21st Century Learning @

Mrs. Gordon Hurst

Mr. Gordon Hurst, native of Manchester England teaches 10th grade global history and geography, 10th grade AP world history, and 11th grade economics/government. This is his third year at our school, with 13 years experience teaching history. Mr. Hurst traveled throughout the world while working in the international cargo business, always interested in the country's culture and history. This thirst for knowledge led him to return to school, where he received a degree from Hofstra University.

Mr. Hurst’s AP World history class is an iPad class; Both he and the 19 students received iPads, and use them throughout the day. Mr. Hurst has become an active user of Nearpod. (Nearpod, a free app, allows the teacher to create an interactive mobile presentations including media and assessments Teachers launch the presentation and monitor progress through the app.) Using the Nearpod app on their devices, students input their names to access the content and submit responses, while progressing through the presentation. A new feature of Nearpod allows the teacher to post the presentation that was used during class as a homework option. The students get the class code and can review the Nearpod lesson on their own on that day.

Mr. Hurst assures us that the students remain engaged and interested. Because all students learn differently, by 10th grade, the girls are old enough and mature enough to know how to use the iPad. After experimenting with different apps, most students use GoodNotes for note taking and are staying on task.

Tell us about your website - why did you create this?

A number of years ago, Mr. Hurst was introduced to the power of building his own class website. He learned to build his own site from scratch, adding many articles, videos, and resources. Now, his Haiku page is linked to the website, giving the girls resources, links and media. The students appreciate the site, using it for review, notes, lesson handouts and powerpoint presentations. The site is used by 30 teachers, 7 states, with students as far as the Ukrainian.

Mr. Hurst often finds himself short on time. With a limited number of teaching days, he wants to get all of the material covered. However, with history changing daily, he tries to include current events in his lessons. As history evolves, the curriculum continues to grow.

Mr. Hurst tries to incorporate culture and geography lessons on Fridays. He will show the students photos of buildings, palaces and cities throughout the world. After deducing the place of interest, they will discuss the significance and history of the photo.

Mr. Hurst is intrigued by the history of the building of SKA. Did you know that the unique historic building, was built in the early 1900's? The original owner, Henry Devereux Whiton (1870-1930) sold the estate to Lawrence Country Day school in 1920. In 1992 HALB purchased the property and it's 9.2 acres from Lawrence Country Day School. Mr. Hurst especially enjoys teaching in room 204, where he placed a poster ‘keep the home fires burning’ above the fireplace, a reference to the British Patriotic song of 1914.

Mr. Hurst is enjoying teaching with the iPad so much this year, that he hopes to create an ibook to cover a few units of the AP curriculum. He would also like to see all 10th grade global history classes using the iPads in class. This would give him and all of the students more opportunity to explore the many uses of the iPad for learning.

Class Projects