Introduction: We are excited to continue our popular Educator Spotlight series, and also to expand it to feature both classroom and office educators who are the heart of Gibbons. In doing so, we offer readers a glimpse of how Gibbons educators care for and engage with students, forming them as men and women of faith, service, and leadership in church and community. So far this year we have spotlighted counselor Susan Ellis and Latin educator Whitney Crabbe. Today, we spotlight Director of Classroom and Educator Tech Support Rodolfo Argueta.
At 7:30 a.m. most school days, you’ll find Director of Classroom and Educator Tech Support Rodolfo Argueta in the library. He is at the STARs (Student Technical Assistance Resource) desk working with STARs Director Patricia Alexander helping students troubleshoot issues impacting other students’ laptops. By 8:15 a.m., he is responding to educators’ calls and emails for tech help.
Argueta, a Gibbons educator for five years, is available to help throughout the rest of the day, assisting students and educators and enriching technology-enabled teaching and learning. In between, he researches new ways to keep products running smoothly in Gibbons’ innovative, digital learning environment.
“Always being available, that’s my job,” he said.
Quite a busy one when you consider the numbers: 148 educators, 1,546 students, 2,000 laptops, and an array of various other classroom tech tools. Add to that the fact that technology is ever-changing. However, Argueta, who holds a doctorate in technology education, handles it all with a kindheartedness that is contagious and a smile that never fades.
To the Gibbons community, Argueta is Mr. (Tech) Fix-It and Mr. Rogers rolled into one. The entire school is his classroom.
Argueta describes his role as satisfying because he “is sharing his knowledge and helping others.”
That help extends beyond the school community. Argueta also heads the technology department’s Gibbons Gives program.
Started a few years ago, the service program reflects Gibbons’ mission by donating computers to students or groups in developing countries as well as in neighboring communities. So far, some 150 devices, mostly laptops, and some desktop computers have been given to schools or groups in Honduras, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Peru, as well as in Wake County.
At heart, Argueta says his main goal is, “to support educators by ensuring that technology is fully functioning, useful, and transparent to enable them to fulfill their instructional objectives and facilitate learning.” Additionally, he said he hopes he is able “to influence how students interact with one another and how they help others with a positive attitude.”
So on days when technology is misbehaving, do what Mr. Rogers so famously advised: “Look for the helpers." At Gibbons, one of those helpers is Argueta.