Meet Jason Valade. Jason is the customer solutions engineer for TechSmith’s Academic Solutions Team.
Jason was a technology teacher at the elementary level, interacting with approximately 900 third, fourth, and fifth grade students each week. Now, in his new role with TechSmith, he’ll be responsible for helping to craft individualized solutions for their schools and districts looking to implement TechSmith products.
Since Jason only had 45 minutes each week with students, he knew he’d have to find other ways to incorporate technology into their learning. “It became my goal to help teachers find ways to do what they normally did in the classroom, but enhance it with technology,” Jason said.
For elementary level teachers, Jason recommends a few key things to think about when trying to integrate technology into the classroom:
- Technology is always changing. Typing skills are important, but keep in mind that a majority of students now have smaller mobile devices and are typing with their thumbs. I like to teach keyboard awareness, so they have the general skills, but I also acknowledge that there are new devices and new ways of communicating.
- Technology opens the door to a vibrant teaching community and tons of resources. It’s easier to find games, lesson, etc. online through different networks, and you can share what you’re learning too!
- Don’t be surprised that your students, regardless of age, are probably going to know more than you do about some of the technology you’re working with. Don’t be afraid to learn from your students.
- Technology doesn’t need to be a laptop computer or tablet. When I was in school, technology was an overhead projector or a tape deck. Do some research about unique forms of technology that you can introduce to your students, and don’t be afraid to try something new.
While his focus as a technology teacher was on his students, Jason also found himself providing support and instructions for teachers. “I loved teaching and working with the kids, but I also really loved helping the teachers too,” Jason said.
That’s what led him to apply for the position with TechSmith, he said. “While it was tough to say goodbye to my students, it was exciting to share that I was going to be able to help kids, teachers, staff, and parents all over the country and beyond.”