Gathering your students:
When you start your program, kids will come to you. They will want to be a part of a program that allows them to explore technology and how to use it in different ways for different classes. I have students from all sorts of backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: they love technology. Some come in because they like video, some because they like gaming, some because they like working on computers in general. Each student brings in their own interest and then you can work with them to mold those interests into awesome skills to share with others.
Let them explore:
Students may naturally lean to doing gaming, but when you present them with different software and tools, they will find things they think are cool and applicable. Let them! Let them learn about these tools, but have them go many steps further: Have them train you and train their class members on how to use it and how it applies to classroom learning.
Training is an every day experience in my class. Students are constantly exploring new tools and how to use them and in turn teach the class how to use them as well. It works out really well because they get play time, they teach others, and we get play time with the new tools as well.
Have them write:
Writing is a key component to success in running a student help desk. Students blog each week. They vary what they write about and alternate between personal and tech blogs. Students are given a general theme to write about and then they share and write about life. The tech blogs are for them to write about and share the technology they are learning about and any new tools they have used within the past week (this includes games.)
Next week, part 2: Building into the kids their communication kids and establishing trust with their community.