The Communications Department interviewed the Technology Department’s Karl DeArmond, Executive Director, for a look at who he is and why he chose to work in Technology along with some other fun facts.
You’re associated with the Technology Department, but what made you want to enter into the field?
Actually when I was in high school I was in a class equivalent to what the Beak Squad is; that was my first introduction to technology or at least helping people with technology. After my freshman year of college, one of my friend’s dad ran the IT department at the hospital in Junction City. He allowed me a summer internship. That’s what led me down the path to wanting to get into technology was those two events. I stayed at the hospital for thirteen years. Then I came back to my first introduction to technology, education. I came full circle, starting in education, moving to healthcare, and journeying back to education.
What is your favorite new piece of technology in the school district?
I’m kind of a nerd so I’m really excited about the new networking equipment we installed over the summer. No one will ever see it; it is locked away inside of a room here at the Devin Center. It will make things a lot better for the students. It will increase their networking speeds over a hundred times. While it’s not something exciting that the kids can put their hands on, it will make technology more reliable for everyone. That’s what I get excited about, the behind the scenes things that make everything more reliable and accessible for the students. The Instructional Techs in my department did receive some fun toys, virtual reality. My job is making sure the network is robust and ready to do the work for those programs. You’ve done some awesome things with the website. That’s exciting to see.
None of those things are possible without a fast and reliable network and an amazing Technology Department ready to assist when things don’t go according to plan.
Do you have any new tech at home?
One fun tech I did get at home was a lightbulb that has a speaker in it so you can just plug it in your lamp and hear music throughout your house. I can play music off my iPhone anywhere in my house! My kids really like it. We play Disney music throughout the house. It was like a kick starter campaign a year and a half ago and it finally showed up a couple weeks ago. So, it was like a present you had forgot about.
Have you recently traveled anywhere, if so what was your favorite experience?
We just took my daughter to Disneyland. She was four so it was the perfect time to take her. My wife was at a conference right next door, so I had the honor of convincing her to ride all the rides and introducing her to the park for the first time. She got to do the Jedi training, becoming a Jedi for a couple of hours. That was fun to watch this organization that is all about making a kid’s dream come true. It was fun to see the excitement on her face!
Who was your favorite 90s band and what song did you sing over and over?
I was a big Creed fan back in high school. I went to their concert in Wichita. I don’t know if I’m a really good singer. I like to listen to music. I don’t really like it when they sing to music. I definitely liked Creed back in the high school days. I’ve been listening to 90s music lately, getting ready for a trip with high school friends, going to Jamaica soon.
Do you have any tech advice for students over the summer?
Keep learning. I think the most valuable skill any student can possess is programming. I think that is going to be the skill of the future. It also helps you think logically. If you look at where industries are going, we are making cars that can drive themselves. While it is a novelty idea right now, there could be a million less semi truck drivers losing their job in ten years. Those jobs are going to go to people making the automated cars. While this is scary, it is also exciting for a student coming out not to be able to be at the front of that. Program as much as you can. There are so many free or inexpensive tools out there. Raspberry Pi is one of those tools. Start programming and coding, that would be my number one advice for students.