“Encouraging our students, listening to them, mentoring and guiding them has an incredible impact on their lives.” – Jason Holt, USA
Instructional Technology Specialist
Newman International Academy of Arlington
Arlington, Texas USA
Jason Holt, an instructional technology specialist and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, sees success stories every day. In addition to teaching Computer Science classes, including Windows Programming in C# with Visual Studio 2015, this year alone, he has effectively rolled out school-wide programs using OneNote, Skype in the Classroom, and Skype for Business.
But one student in particular has made a major impact on Holt’s teaching – and his life.
“Two years ago, our school had a young man join us who came from an economically disadvantaged home,” shares Holt. “He had a lot of personal struggles and did not like school or authority figures on principle. I think he could be classified as a ‘troublemaker’ by stereotypical standards. He came to my lab one day to hang out with a friend of his and avoid some school work. As I was shepherding him out of the lab, I mentioned to him that he should give Computer Science a shot the next year. I told him he could be good at it, and that it could — with hard work and dedication — lead to a great job, and he might enjoy the problem solving.”
Holt’s advice stuck, and this year, that student joined Holt’s honors Computer Science class.
“All year long he has excelled in this course,” Holt says. “Every free moment he has spent coming by my lab to get help and work on his coding projects. He’s worked so hard that he is five entire units ahead of the rest of the class. He has a personal goal to complete all the curriculum’s projects two months before school is out so he can prepare for and take a certification test to become a Microsoft Technology Associate.”
“This experience has helped me to not only understand, but to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it doesn’t matter where a student comes from, what their past academic history looks like, or even how they see themselves,” Hold adds. “What matters is how we invest in and care for our students. Encouraging our students, listening to them, mentoring and guiding them has an incredible impact on their lives.”
You connect with Jason Holt and learn even more about his journey as an MIEE on his Microsoft Educator Community Profile.
About Jason Holt
- Blog: Bit.ly/GPDPortfolio and bit.ly/VRatNIAA
- Educational background: Graduated Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Arlington with a BA in French and a BA in Linguistics.
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: This is hard, but I love OneNote! Visual Studio is awesome, too! And I love the Microsoft Surface! I had a Surface 3 until the screen cracked.
- What is the best advice you have ever received? I think the greatest thing my dad taught me was that my life, career, success is my responsibility. The life or death of any of these things is in my hands. It’s the choices that I make that determine who I am and what I become. However, it’s never too late to start now.
- Website I check every day: Engadget.com, TheVerge.com, education.microsoft.com
- Favorite childhood memory: A mission trip to Taiwan after earthquakes devastated much of the country.
- Favorite quote: “Sometimes the act of creating is more important than the creation itself.” — Dille & Zuur Platten