Edward E. Green, professor of education at Brigham Young University, was named one of five finalists in the 1992 Computerworld Smithsonian Awards for the category Education and Academia.
A total of 51 finalists were selected from 10 different categories by 89 judges. All judges are members of the Chairman's Committee, a group of private CEO's on the Smithsonian board."It's actually quite an honor," Green said. He was nominated for the award by Jim Dionne, president and general manager of Commodore Business Machines, for the development of interactive learning and assessment systems for the classroom.
"We are using technology to change the teacher's role," Green said. His system uses videos, original textbooks and computers to link subjects and students with teachers in the classroom, at home and over long distances. Green's latest developments of interactive, touch-screen videos and compact disc television have expanded his work even further.
"It allows teachers to track data on student responses as they occur," Green said. This does more than allow teachers to record scores, but shows them how each student learns and where the student's weaknesses are.
Green has been working on this system for the past 10 years. "We started out in my basement, but now we have a facility in the US WEST building to develop and share with schools on distance learning," Green said. Most of Green's program is funded by a $3.4 million grant from RJR Nabisco and by a $300,000 grant from US WEST.
Originally, the program was designed around teaching algebra one, but the grants and increasing technology have expanded the program to include algebra two, science and geometry, and engineering and technical writing.
Green said the system mixes each subject to show the students practical application for their homework.
"We're working with manufacturing engineers to come up with story problems that the students might encounter in the real world," he said.
By creating their own texts, Green said the teacher is no longer left waiting on textbook publishers to adapt material to changing environments.
The Computerworld Smithsonian Award is an international program recognizing and honoring innovative uses of information technology.
On June 8, Green and Dionne will attend a "tuxedo affair hosted by Dick Cavett," where Green said the winners of each category will be announced.