J. Derek Larson
Educator, Public Speaker, and Consultant in Saint George, Utah
J. Derek Larson taught 4th & 5th grades in Southern Utah for 8 years, absolutely loving every minute, before spending two years as the Educational Technology Director for the Southwest Educational Development Center. Derek is now a Library Media Coordinator at a middle school in Southern Utah after spending two years as the Library Media Coordinator and Digital Learning Coach at an intermediate school.
Having completed his M.Ed. with an emphasis on technology, Derek feels technology is one of the most crucial aspects of teaching because of the way students are excited by and look forward to using it. If educators can find ways to effectively harness technology into their teaching, they will be better able to reach their students and help them catch the excitement of learning. This is one of Derek's goals as he works with the students and teachers at his school.
He was awarded the 2014 UCET Outstanding Young Educator of the Year, an award presented to an outstanding young educator, in the first ten years of their teaching career, who demonstrates vision, innovation, action, and transformation using technology to improve teaching and learning. He also received the Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL) certification from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) in October of 2016. Earning the CETL certification helps education technology leaders demonstrate they have mastered the knowledge and skills needed to define the vision for and successfully build 21st-century learning environments in their school districts. Derek has also earned the Google Certified Educator Levels 1 and 2 along with his Google Certified Administrator certifications, showcasing his ability to effectively use the G-Suite toolset as well as effectively administer the back end of the G-Suite productivity system.
Derek is a founding moderator for #UTedChat, an education Twitter chat focused on Utah educators which happens every Wednesday @ 9 pm Mountain Time. Come on by and join the conversation.
He has served on many different educational organizations including the UCET Board, the planning committee for the SUECON Conference as well as helping plan many additional educational conferences across the state of Utah.
Derek has three kids and a wonderful wife who help him stay grounded in the things that matter most. He loves spending time with them in the mountains where he is reminded of the need to unplug occasionally to make sure he is the best person he can be.