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Published:September 24th, 2007 06:08 EST
Founder and Developer of CyberEnglish Announced as Newest Editor for The Student Operated Press

Founder and Developer of CyberEnglish Announced as Newest Editor for The Student Operated Press

By Jennifer L. Hernandez

Ted Nellen, founder and developer of CyberEnglish and pioneer in the concept of the Cybrarian, recently joined an elite staff of editors and mentors for a top ranking news organization: The Student Operated Press. CEO and Founder of The SOP, Judyth Piazza, interviewed Nellen in 2006 and was fascinated by his theories and ideas related to education and technology that she decided to invite him onboard. “Ted truly is a true American hero and a trailblazer of the cyber landscape.  It is amazing to see what he has done through the wonders of the worldwide web,” said Piazza.

Nellen’s September 2007 arrival to the expert panel for the SOP could not come at a better time. The group’s growth is skyrocketing and finds strength in its foundation of experts who bring years of experience and vast knowledge, covering a wide range of topics, to a worldwide audience. He will join colleagues who are experts in their respective fields such as Djelloul Marbrook, George Curry, Fitness celebrity, John Basedow, and political humorist, Will Roberts, as well as many other others. All editors are called upon to act as mentors and offer unprecedented advice, assistance and guidance, which is of immense value to the SOP writing task-force of 300 student interns. He will not only be able to share his experience with technology but also with education and English.

Nellen has been teaching high school English since 1974. And in a New York Times’ 1992 article, “Going Back to the Classics to See How Words Work,” couldn’t have said it better when he was described as an “iconoclast.” An iconoclast, according to the definition the article provided is ‘“one who attacks and seeks to destroy widely accepted ideas, beliefs, etc.”’ He seeks to establish a different view and approach regarding education, which would ultimately change the way current education is applied.

When computer technology was on the brink of profound change in the 1980s, he incorporated a computer into his classroom in 1983. This was many years before schools would follow suit. In fact, he stood on the precipice of the technology movement and developed new methods to correspond with education as the technology evolved. In his view, the classroom is a limited space however when computers were introduced it made his classroom thirty times larger.

The use of computers in the classroom allowed his students to create their own web pages, upload their own work, research, receive feedback and interact with students and teachers from around the world. Nellen wants to “give the classroom back to the students” and developed CyberEnglish as a response to technology and the need for change in the classroom. He wants education to be an environment that fosters personalized education than merely a system that tells students what they should know. He envisions an education system that will allow students to learn about different academic disciplines through one topic.

In a recent interview with an SOP reporter, Nellen described a hypothetical example in which teachers could teach students about math, physics, English, physical education, etc…by offering information about a bike and allowing students to conduct research, as well. Students could learn about math with problems using bikes, they could learn about physics through the way the gears operate, English literature through famous books that include bikes, physical education through bike training, and the list continues. This is the formula that Nellen believes education should utilize.

With the combination of this formula and the use of technology, students will have the opportunity to expand their academic horizons. And as Nellen indicated, “students learn more by doing.” He whole-heartedly believes that “if schools are for children, than why aren’t we doing something to make school feel like it’s for children.”

Well, one person has started and it’s up to others to begin. Nellen’s premise for the classroom is similar to that of the SOPs, which is to give students, writers, and broadcasters their own platform to learn and grow. And there is no doubt that Nellen’s experience, knowledge, theories, and ideas will be assets to the SOP and will trigger change in schools across the nation.

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