From Shakespeare to 1:1 Computing – USA

As Academic Dean at the first 1:1 school in the US (late ‘90s) and one of the first tablet PC schools (2003), Greg Martin knows just how much technology innovation can alter a learning environment. But Martin is not a “tech guy” – he has a Ph.D in Shakespeare.  That combination of innovation and classical expertise has served him well, and we recently asked him about his thoughts on the state of education.

What is the best opportunity for innovation in education?

Technology has already begun to shatter the walls that once bound learning opportunities (perhaps better termed “teaching”). It has inspired creativity and innovation in schools which have embraced it. We still need to reconfigure, however, the very basic dynamic of education to grow it into the 21st century and out of medieval, agricultural, and industrial roots.  I like what George Kembel, one of the founders of the Stanford D.School (the Institute of Design at Stanford University in California) said will be the model for human growth in the coming years: we will all need to be teachers, learners, and doers.

How can other educators learn from your experience?

I have spoken about the Pedagogical Growth & Development program at the ISACS conference and at the University of Cincinnati. I’m happy to share the program with anyone who wishes to learn more about it.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome to ensure students are receiving a quality education? 

Cincinnati Country Day is an independent school with great financial and community
resources. Our students and faculty often do not want for resources. Right now, the hardest resource for us to tap is time itself. Our students and faculty are extremely busy and work very hard. The hardest thing for us to achieve is balance.

What conditions must change to better support education?

The “secret sauce” is that great educations require lots of resources, and not just financial ones. At our school, we have students who care, parents who care, teachers who care, and administrators who care. We’re all rowing in the same direction and work hard to collaborate to achieve our lofty goals. We’re very lucky.

What advice would you give a new teacher (or to anyone wanting to make a difference in education)?

Find your passion and be sure to build on that strength. We all choose teaching because we liked an idea at one time. What’s that idea? Why did it make you passionate? How, when, and why do you notice passion in your students? How can you tap into that passion and still achieve curricular and institutional/cultural goals?

If you could give one educational tool to every child in the world, what would it be?



About Dr. Greg Martin

Greg Martin not only serves as Academic Dean for the prestigious Cincinnati Country Day School, he also coordinates the school’s Pedagogical Growth and Development program.
Martin is a frequent speaker on a variety of topics, from education technology to Shakespeare and even a combination of both (“Digital Shakespeare: Teaching the Bard Using Technology”) and he has published numerous academic papers.
CCD School has long been recognized for its rigorous and innovative curriculum that offers 800 students a full range of academic, athletic, and artistic opportunities. Their goal is to stimulate and challenge their students, as they stretch their minds in pursuit of knowledge.
Birthplace: Warren, Ohio
Current residence: Cincinnati, Ohio
Education: B.A., Miami University (Ohio); M.A., The University of Alabama, and Ph.D., Kent State University. All three degrees in English.
Website I check every day:
Person who inspires me most: My whole family
Favorite childhood memory: Spending summers in Chautauqua
Next travel destination (work or pleasure): In Seattle right now!
Favorite book: The Complete Works of Shakespeare
Favorite music: The Grateful Dead

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