Instructional Secret Sauce: Focusing on the Learner and the Learning


David Jarboe, Director of Instructional Technology and STEAM at Harrison School District 2 (and EduJedi Gainer Level award winner), is sharing his Secret Sauce presentation – some of the ideas that have made learning truly special at Harrison School District. According to Jarboe, “I'm very humbled to present this information. We have just done so much collaboration across our region and through the state and even nationally amongst technology leaders that was all the events of the last year-and-a-half brought us together, but really now, how do we make the most of what we've done?

“I was a classroom teacher, a building administrator and worked in our curriculum and assessment department for many years. So I have that focus coming into technology. And I just think that's so important that we maintain that tight alignment, that the technology is being implemented in a way that enhances what's already in place and doesn't try to overcome or circumvent or take over. That's always a temptation with technology; we get excited about shiny things, and the next thing. And so, really keeping it focused in the alignment to our curriculum maps. My department in instructional technology works very hard to make sure that we partner with our curriculum department.

“We have what we call our tinker room and that's where we allow teachers to check out technology that they can use in their classrooms. There's a lot of technology schools can't afford on their own, but we can make it available and we can support them. So, creating those connections to standards, tying it to outcomes so that teachers understand the use and purpose and what it's gonna do for their instruction and how it will help them with their goals around student achievement. Looking at those cross-curricular opportunities that technology can provide because so many of the things that we do really does reach into too many areas. Just as an example, my team presented to our school admin group this morning and we were using Ozobots, but it was tied to literature and it was tied to math. That just really brought it alive to them. How the technology we use really can enhance the primary instruction and not be one more thing we're asking them to do.”

As promised, Jarboe shared a number of ideas that focus on the learner, and make learning truly special, all while bringing folks at every level together. There are many lessons to be learned, and you’ll enjoy the opportunity to bring these home and share them with your own folks.


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