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Art Renkwitz

Art Renkwitz pictureArt has been there since the beginning of the information age. He has been teaching biology in Cambridge, a rural community on the Eastern Shore, for 38 years.  The first computer he used in his classroom was an Apple IIe he used to show demos to students. He credits technology with ultimately keeping him interested in teaching. "I was ready to go at 28," he explains. "I was bored stiff. [The Internet] changed everything."

Now, he uses online resources now to show his students material they never could access before. To do this, he has three Macintosh computers and a PC hooked into several television screens  in the classroom.  He says this set-up allows him to move smoothly from topic to topic without having to wait for a new application to launch or a Web site to load.

"I don't do lesson plans," he says. "I choreograph."

He encourages his students to take an active role with technology, too. The students in his human anatomy and physiology class don't have a textbook per se. Instead, they assemble their own by picking and choosing from a slew of online resources Art has researched ahead of time.

On technology's potential for learning:
"In a rural area, our problem is access - it always has been access. We don't have any universities nearby. For the learner that has a little bit of self-discipline, there's been nothing like this. Every kid can go as far as they want to go, and I just have to guide them as a facilitator."

 

 

U.S. Department of Education Star Schools Program