No one loves a happy ending more than me. Today was a personal once-in-a-lifetime movie moment: I welcomed President Obama to Manor New Technology High School.
Barack Obama visits a project-based learning innovative PUBLIC high schools.
We need more courageous education leadership at a time when the rate of student borrowing to finance college has grown dramatically while college graduation rates have not improved.
This week, Sugata Mitra won the 2013 Ted Prize. Mitra dreams of schools in the cloud and Self Organizing Learning Environments as ways to nurture learning for every child on the planet.
There is no shortage of opportunities to attend conferences, read blogs, review new research or just visit schools to see what is working in education and to also get reminded of what is not working well. At conferences, seminars and roundtables, educators gather somewhere weekly to share best practices, learn about new strategies and brainstorm solutions to major challenges. I thought I'd share my top ten list of issues I'm following this year
The president asked, "How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs...
Isaac Newton said, "We build too many walls and not enough bridges." That sentiment is especially true today. And so, when 2013 began, my New Year's resolution was to build more bridges with people...
Dig a little deeper and you'll find evidence of collateral damage -- the need for remedial education for high school graduates is also on the rise.
It's not rational, but I'll admit that whenever I hear "21st century classroom" or "21st century skills" -- I tense up.
Here at New Tech Network (NTN), we celebrate ways students “make a difference”.
While I agree with the priorities Secretary Duncan identified, I wonder if this is both bold enough and achievable given the budget challenges in Washington and the pendulum swing back to states?
Think of it like teaching your child to ride a bike, only this is a tandem bike built for six.
Project-Based Learning + Presidential Campaign = Recipe for Meaningful Civic Engagement
Students today live in a wired world. Educators strive to assure high school and post-secondary success for each student.
The critical question is: How do we, as educators, turn these Standards into compelling instruction?
I don’t usually admit how much I love great TV dramas, and might even be reluctant to mention it in the education world where I spend most of my life...
Joe is a teacher at Eagle Tech Academy in Columbia City, Indiana, who is doing his best to get students engaged in the election process and have access to a "balanced diet of media." Joe wants his students to care about politics and the role of the media as much as I do.
As Jennifer discovered, a key design principle is to create "student-centered" schools that focus on student-driven, deeper learning. Jennifer is excited to join with her colleagues to build a learning environment dedicated to meeting student needs, developing self-aware learners and preparing students to graduate with knowledge and skills necessary for college and career.
In the Aug. 7 New York Times article titled, "Average Is Over, Part II," Pulitzer Prize-winner Thomas Friedman writes, "There is no good job today that does not require more and better education to get it, hold it or advance in it."
It’s been said that we come to beginnings only at the end. And as the Beatles song says -- that’s something of a family tradition for me. In my family, we rarely say “goodbye”. We always say “hello.”
That’s also the way I think about the recent New Tech Annual Conference (NTAC). All of the powerful connections and deep learning that took place during that week in July didn’t end because the conference concluded. The end was really the beginning of so much more.
More than 1,200 teachers, principals, superintendents, alumni and students from the 120 New Tech Network schools -- attended this year’s NTAC, all with the same mission – to increase the impact we have on the lives of our students and to support them to be ready for college, career and beyond. The conference provided a great time for reflection--to think about where our Network has come and where we are headed. Our week in Grand Rapids was intellectually stimulating, emotionally moving and absolutely FUN!
Educators shared effective teaching and leadership strategies, celebrated successes and strengthened the New Tech community. Innovative and creative ideas permeated the conference. Spending time with fellow educators, away from the daily school routine, is a wonderful way to get a new lease on your professional life.
Our opening keynote featured Dennis Littky. Dennis, along with two students, opened the conference. I would also like to give a special ‘thank you’ shout-out to my co-stars for the opening Echo skit. I always appreciate being joined by others who are willing to face personal humiliation in the name of entertainment!
We held the NTAC Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, July 18th. Certified teachers, trainers and school demonstration sites were honored. This year, Mansoureh Tehrani, Director of METSA in Carrollton, Texas, received the Susan Schilling Award for her outstanding efforts to ensure that every student is college and career ready.
The Chad P. Wick Award for Social Justice was given to the Los Angeles School of Global Studies for success in closing the achievement gap for underserved students. The Best in Network Award was presented to Da Vinci Charter Academy for a compelling project entitled “America at War.” The awards session wrapped with the screening of the NTN Video Challenge Award, presented to Savannah Barber and Amanda Amick from Scottsburg New Tech High School. Their video, “A New Tech Revolution”, was the perfect way to end the NTAC Awards luncheon.
Of course, the major focus of the conference were dozens of sessions on effective Project Based Learning (PBL), Deeper Learning for students and leadership development. Check out the Echo collection NTAC 2012 for resources. Watch interviews from NTAC Live featuring attendees, alumni and students.
The conference concluded with inspiring and thought-provoking ignite style talks by teachers, a director and staff. I am energized just thinking about what it was like to see the 10 back-to-back five minute talks. There is a playlist of all the ignite talks at our conference resource page on the NTN website.
And the ‘networking’ has not stopped! Many participants have volunteered to blog for the Network and directors have expressed interest in increasing community visibility for their schools. Social media activity spiked during NTAC and continues with burgeoning mentorships and collaboration taking place on Twitter and Facebook.
The conference was also a catalyst for Network-wide activities. A NewTechx project is in the works with six schools. Built on the concept that everyone has a passion and why not share it, this new project will offer students a venue to share what inspires them.
One of the ignite talks from a teacher in Indiana ended with a call to action for a network-wide project that immediately launched. To date, more than 20 schools have indicated interest in participating in this project focused on teaching students the difference between fact and opinion in our media. In addition, the project will galvanize students to take an interest in the upcoming Presidential election by enabling them to see how politics can be a vehicle for social change. For more information, take a look at #myparty12 in Echo.
More than ever, this year’s annual conference provided a platform to experience the richness, breadth and depth now emerging as the “real” power of the Network. This Network enables us to reach out and experience partnership, mentorship and yes, even friendship in service of students. We are fortunate to have each other!