A Look Inside the Restart Center

18 Jan 2018
ByIngrid Sabogal, Fieldston Middle Technology and Ethics Coordinator

Inspired by the London-based Restart Project, the ECFS technology department launched its first student-led, technology repair program—called the Restart Center—at Fieldston Upper in November of 2015. With a significant number of students needing repairs to their computers and devices, the Middle School Restart Center launched and opened its doors for service shortly thereafter, in May of 2016.

The Restart Center is a designated space where students can learn how to repair and troubleshoot computers, tablets, and/or phones. Rather than thinking of the Restart Center as a "fix-it" tech center and troubleshooting drop-in space, the goal of Restart is to educate students to be responsible consumers of new technologies, as well as push for more sustainability efforts when it comes to device repair and maintenance, prioritizing ECFS's approach to, and understanding of, environmental sustainability as an ethical imperative.

The center provides tools, parts, and repair guides—thanks to a grant provided by one of our parents—giving students the opportunity to tackle repairs to their own devices in a no-risk environment. Typically, the student with a broken device will sit with one of our student volunteers, who then pulls up instructions for the repair and guides the other student through the repair process, stepping in only when there is something we know from experience to be difficult or tricky.

The Middle School Restart Center Club meets every Friday during lunch. To date, it has contributed roughly 40 hours of service and repaired about 25 devices, including MacBooks, Chromebooks, iPads, and iPhones.

Need a repair? Book an appointment at restartcenter-fm@ecfs.org today!