North Hills math teacher Rick Roth rolls with new technology in the classroom
By Melanie Donahoo
Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 8:01 p.m.
The use of technology in education always is changing, and teachers must grow with their students.
That's why Rick Roth, a math teacher at North Hills Senior High School in Ross Township who understands the increasing role of the Internet in the classroom, will be honored with the Blackboard Catalyst Exemplary Course Award for the online geometry course he designed and developed.
“A lot of brick-and-mortar public schools are using online options with the kids now,” said Roth, 39, of Shaler Township. “We're trying to expose students to the technology that's available, and it also goes along with their learning style.”
Roth developed the geometry course for Blended Schools Network, or BSN, a nonprofit organization based in McVeytown that enhances education for students in kindergarten through the twelfth grade with online instruction and applications, said Deanna Mayers, BSN's director of curriculum.
Mayers nominated Roth for the Exemplary Course Award because of his dedication to providing strong online learning opportunities in math.
“Rick embraced the use of tools that will help the students that take his course not only learn geometry but also become independent, lifelong learners,” said Mayers, of Stroud Township, Monroe County.
Blackboard was founded in 1997 to create a better education experience for all those endeavoring to learn. The Exemplary Course Award began in 2000 with the goal of recognizing the designers of engaging online courses that represent the very best in learning technology,
Nominated courses are evaluated by a peer group of Blackboard clients, a reviewer council and directors. In the award notification letter Mayers received in early May, the reviewers called Roth's course “a thoughtfully designed course with multiple pathways and support mechanisms for student success.”
“We were really proud because these awards usually go to college-level courses that had teams of designers working on them,” Roth said. “But I was one person building this course.”
Roth joins just four other developers who have won the Exemplary Course Award through BSN, Mayers said.
Roth will be honored with the other award winners at the Blackboard World Conference in July in Las Vegas.
He has contracted with BSN for more than three years to develop online math courses. Roth's geometry course is shared with more than 170 school districts across the nation and will have an impact on more than 1,000 students in Pennsylvania, Mayers said.
“It was challenging to create good, solid geometry lessons in a condensed online format,” Roth said. “You also give the students Web links to cool Internet activities like games or practice websites, so it's enjoyable to look around online and see what's out there.”
Research into what makes education the most effective has shown that a combination of teaching methods gives students the best opportunities to connect with learning, Mayers said.
“Highly engaging digital curriculum … empowers teachers to individualize instruction for students,” Mayers said. “And it increases both student engagement and success with learning.”
No matter how technology changes, Roth said, in 20 years he hopes to still be a teacher in the public schools.
“Teaching is changing with the times, but I wouldn't want to be doing anything else,” Roth said.
“My interaction with the kids is what makes my job great.”
Melanie Donahoo is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NA senior wins national ‘No Kid Hungry’ writing contest
- Wexford Elementary students discover difficulty Pilgrims encountered
- Former school coming down; plans not revealed
- Officials create rules for residents who want to harness solar energy in Richland
- North Hills school library media specialist recognized for work
- Woodlands Foundation rum, apricot-brandy cake sale marks 10th year
- Hartwood mansion decked out for the holidays
- Dambach Avenue Bridge reopens to residents’ delight
- Pine-Richland students filling ‘Empty Bowls’ to benefit Lighthouse Foundation
- Hampton middle schoolers learn they can create change
- North Hills Chorale members help light season with concerts