Staff Focus: Engaging Learning Through Technology
January 6th, 2020
“My passion is teaching students about the importance of technology as a tool to help them further themselves, not just as entertainment. It’s especially important at the elementary age, so they develop good habits early,” said David Floyd, fourth grade teacher at Bellows Spring Elementary School.
It was in the U.S. Navy more than 30 years ago where Floyd got his first introduction to technology and learned the discipline he needed to be successful in school. He then went on to coach swimming as he was completing college and discovered his love for working with kids. Upon graduation, he took a job at a parochial school, where he filled a variety of roles teaching PE, math and science. As his interest in computers grew, he took the initiative to develop a technology curriculum at the school, and his work was recognized with an Archdiocese of Washington Golden Apple Award.
Floyd then joined HCPSS six years ago to “expand what I could do with my students in technology.” He has served four elementary schools as a technology teacher and now integrates technology into the general classroom as a fourth grade teacher at Bellows Spring Elementary School. “It’s fun to stay one step ahead of the kids to teach them technology, but at the same time, my students can share what they know with me and the classroom,” Floyd said.
As Floyd settles in as a fourth grade teacher—with the support of his teaching peers—his goal is to continue finding opportunities to incorporate technology into the curriculum because “it’s only going to help strengthen their learning process.” His students happily engage in learning as they create online explorer “trading cards” in social studies, present on safety tips through Google slide shows for a health unit, code a message-transmitting robot for science and more.
In his new role, he enjoys getting to know his students better, and therefore can recommend online tools that support their individual needs. For example, he has connected some of his students in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program with translation tools that support reading.
Julie Wray, coordinator of the Office of Instructional Technology, said: “Mr. Floyd’s commitment to building relationships with each of his students and the integration of technology in all aspects of education is admirable. As a result, Bellows Spring Elementary School and the Howard County Public School System are flourishing in this increasingly digital age.”
Carrie Trudden, instructional technology resource teacher, agreed: “Mr. Floyd achieves a purposeful and powerful use of technology with strong ties to the existing curriculum. He is committed to ensuring that all students have equitable access to exemplary technology experiences.”
Bellows Spring Principal Carol Hahn nominated Floyd for Maryland Tech Council’s STEM Educator of the Year award last year, which he won, in part because of his passion for lifelong learning. “Mr. Floyd is a learner himself, so his students feed off his excitement. His use of technology in the classroom motivates them to stay engaged in their learning. Likewise he draws other staff members in as he coaches colleagues on the latest technology in a very positive way,” Hahn said.
Hahn continued, “Mr. Floyd is also a career changer, and the kids appreciate all the experiences he brings from being in the Navy and a father.”
Floyd and his wife have two teenage children. In his spare time, he enjoys running and playing golf.