer to image and distribute the incoming student devices, prep the teachers’ classrooms for the upcoming year, provide tech support to summer staff and students, and much more. This experience broadens the horizons of the students involved, and for many of them it becomes their first “real” job.

Samantha Skubal, Morton’s Instructional Technology Director who was featured by Microsoft Education and named a Change Maker in Education at the Hack the Classroom event during the ISTE 2019 conference, said, “The students in TSI are incredible, intelligent, and hard-working individuals, who care deeply about the role they play in the greater good of the district. We rely on them heavily to provide a service, while learning new things in our class and others, and dealing with the hundreds of other things they deal with on a daily basis. They truly amaze me every day and I am proud to be a part of their journey.”

How will this award affect the average student?

TSI is it is a program for a multitude of learning abilities due to its real-world application, hands on learning, and student-led nature. Samantha said, “For all of our TSI students, this award brings pride and an ability to upgrade their experience in TSI. For the rest of the students who are not in TSI, an award like this gives Morton the ability to be shed in a positive light to a world-wide audience.”

How is tech integrated into the curriculum at Morton?

Technology in instruction has become a regularity. Morton uses a multitude of technology in the classrooms from Microsoft tools to collaboration programs, and everything else in between. Morton prides itself on the teachers that work hard every day to create an atmosphere for their students that is innovative, creative, and engaging, much of which is accomplished by the use of technology in the classroom. As a district, they are proud to offer equity and access to technology, including providing each student with their own Dell laptop that they can keep upon graduation.

Meet Fernanda, a TSI success story!

Now in her Senior year, Fernanda, a student in the TSI program, took a moment to reflect on why she found the program to be so valuable. “I’ve been in the program for the past 4 years and I’ve really enjoyed it. The program didn’t just teach me how to fix computers. It taught me how to problem solve, work with others and build my customer service skills.”

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