NEWBERRY COUNTY — David Rest is the new Newberry County School District’s technology integration specialist, a position that allows him to combine his teaching background with his love of technology.
Before joining the NCSD three years ago, Rest taught Spanish at Lexington High School but said classroom teaching was not for him at that time. Thanks to inspiration from his mother-in-law, he got into the technology field.
His mother-in-law is a technology integration specialist in Lexington One.
“I thought that was a neat thing to do. Then the tech job opened up here,” Rest said. “I think I bring a unique perspective to the job, having worked on both sides, working in the classroom, but also working in the background with technology.”
Rest said he started out as a computer tech, basically fixing computers and networking equipment.
“I also use to teach high school Spanish and I am still very much digging the field of education, but I am also a giant nerd. So this job was a nice fit because I kind of get back to my teaching roots, but also get to still play with some fun toys, as it were,” Rest said.
His job is to help teachers and students integrate technology into their classrooms.
“The district has been generous providing a lot of useful technology, that sometimes the teachers are not always comfortable using,” he said. “In order to get a good return on the investment, my job is to go though and help teachers integrate the technology into the classrooms.”
Rest believes that his experience in the education field allows him to be effective in his position as the technology integration specialist, because he will teach technology.
“Technology comes easily for me,” he said. “I grew up with it. Some experienced teachers are killer with technology and some folks right out of school are not into it. Like when I taught Spanish, not everyone was as passionate about Spanish as I was, and not everyone is as passionate about technology as I am,” Rest said.
Rest, 32, wants the district to get a return on their investment in him. For example, the district invested in iPads for their third through fifth grade students, each classroom received five, which includes one for teachers.
Rest is in charge of managing those devises.
“When you get iPads in the classroom and they sit in boxes, what was the point in spending all those thousands of dollars if you are not going to use it?” Rest said.
Rest also helps teachers realize that for youths technology is a way of life, not something that has to be learned.
“That is one way I can make an impact. Technology now can be an important tool and I think that is where I can make the biggest difference,” Rest said.
He also will work with the technology teacher leader at each school. These are full time teachers that are the designated technology experts at their perspective schools.
“I am pretty passionate about education,” he said. “I think it is really important in general. If I can do something to help these kids and teachers, I am all for it.”
Rest was born in Charleston, and grew up in Mt. Pleasant where he would eventually graduate from Wando High School. He went to Clemson University and received his degree in Spanish education. He also met his future wife, Laura Foxworth, while at Clemson.
“She was published when we got married, so she kept her last name. They started a new major at Clemson this year, Women’s Leadership, so she will be teaching that,” he said.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.