Teacher Honored for Bringing Innovation to Classroom

By Nass, Shannon M | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), May 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Teacher Honored for Bringing Innovation to Classroom


Nass, Shannon M, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Baldwin High School English teacher Daniel Harrold is taking learning to new heights with his forward-thinking approach to curriculum and lesson design.

A pioneer in his district and region in using Gamification, which uses game thinking and game mechanics in nongame situations to stimulate problem solving, Mr. Harold, 26, of Crafton, engages his students using "flipped learning," project-based assessments, mastery grading and authentic learning experiences.

Flipped learning is most simply desribed as instructing students online, outside the classroom, and then having them complete homework in class, where teachers can address issues they might have with the work. Homework often goes beyond traditional paperwork to include projects or group activities. Mastery grading calls for the student to demonstrate mastery of the material.

In recognition for his innovation in education, he is among 100 educators selected nationally to serve as one of the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators.

As part of that honor, he will receive national recognition, be given a year of professional development and training, learn about innovative instructional strategies, digital technology/media best practices, and tools/resources that can be applied to the classroom, according the PBS web site. He'll also be able to collaborate with other educators, organizations and thought leaders to drive innovation in his community.

Additionally, as one of the top 16 honorees chosen, he will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Publc Broadcasting System headquarters in Washington, D.C., for the PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Summit.

PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators web site describes its honorees as "tech-savvy K-12 educators with a passion for using digital technology and media, leaders with a desire to empower their peers and share strategies around digital media integration, and PBS LearningMedia ambassadors that embrace lifelong learning, collaboration, inclusion, and innovation."

Mr. Harrold is an English teacher and instructional technology specialist in his fourth year at the high school.

He has taught multiple grade levels over the past few years and currently teaches 11th-grade American literature and 12th-grade British literature.

Unlike traditional English classes, Mr. Harrold's are game- based, which he described as an up-and-coming education model for designing a class based on the structure of a video game to make learning more motivational through the use of a number of technology elements. …

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