On a Wednesday morning at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, I caught up with science teacher Bob Green. Mr. Green, a physics and chemistry teacher at Thurston, is known throughout the school as being the most ‘tech-savvy’ of the teachers. His students receive all of their assignments online, and instead of spending class time lecturing, Mr. Green has put all of his lectures on vodcasts (video podcasts) for the students to watch on their own time. In fact, every thing that Mr. Green’s students do is on “their own time,” and computer-based learning practices play a key role.
I spoke with Mr. Green about his use of technology in the classroom and asked what advice he had for teachers who were just starting out with technology.
“The most important thing is for it to be as student-centered as possible,” and “technology promotes people to people interaction as opposed to one person standing up front,” Mr. Green said.
He also spoke about the need for perseverance, especially in grant writing, as well as the use of a proficiency-based grading system using “I – Can” statements.
As teachers using technology, we don’t need to know everything. Part of a student-centered classroom is letting students be in the driver seat. “I’m not one of those teachers who is afraid to try stuff that I can’t do. If my students are better than me, that doesn’t hold me back. I don’t pretend to be the expert,” Mr. Green said.
The entire interview is provided below.
Off to learn more about education!
Photo by Mary Ames for Bon Education