While students at Christian Brothers are busy grinding away at digital learning, there is a group of staff members hard at work behind the scenes making everything flow smoothly. The Christian Brothers IT department have been the reason why digital learning has been working so smoothly for the last year. However, it may not be […]
While students at Christian Brothers are busy grinding away at digital learning, there is a group of staff members hard at work behind the scenes making everything flow smoothly.
The Christian Brothers IT department have been the reason why digital learning has been working so smoothly for the last year. However, it may not be common knowledge to students about who our IT department is or what they actually do.
Our IT department has many important jobs that require a vast array of skills and posses many different responsibilities. Mr. Jesse Ball, our director of IT shared some of the details and responsibilities of his job. As the director of IT, it is his responsibility to maintain all technology on campus to assure things run smoothly.
In addition, Mr. Ball is also in charge of making sure teachers’ budgets are prepared for buying the tech supplies need for distance learning. However, Mr. Ball feels that the focus of his job is “making sure teachers have technology that actually WORKS.”. Working Technology on campus was already needed, but now more than ever, it is essential for all teachers to be able to hold their classes.
During distance learning, Mr. Ball, along with the IT department as a whole, have encountered some challenges that were either consistently popping up or never disappearing. Some of these problems consist of students not understanding how to operate Microsfot Teams, teachers misplacing meetings, and the most challenging on of all, explaining technological concepts through a message rather than in person.
Technology overall can be very tricky to understand and not being able to physically show someone how to execute a certain task or solve their problem presents itself as a huge challenge. Only being able to send a message with instructions leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation.
However, Mr. Ball is not the only person on CB’s tech roster who can help with technical issues. Christian Brothers has had the pleasure of welcoming one of its newest staff members Mr. Fred Jaravata, an educational technology and learning experience designer.
Mr. Jaravata has earned his masters in education from the University of San Francisco and has over 18 years of experience with infield education. As our educational technology specialist, Mr Jaravata is able to interact with a large portion of the CBHS community, as everyone is using technology right now to teach and learn. So far this school year, Mr. Jaravata has been heavily involved in making our digital learning as smooth as possible.
“I help solve other people’s educational technology and I can direct them to someone else who can,” he says. “I worked directly with admin and faculty/staff to bring the best teaching and learning experience for all our students. I also believe that technology, whether it’s an iPad, or new platform…can augment and amplify the best learning experience possible.”
Mr. Jaravata also helps CB teachers find a functioning way to administer classes and lessons. But he also acknowledged some of the biggest challenges he’s faced in his time with CB thus far as well as his aspirations to get the know the CB community better.
“The biggest challenges in maintaining online learning are how to engage with students/getting to know them. It is hard to make connections through the screen. We have to be understanding of each of our students’ needs as well as with ourselves; giving each other and ourselves grace as we are all going through this pandemic together and nothing is ‘normal’”.
The Christian Brothers administration also agree technology is a vital tool, even before distance learning. However, now more than ever, technology has become the only way our school can fully function (or about as well as it can).
Assistant Principal of Student Life and Instruction Mr. Alfredo Acosta feels that our IT department has risen to the challenge.
“I genuinely feel that our IT department have done an amazing job,” he says. “They have put Christian Brothers in the forefront of delivering instruction and serving you guys and serving the community. We’re very lucky to have them on our side.”
Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Mr. David Desmond ‘94 feels that “we have the best IT department in the country, They always put students first”
Our IT department’s incredible knowledge and skills involving technology, and their work ethic towards helping students has allowed our school to continue to operate at a high level. The Christian Brothers community is truly blessed to have such a skilled IT staff. All of what we have right now would not be possible without their expertise and passion for their work.