1) What is your name and what do you do?
William Jackson an educator with Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Florida. I teach Engineering and technology at a STEAM Magnet School. STEAM is Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics. I’m also my schools Technology resource person where my responsibility is to manage the technology at my school and I’m a technology liaison with my schools community with parents. I provide technology and social media workshops at my school and in my community and Blog about school events. Wearing many hats in education; addressing the areas of technology.
2) What is your educational background?
I’m a graduate of South Carolina State University (Orangeburg, S.C.), my Bachelors degree is in Education. My Masters of Arts in Education is a focus on Educational Technology with a focus on integration of technology into the classroom curriculum. I develop presentation programs where Social Media is taught to students and parents to further engage parents using technology to communicate with schools. I provide workshops on Bullying/Cyberbullying, Social Media Safety, Sexing and consistently Blog about educational issues, technology and parenting issues. I Blog on multiple sites online sites and in over 10 community newspapers.
3) What are some hurdles you overcame to get to where you are today?
The hurdles that were challenges: coming from a single parent home where my mother and grandmother raised myself, my sister and brother. My father was not a part of my growing up so for most of my childhood did not have a male role model. I have dyslexia and ADD, but use these hurdles to pushme harder to better myself. Another hurdle is discrimination as a Black man in the field of technology and education. The hurdle is being taken seriously about my skills and abilities to teach technology and my degrees validate me to be qualified and experienced. I have worked with Florida Department of Education teaching about Internet usage in the classroom throughout five counties in Northeast Florida, Presenting at major technology conferences in Florida and nationally, providing workshops at the school and district level. I have also taught on the college level and with NASA in their education department. Even with these experiences and being a published Blogger I still have to validate my skills, abilities and background. Black men in too many situations are not taken seriously, nor given valid opportunities to use/share and mentor. Despite these I continue to provide workshops, Blog and speak about technology safety and Social Media.
4) If you had any advice for young people wishing to follow in
your footsteps, what would it be?
Obtain as much education as possible to empower yourself. Don’t be afraid to journey into new areas and never allow anyone to make you feel bad about your skills and abilities. What has helped me is being involved in my community with ALL races. I have learned so much from people that are different from me. Youth need to participate and be involved in different avenues that encourage “getting out of the box” learning from being involved in community groups and speaking up. Have fun with technology, but be responsible. A important issue is that Blacks should get out of the mindset that they cannot learn from others, to learn from other people and join community groups. Attend community meetings; attend workshops in all types of technology. What helps me is attending presentations, seminars, workshops, and conferences and not being afraid to participate and ask questions. When you feel comfortable enough volunteer your time to help in events and when you feel very comfortable conduct a workshop and share your knowledge. Lastly find a mentor to help direct you, someone that you can communicate with to gain their ideas. I’m always offering my ideas and experiences to share and support youth. As a teacher and parent I feel responsible and accountable to students to help as much as possible. The students of today are the political, business, commerce, financial and educational leaders of the future.
5) What are your plans and goals for the short and long-term future?
Are you working on anything you’d like our audience to know about?
My short term plans are to continue to provide workshops about Bullying/Cyberbullying, Social Media, Sexting and Internet Safety. To share my knowledge, to share my experiences and hope to have the opportunity in a long term goal go nationally to share my curriculum on the issues of youth safety and bullying. Long term goals are to speak on national radio shows on these issues, but it seems when I try there is little or no interest even though youth are dying from Bullying, being stalked by Cyberbullying and Internet Safety dangers through Sexting. Along with these to use my Blogging to share information to parents and youth to engage and provide resources. My Blog is: My Quest To Teach @ Http://MyQuestToTeach.WordPress.com Sexting is damaging students reputations, especially girls and future careers because of inappropriate content. Law enforcement is becoming involved because of recent and growing suicides and attempted suicides. I’m working on trying to connect with news agencies, television talk shows, and other communication methods to reach youth and talk to them about Bullying, Cyberbullying, Sexting and Internet Safety. There is a paradigm shift in technology and education that too many students and parents do not see. So as an educator that is a Black male, involved in my community and shares resources I want to expand the important message about being engaged and safe.
6) Is there anything else you’d like to share with our Your Black World audience?
My recent blog on “The Power of Blerds and Technology” talks about Black youth and their empowerment with using technology. Black youth must be provided with good mentors, passionate educators, and opportunities to practice important skills. Black professionals must open themselves up to be mentors, role models and go into schools to talk to students on ALL levels, elementary, middle, and high schools. Lastly if an organization is looking for information about Bullying/Cyberbullying, Social Media Safety, Sexting please notify me to provide a interactive workshop and use my online resources at http://MyQuestToTeach.WordPress.com/
William Jackson, M.Edu.
About Me: About.me/WilliamDJackson
Blog Talk Radio: “COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS ABOUT EDUCATION”