Do you know a star in your community? During the month of December, we’re highlighting some talented individuals in our community. These are people using their gifts to make the world around them a better place, from teaching in the classroom to sharing artistic gifts that inspire others. If that isn’t something worth celebrating, than we aren’t sure what is.
As part of our #TouchUponAStar movement, we are excited to introduce our next group of shining Touchjet stars for the week. Keep reading to meet them all!
From his time as a teacher to now being the current chief technology officer (CTO) for his school district, education professional Dan Layton knows his way around the classroom. But throughout the 10 years of his career, his primary mission has not changed. “I do what I can to be a catalyst for our kids,” explained Dan. “The students have a lot of talent, but sometimes they aren’t so sure about it.”
In his current position as CTO, Dan works with students and teachers every day, finding new ways to integrate technology into the learning process. “We put technology in the classroom to make sure we give students everything we can,” he said.
How do sports, education and technology connect? You can find out through taking a look into the life of past major leaguer, Albert “Bert” Strane. Bert first fell in love with the game of baseball at the age of eight – and still remembers the first ball he ever caught. He would go on to play the sport throughout his education and into his adult life, both as a player in the major leagues and as a coach.
Now, he works closely with student athletes in his community. The biggest piece of advice he has to offer them? “Be a great amateur baseball player… But also be a good student academically.” Bert found a way to connect sports with education, and has continued to share his passion with the younger generation every day.
Touch technology is making a difference in businesses big and small and the founder and CEO of MightyMeeting is contributing to that. Since starting his first business in 2004, Dmitri has seen firsthand how technology can inspire the workplace – which is one of the things that inspired his popular app. “Collaboration is a big problem… People must be able to work together in spite of all kinds of differences: time zones, geographies, languages… and so on,” explained Dmitri.
According to Dmitri, tools such as MightyMeeting and the Touchjet Pond Projector are an important way to break down those barriers and get teams working together to innovate in new ways. According to Dmitri, “The things that one can do these days with a five-dollar computer are truly amazing.” And we agree.
A teacher in Zionsville, Indiana, Candace Hons has always had a passion for education. While she remembers taking a more traditional approach to teaching at the beginning of her career, in the past few years Candace has embraced a project-based approach to teaching. Since that time, she has implemented programs where the students lead the classroom.
Since then, every year she implements a year-long project in which she tasks students with picking a way to improve their school, choosing what to improve and finding a way to accomplish that. This year, the students chose to improve the school playground and all of them are fundraising money in different ways to accomplish that goal—one group of second graders is raising more than $5,000!
Candace aims to challenge students while creating experiences they will remember for a lifetime. New tech tools such as the Touchjet Pond Project help Candace put the power of education in the hands of her students to empower them to learn on their own. “I am interested in technology because I am excited to see what [students] do with it,” she explained.
If you know a star in your own community, then it’s time to share! We want to hear from you. Use #TouchUponAStar to share your message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Then follow along with us this month as we celebrate even more inspiring individuals. When you touch upon a star, a universe of possibilities opens up.