|Source: ReporterNews – Abilene|
Wow, skimming TexasISD.com Technology section, I saw this article featuring a long-time colleague and friend, Mark Gabehart from Abilene ISD! Knowing Mark’s work ethic, the fact he came in as runner-up to Technology Administrator of the Year, I can definitely vouch for his enthusiasm and efforts on behalf of K-12 and adult learners in Texas education! In fact, his work and commitment–and mentorship–has been an inspiration since I began in EdTech in my mid-20s in Edgewood ISD in San Antonio, Texas, one of Mark’s first postings as a technology director! That’s unbelievable!
Keep up the great work, Mark!
Some of my take-aways from the article:
- With three different locations handling pivotal aspects of technology and 8,500 district computers, Technology Chief Officer Mark Gabehart said AISD’s technology needs are comparable to what large corporations use. “We look for enterprise solutions, big and large scale,” said Gabehart, who has headed the technology department since 2006.
- “Over the years, I have been amazed at what creative teachers paired with technology have been able to do with their students,” said Gabehart, whose mother and two grandmothers were all school teachers. “I like the fact that technology has the opportunity to equalize learning opportunities for all students.”
- “The district owns all its computers,” said Gabehart, whose first home computer was a Commodore 128 in 1977. “We can buy new Dell desktops for laptops for $1,000, but we mostly purchase refurbished desktops and laptops at about half the cost. They’re about three years old from corporations that no longer wanted them because they had a three-year replacement cycle.”
- “You have to find ways to extend the life of the equipment and sometimes you have to buy it,” said Gabehart, who holds two master’s degrees.
- “In the six years I’ve been here, our staffing levels have remained about the same,” said Gabehart, who moved to Abilene from La Porte ISD, which is located near Houston. “We’ve improved the productivity of the existing staff with increasing needs.”
- “This is all going on to enhance what’s going on in the classrooms,” said Gabehart, who has worked experience overseas in Liberia and Malaysia. “And what this does is helps the teachers more in the classroom because it’s not just the teacher standing up and lecturing.”
- “We realize our kids need more time to learn their math, reading, science and social studies because of these accountability systems,” Gabehart said of state and national accountability.
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