George Ober, a sixth- and seventh-grade classroom music teacher at William Paca Middle School, was recently selected as a “Bright Light” by the Association of Suffolk Supervisors for Educational Technologies (ASSET) at their annual winter luncheon. Mr. Ober was one of only 16 chosen from school districts countywide to receive this award, which is given to outstanding teachers that make a difference by using technology in the classroom to promote student success.
“George has done so much over the years in regards to integrating technology into the classroom,” said Tricia Interrante, Coordinator of Technology for the William Floyd School District and Past President of ASSET. “I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor and know that he will continue to be a leader in this area.”
Ed Plaia, William Paca Middle School Principal, agreed, “Mr. Ober is extraordinarily innovative in the classroom. He’s the teacher where you never really know what to expect – you only know it’s going to be good.”
“It is truly an honor to be recognized as a ‘Bright Light’ by ASSET ,” said Mr. Ober. “Student success in my classroom has been enhanced by embedding technology throughout my lessons. This allows my students, both independently and collaboratively, to develop the critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary for their success in the 21st century.”
Additionally, ASSET held a “Shark Tank” competition at the luncheon, giving “Bright Lights” from each district an opportunity to make a proposal and compete for funds to go toward purchasing a piece of technology that can help in the classroom. Mr. Ober’s presentation was on the topic of two-way communication for interactive whiteboards and tablets. Currently, interactive whiteboards have the ability to have two-way communication between the whiteboard and computer allowing for effective modeling in lessons when needed. Tablets on the other hand, can be used for modeling only when they are mirrored to the whiteboard and demonstrated from the tablet itself.
Mr. Ober’s proposal was for an app/Bluetooth hardware that would allow two-way communication for the modeling of tablet apps using the interactivity of the whiteboard. An additional component would be the creation of an app that would offer a teacher designable assessment rubric template. This would give teachers the ability to model and assess student work in “real time” during classroom lessons and used in conjunction with the interactive whiteboard. For his efforts, the William Floyd School District received a $100 check and Mr. Ober was invited to attend the 16th Annual ASSET Educational Technology Conference in March to present his project at a poster session.