Sean Slade

Digital High School Puts Technology Second

What does a digital high school look like? Or for that matter—as was pointed out by Huffington Post blogger Tina Barseghian—what does a "School of the Future" look like?

The article gives us a look into a working, functional, and quite exceptional high school, Napa New Tech High. Yes, there's technology and one computer for every student, but what is also interesting is the use of technology to assist pedagogical aims—teaching critical thinking, responsibility, and collaboration. It's a school that aims to develop useful, relevant skills that can be applied to college and the work world beyond and one that uses the benefits of technology to reach those goals. It's a school first and technological beacon second.

The school has transformed the way it teaches, prepares, and even plans units and lessons. The major focus is centered around project-based learning and team-teaching. As Chris Walsh, director of innovation and design at the New Tech Network, states, the New Tech system "is [dismantling] the traditional model, then putting back the components so everything meshes together." The school must be allowed flexibility and be able to reconfigure the curriculum. "If you have pacing guides, and you have to cover this topic on this day, it won’t work," Walsh said.

Read Tina Barseghian's article to find out more about how Napa New Tech High is combining effective pedagogy and current technology.

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