Fishburne Military School instructor recognized for innovation in education

kenneth glass fishburne military schoolFishburne Military School technology instructor Kenneth Glass has been nominated by the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council for this year’s Innovation in Education K-12 Award.

Glass notes that the nomination came as a welcomed surprise. “I was amazed and honored when I received a phone call informing me that I had been nominated for an Innovation in Education award. I am excited for the future, both for the class and my career as a teacher.”

Nominees will be honored and Award winners will be announced during the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council’s Tech Nite, which will be held at James Madison University on May 3rd.

Tech Nite is the Council’s annual premier gathering, highlighting the Valley’s technology achievements and innovations in 8 award categories.

The nomination came, in part, as a result of Glass’ unique and fun approach to teaching young men about computer science. One project, in particular, has garnered local interest.

Glass’ Advanced Technology Class is creating a virtual world and alien invasion video game as a means of exploring critical thinking and computer logic.

Glass outlines the impetus for this approach saying, “This year has been an amazing learning experience for me.  When I started the year I had a vague sense of how I wanted to teach the material and I worried that the cadets would have a hard time following and remaining interested and invested in the course.  I decided to have the students create a video game from the ground up and use that platform as a method for teaching programming and computer logic.”

In order to build their video game environment, Glass’ students had to learn how computers “think” and process commands. They used that initial understanding as a launching point into writing computer code in several languages. Creating their virtual environment also required that Cadets factor in laws of physics so that virtual items act as they would in the real world.  The class eventually collaborated to design and build a virtual FMS barracks-like environment within which a character in cadet uniform searches for and destroys invading aliens.

Glass, who first taught at Fishburne Military School during Summer Session in 2015 and 2016, became a full-time member of the FMS faculty at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year.

Glass currently teaches computer applications, business education, pre-algebra and advanced technology at Fishburne Military School. He is the school’s National Honor Society and NJHS advisor.