Nerd Herd – a Secret History
by Oracle student William Koschnick
Have you ever wanted to start a club doing the things that you liked? Matt Cheman, Oracle Charter High School’s class of 2010 valedictorian, did when he was at Oracle. This club would come to be known as the Nerd Herd.
At first Matt liked to hang out around with Mr.McKee, the tech guy. Matt would come in when there was no school and stay around after school to fix computers. Matt played a major role in setting up Oracle’s computer labs over the summer because technology was a hobby of his. Matt and McKee soon had a small group of students who were interested in computers, but it wasn’t called the Nerd Herd and it was kept secret around the school. The idea of the herd stemmed from the fact that having smart students like “nerds” helping out is beneficial to the school, and the said nerd gains “real world experience” with technology and has some experience if and when they decide to pursue a career in the tech field. The only way to become a Nerd was to know people and talk to them, and be recommended. Before the name Nerd Herd was branded it was called the student help desk. It wasn’t dubbed the Nerd Herd till 2010 with former president Orion Acosta, Luis Burgos, Tyrique Ransom, Jack Stock, Delious Thomas and Christopher Roby.
The herd started to become known around the school when in the spring of 2011 Oracle Charter School got an offer from Verizon on Droid2 globals. This project became known as the MLD (mobile learning device) program. The devices were designated for several classrooms in a pilot, and for the Nerd Herd members and tech department to use to explore potential instructional uses for the devices. The herd members tried out free apps that were available such as QRT codes, voting, note taking apps, Castle Learning and others made available by Oracle being a Google Apps for Education school. The first few months of this program were hard for the Herd members. It consisted of them staying after school for hours to see that the 35 MLDs worked smoothly. The teachers and classes using the devices could call on Herd members as well as the tech department with questions they had with the devices. As time went on it got easier until the 2011-2012 school year when Oracle was offered a tablet program through Sprint and wanted to make the change in companies and in devices.
To mark the occasion, people from Sprint decided to come pay us a visit. Luis sat at the round table and listened to Mr. Mckee and Mr. Cappy, a tech savvy Spanish teacher, talk to the Sprint individuals, occasionally sneaking in a word, and when all was said and done Oracle was able to secure a deal with Sprint that would cost Oracle Charter School less money while providing tablets.
Luis was concerned about the future of the Nerd Herd after the year’s end (since he, Jack, Delious, and Tyrique were the only remaining members of the Herd, and Jack and Delious would be graduating). Mckee expressed his interest in recruiting new members, and needed them to support the new tablet program, yet also feared trusting new members with delicate information such as passwords as well as special information pertaining to secret things.
Around that time, inspired by the initial success of the Herd, Mr.Cappy decided that he wanted to start off his own herd, his would be centered around the DROIDS and learning about the Android OS as well as the capabilities of said OS, while the Nerd Herd would concentrate on the tablets. Mckee then had the idea of putting potential candidates for the Nerd Herd through Mr. Cappy’s group that would be called the Droid club (or sometimes, Nerd Herd Beta) in order to test their trustworthiness and abilities to repair technologies. The Betas also had to go through a summer of coming to school to help Mr.McKee and Mr. Mylotte, the tech assistant, set-up computers and teacher laptops. That’s how me,(William Koschnick), Samantha Sanders, Elijah Williams, Hunter Notaro and Edwin Rodriguez joined the nerd herd. Eventually Haven D. Taylor and Michael Murdie joined based on their knowledge of computers.
The Nerd Herd today consists of 8 members, and there are 7 Beta members who assist Oracle Charter School and its Tech Dept of two oversee 150 PCs, 20 iMacs, 35 instructor notebooks, 75 tablets, and 150 droids. Since the tech clubs are strong, we can get many things done leaving us to also work on our secret projects.