• Plugging into the Future of Learning

    Data and Tech Leaders Moving Schools Forward

    Avi Zellman and his students at Bret Harte
    David Caven can remember 19 years ago when he was hired as a computer teacher at Horace Mann Elementary School - his first job in OUSD. Computers plugged into the walls and students banged away on keyboards or played Oregon Trail.
    In those days, David helped “make the copies and plug stuff in - you know - the everyday technology needs that people had back then.”
    These days, David arrives at school each day around 6:45 a.m. to roll carts of Chromebooks into classrooms.
    “Well, things certainly have changed and it’s very interesting to watch because I kind of grown up with technology at OUSD - from a Mac lab to Windows computers and then the Internet,” he said. “You used to have teachers standing around their boxes waiting for reports and now they are searching for reports and wanting to know how they can push the data they are receiving even further.”
    Dave Caven, Horace MannAs a Data and Tech Leader (DTL) at his school, David joins a rejuvenated group of support staff across the District who double as a teacher and a front-line supporter of technology needs at a school. Each OUSD school has one to three DTLs who can support four areas of technology: Illuminate; Chromebooks and SBAC testing; cybersecurity; and general technology needs of staff and students. The DTLs are also supporting the roll-out of new teaching and learning platforms being supported by the Technology Services Department.
    At Bret Harte Middle School, Avi Zellman has joined the school this year after six years at Madison. He teaches 6th, 7th, 8th grade English Language Development (ELD) Mathematics and is one of two DTLs at the school.
    “I wanted to combine working with students in the classroom using technology with math in my classroom and that expanded into wanting to do this school-wide in a way that really supports all students and staff, he said. “It helps you provide equity at the school because you’re helping students and teachers do more than just Google search, you’re providing a space that is engaging in personalized learning at a new level.”
    Bret Harte has some of the highest enrollment counts for students in the Newcomer Program and Programs for Exceptional Children - facts that push Avi and staff to “really think about how we can use the OEA-OUSD Chromebooks that are now on site.”
    “We’re pushing for 1-1 here with technology and students and you can see the benefits already because teachers and students are now coming to school ready to use interactive Google Docs and they’re linking resources - I’ve seen this in a Science class this year,” Avi said. “The Chromebooks and the new District support really puts some real power behind the new emphasis on technology and learning - the position also provides a knowledge base because of the trainings from IT and then being able to use that in school.”
    As someone who says, “I've seen it all when it comes to technology” at OUSD, David feels like “it’s happening.”
    “I’ve stuck around a long time knowing that something like this is possible, but to see this happening now and in this way, is very comforting,” David said. “Like many people, I’ve invested time, energy, sweat - I can see what’s happening and it’s going to give our kids a huge leg up.”
    To contact your site's DTL, please speak with your school principal.
Last Modified on September 25, 2015