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These IT Leader spotlights highlight how innovative edtech and IT leaders are influencing teaching and learning across the nation.

CoSN IT Leader Spotlight: David Jarboe

Recipients of CoSN's Impact 30 Awards, selected for the differences they're making in the nation's schools, offer insights on edtech and IT innovations

In partnership with CoSN, eSchool News is highlighting the innovative and dedicated work of IT leaders in school districts across the country.

The spotlight is on David Jarboe, Director of Instructional Technology and STEAM in Colorado’s Harrison School District Two.

1. What is your biggest IT challenge today?

A major IT challenge is providing equitable access to relevant technology for staff and students in meeting the instructional demands for today’s learners.

2. What project, initiative, or accomplishment are you most proud of?

This last year, we wrote and received a grant allowing us to install STEAM labs in all of our elementary and middle schools. STEAM labs provide a dedicated and engaging learning space to increase student mastery and achievement in core competencies while sparking their access, exposure, and interest in STEAM. Students will engage in the integration of other disciplinary concepts and knowledge to bridge real-world connections in relevant ways. The goal of the STEAM Lab is to increase students’ capacity to learn and construct knowledge through active, engaged, and social learning.

3. What are your top 3 priorities over the next few years?

Priority 1: Classroom
We are committed to meeting the academic and social-emotional needs of all students while providing equitable opportunities through:

  • Ensuring PreK through post-secondary curriculums focus on standards-based instruction
  • Engaging students using research-based instructional strategies
  • Addressing individual academic and social-emotional needs of all students

Priority 2: Culture
We are committed to a collaborative environment of trust, integrity, and transparency through:

  • Creating systems of accountability
  • Establishing high expectations
  • Ensuring equity for all

Priority 3: Community
We are committed to developing and sustaining a community through:

  • Communicating transparently and frequently
  • Nurturing and sustaining school and district partnerships
  • Facilitating community outreach and advocacy

4. Technology evolves at such a high rate–what are some of the school IT innovations you see coming down the pipeline, and which are you most excited for?

The use of virtual reality (VR) to present standard-based content can be a valuable tool for educators, allowing them to engage students in a variety of ways. From exploring history, science, and the arts to career and technical training, VR can provide expanded experiences for background information and virtual field trips, which can be impossible to reach in person. With the use of VR, educators can provide content that is more immersive and engaging.

5. What advice would you give to other school IT leaders and school IT teams?

Keep the main thing, which is students and learning. It is so important to not lose sight of the end goal of student learning. I have two axioms of innovation:
1. Just because you have not, does not mean you should not.
2. Just because you can, does not mean you should.

We must measure the “return on learning” for every project and initiative we undertake, remembering that the student and learning are the drivers of what we do, and technology is the accelerator.

For more news on IT leadership and innovation, visit eSN’s IT Leadership page.

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