Spotlighting NR21 Success Stories
Featured Educator: Matthew Christian @ Greenspun JHS
What Inspires Me
"Trying new things and finding new challenges is what inspires me. I never want my classroom to be a place where students walk in and always know what happens next. This helps to create an environment where students know they can take risks and try new things without fear of failure."
Matthew Christian is one of Clark County School District's premier Robotics teacher's. He has created the Greenspun Junior High School Robotics program from the ground up and coached his team to the state championship for three years straight. Mr. Christian makes connections with robotics teachers throughout the district and around the country. He states,"The more we connect with each other and share our ideas, the more we all succeed. I regularly invite teachers and other school’s teams to my site to learn about what we do and gain experience that we can then use to make our program better."
Passionate about teaching technology, Matthew believes the opportunity to have 1:1 Chromebooks on campus has helped to improve the implementation and outreach that his program has achieved. He states, "The 1:1 technology integration has strengthened our focus; making the Robotics experience so much richer for our students." In addition to the impact Chromebooks has had in the Robotics classroom, there has also been great affect on other groups on campus. Greenspun Junior High School has a large deaf population and the 1:1 Chromebook technology has made it much easier for all learners to be part of all classes. Now every student on campus is able to interact with each other the same way, with the same equipment, yet on a different level. Everyone is able to share their ideas in an open forum. Determined to reach all of his students, Mr. Christian creates multiple methods to interact. "Technology makes connecting with my students both inside the class and out so much easier and my students are able to interact with each other and share their knowledge."
Mr. Christian says, "Technology has helped me shape my class where my function is more of a project based facilitator and less of an instructor. I want my students to experience by doing and really engaging with their learning; technology gives me the tools to make that vision a reality."
Students Chromecast and collaborate during Robotics class.
Words of Wisdom
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Not everything you try will go smoothly and not everything you do will be a success. Experimenting and creating new experiences for your students will push them to challenge themselves and give their best. Start small. You don’t need to have everything figured out on day one. If you are willing to keep learning and trying things, your students will too. I walk into my classroom and tell my students, "Today, we’re trying something out. We’re all in this together!"