Today I visited New Tech High School in Napa. A lot has been said about New Tech, but I wanted to add my impressions. First the $14M renovation of the building to create an environment conducive to Project Based Learning seems to provide just that! The double sized classrooms with a wall of glass open to common areas provide the space where courses are combined so that curriculum can presented so that both disciplines are covered via projects. A beautiful “Cyber Cafe” provides a common area where the whole school can meet or small groups can work.
All students have computers. What’s unique is that they bring their own, lease one, or are provided one. Any computer is supported. Desktops are peppered throughout and are available in Digital Media rooms and studios. Technology is ubiquitous yet blended in so that it’s part of the learning or production environment – not something necessarily special. The technology is integral to creating projects that are the basis for all learning. There’s no “Let’s integrate technology.” Technology is in the fabric and the building itself reinforces it.
The student tour guides displayed confidence and pride in their school and how it is positively affecting their lives.