|McCann Teacher Receives Educator Award |
|By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff|
02:25AM / Thursday, July 01, 2021
|McCann Technical School's Joshua Meczywor has been awarded the Onshape K12 Educator of the Year.|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — McCann Technical School's Joshua Meczywor has been awarded the Onshape K12 Educator of the Year.
The computer assisted design instructor was selected based on how he was able to integrate the software product into his online learning classes.
"Educators like Mr. Mez do give us a great sense of pride. In some respects, this past year was a pressure cooker for teachers testing a new product — it had to be easy for getting started, easy to learn, readily accessible for students working on a variety of hardware, and all of this in a very short period of time," said Jon Hirschtick, PTC's executive vice president and founder of Onshape. "Seeing teachers like Mr. Mez find success so easily with Onshape under very challenging circumstances tells us that we are doing something right with web-based CAD."
Onshape is an online design engineering platform built to combine the power of traditional product design modeling with the advantages of modern computing. Onshape allows students and educators to create free accounts on any device with a web browser. Hirschtick said this benefits classrooms because students can access the program anywhere on relatively inexpensive school-issued computers such as Chromebooks.
Meczywor was one of 168 educators considered for the award either through self-nomination or nomination by others such as their students, peers, colleagues, or administrators.
"Not only did Mr. Mez receive more independent nominations from his students and colleagues, but the quality of his instruction and commitment to his students as reflected in each nomination is what made him stand out to our team," Hirschtick said. "Although he didn't begin using Onshape until the pandemic forced schools to move to remote instruction, his ability to adapt quickly and create web-based CAD learning content for his students was a testament to his awareness of their needs and his desire to help them transition smoothly to a new learning paradigm."
He was one of two educators this year to receive the award. The other was given to a university instructor.
Hirschtick said it is important to recognize educators after such an odd year during which the efforts of teachers salvaged education that was pushed remote.
"This year was such a unique year for the education community, and we saw such a positive response to Onshape," he said. "We knew there were stories out there of teachers making an impact and we wanted to tell them — to let our educators know that we see them and recognize their herculean efforts to keep things going throughout this past year, even when it meant reinventing themselves."
He added that he is excited to see how much more powerful the program can be once the stresses of a global pandemic are lifted from the education environment.
"We have been very encouraged to see how well online CAD has met the needs of our education community and are grateful that we could provide a product to help teachers continue and, in many cases, even improve their CAD instruction to reach more students," he said.
Not only does Meczywor receive bragging rights, but some prizes: a 3D printer, one-year free access to the Onshape Education Enterprise plan (the Education Standard plan is free), vouchers for he and his students for the Onshape Certified Associate exam, as well as a LinkedIn badge recognizing their achievement and some commemorative "swag."
"Our educators and students are our greatest champions when it comes to showcasing the power of Onshape for teaching and learning engineering design in the classroom," Hirschtick said. "Educators are in the field teaching a generation of students who have particular expectations for how technology should work — in some respects they can provide a great deal of insight as to where we need to go with web-based CAD and the product development process because their students are the ones who will be using it in the not-too-distant future as part of their careers."