Educator Spotlight: Meet Masaaki Maeta
Collaboration fuels elementary teacher in Japan
This story is part of a series that celebrates Teacher Appreciation Month. Each day in May, we will introduce to you an outstanding educator within the Flipgrid community. Stories by Angela Tewalt.
For elementary school teacher Masaaki Maeta, Flipgrid is not just a way for one student to be seen. It is a way for all students across the world to see one another.
Masaaki teaches fifth- and sixth-grade students in Aomori Prefecture, Japan, where his students work together in one classroom. He has been teaching for nearly 30 years.
Since his early years in education, he has been interested in computers and technology.
“However, I became tired of the slow pace of computerization in schools, so I distanced myself from technology and began to research thinking tools instead,” says Masaaki, who is head of his school.
It wasn’t until 2018, when he became a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and then last year when he attended a computer science conference in Asia for educators, that he realized he desperately needed to resume his studies of digital tools in the classroom.
“I was shocked to learn that the use of technology in Japanese schools was so far behind,” says Masaaki, who has also run a playful photo project in Japan. “That’s when I started teaching my own students how to use technology as much as possible.”