For over thirty years Norton Gusky has demonstrated in his teaching the power of technology as a tool for empowering kids, educators, and communities. Norton believes that technology offers students a tool for creative production, communications, and collaboration. Norton first began his exploration of technology in education as a teacher of the intellectually gifted in West Virginia. For over twenty years he worked as the Coordinator of Educational Technology for the Fox Chapel Area School District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Today Norton has transitioned his role and works as an educational technology broker.
Norton believes in using technology to empower communities. He serves as the Chair of the Quality Programming Committee for Neighborhood Learning Alliance (NLA), a Pittsburgh non-profit agency, that serves as an umbrella organization for faith-based and community-based organizations providing services such as after-school programming. Norton is also on the Board of Film Pittsburgh.
Norton believes in empowering educators. He has chaired the planning committee for the Three Rivers Educational Technology Conference, a regional event in the Pittsburgh region for over fifteen years. In addition, Norton has taught two graduate level courses at the Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) – Technology and Educational Restructuring (changed for 2012 to “Planning for Innovation”) and Integrating Technology into Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction. Norton worked with the Flipped Learning Network to bring FlipCon14, the annual conference, to Pittsburgh from June 23-25, 2014. Norton worked with a team of educators to start an unconference, edcampPGH.
Norton also works with school districts on strategic planning, planning for innovation, and professional development. Norton worked with the Mars Area School District to develop a Project-based Learning (PBL) plan for its middle school program and worked with planning teams at Mars and the Fox Chapel Area School District on their comprehensive plans. Norton also worked with high school teachers at Central Catholic to integrate iPads with Project-based Learning. In 2015 Norton developed a White Paper for the new Center for Design and Innovation at the Parkway West Career and Technology Center (PWCTC). Since 2013 Norton has worked with a team at the South Fayette School District to produce a Summer Institute on STEAM Innovation.
Norton sees technology as a tool for innovation. Starting in 2014 Norton also provided consulting services around professional development for the Hummingbird project, a STEAM related robotics kit developed at the CREATE lab of Carnegie Mellon University. In 2015 Norton helped to develop a Robot Petting Zoo using the Hummingbird Kit. The Robot Petting Zoo premiered at the Pittsburgh MakerFaire. In 2015 Norton began to work with the Energy Innovation Center (EIC) and PWCTC to coordinate a series of design challenges. Each design challenge brings a team of high school students as consultants to work with the EIC and its partners on real world problems of sustainability. Since 2014 Norton has been the co-chair of the Consortium of Schools Networked (CoSN) Emerging Technology committee that publishes two reports annually.
Norton has worked with schools and non-profits to develop successful grants to integrate technology. In 2015 Norton helped the Montour Area School District receive funding for a STEAM Summer Camp and for a Virtual Immersion Lab at the high school. Norton worked with the South Fayette School District to develop a grant proposal looking at computational thinking as a tool for STEAM innovation. For the 2013-2014 Norton served as an outreach coordinator for the South Fayette STEAM initiative. Norton also assisted the Keystone Oaks (KO) with a successful STEAM grant to develop a new Digital Playground for the KO high school. Norton consulted with the Carnegie Library of Homestead to develop a digital media learning space and program using the Connected Learning elements developed by Mimi Ito.