Greg Zorbas is a high school teacher. On the one hand, Greg teaches at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. On the other hand, though, Greg reaches students around the world. How so? Distance learning! A case could be made that Greg’s technical abilities are exceeded only by his passion for engaging with students and fostering their enthusiasm for learning. Greg’s school district, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, has 44 schools spread over an area the size of the state of West Virginia. Add to this fearsome weather – and distance learning takes on special significance.
Greg is a co-founder of a program called Classroom WithOut Walls (CWOW). This program stemmed from his using live video to connect his classroom with other classes in his district and around the world. So Greg not only teaches in a fairly remote corner of Alaska, but often connects with, among others, classes in Palestine, Ghana, and Malaysia. Perhaps a better gauge of the success of CWOW is the World History class that meets both in Kenai and Homer (80 miles away). The two venues are totally integrated and student projects routinely span both locales. The Homer teacher, Kendra Nelson, is herself a former student of Greg’s in Kenai. A hallmark of CWOW is student-led activities. Indeed, the program is breaking new ground in student collaboration using mobile and video technology. In 2016 CWOW was recognized by USDLA with a Gold Award for Best Practices in Teaching and Learning.
Greg, having taught for twenty years, has himself received many accolades. He has been recognized as a BP Teacher of Excellence. The Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) named him teacher of the year in 2014. Greg keynoted at the 2014 ITEC conference in Sydney, Australia and has presented at the prestigious International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). He is a presidential appointee to the USDLA Board of Directors.
Greg is married with an unknown [by me] number of kids. When he is not connecting with students in faraway places he enjoys cooking, fishing (in rivers or on the open sea), or otherwise being outdoors.