Longtime D-200 educator earns Illinois IT award
WOODSTOCK – Ask anyone: Jerry Swedberg is without a doubt the best director of technology District 200 has ever had.
Then again, he’s also the only director of technology the district has ever had.
Swedberg started in the classroom 29 years ago, and became the technology coordinator 13 years later when the Woodstock-based district identified a need for such a position.
He designed and implemented the first computer labs and networks in the district.
Last month, Swedberg was honored for his efforts when he received the Illinois Computing Educators’ Making IT Happen Award.
The state’s affiliate of the larger International Society for Technology Educators gives the award to two people a year for their commitment and innovation in the field of educational technology.
“It’s really great to be noticed for things that you love doing and would do anyway,” Swedberg said. “It’s humbling to be placed in that category with the people that have gone before.”
Swedberg says that through the years, there’s tended to be resistance to introduce new technology to the classroom. Some fear that personal devices such as smartphones are more of a distraction than a help when it comes to educating, but Swedberg said they allow kids access to valuable resources right at their fingertips.
“Once you get over that hump, you start to see that there’s a lot of different avenues and different things that you can start to take advantage of,” he said.