From now on, UClass.orgwill offer a weekly spotlight on an educator who is using UClass in extraordinary ways. We are proud to present you with our first honoree!
Name: Curtis Webster
Currently Teaching: Middle school technology course called “Real World Computing”
Current City: Watervliet, NY (near Albany), USA
How do you use UClass in your classroom?
Currently we most heavily use the home page discussion forum to share ideas and discuss topics. The project page will be heavily used as the area where students can turn in or submit their work.
One feature I would be interested in using is the Pen Pal feature and possibly pairing up each student with a friend in a different location to learn about them, their culture and their life.
Why do you think it’s important to connect your students globally on UClass?
Students are part of the global marketplace now, more than ever. These students are growing up in an Internet age where everyone is connected in every city, in every country, all the time. Students now interact on a much larger scale because what they do, especially online, no longer only impacts them and their sphere of influence, now but can have lifelong and far-reaching implications.
Due to the global and “public” nature of our lives, students must be trained to think globally and realize that the world they have access to is larger than their zip code.
UClass is a phenomenal tool that will help bridge mental gaps for students and open the door for idea sharing, collaboration, discussion and at the bare minimum, cultural exposure.
The most grand experience my students will receive from being a part of UClass will be to realize that they are not alone, that there are students all over the world just like them. It will open their eyes to a world of possibilities.
What do you think can be changed about the educational system in your country?
I truly believe that educators are superheroes. I believe they have made a conscious decision to put forth the effort to develop skills of patience, encouragement, discipline, and many others to help each one of their students achieve at the highest possible level. What can be changed, or should be changed, is the level of pay that educators receive.
If people are paid according to what they give back to society, then the truly great educators and administrators should be some of the wealthiest people in the country. ☺
What do you love about being a teacher?
I love the moment when a student makes a breakthrough or realizes something for the first time and their whole mindset changes. I love introducing the kids to a new website or software package or discussing a change in technology and seeing the light bulbs turn on when they realize that this is something current and relevant to their lives and can be used in a much larger capacity than just in the classroom for a grade. I especially love to hear back from students after class is over that have taken the skills they learned in class and have been able to expand on those skills and share them with others.