What do you call a school that uses no textbooks, no examinations and non-traditional syllabus? School of the Future? Not quite.
High Tech High is very much a school of the present using methods that are on par with the needs of 21st century children.
The problem with traditional schooling is that it is outdated. Students are bored and they cannot see a connection between what they learn in school to what they want to do in life. So how to get students to enjoy learning? How do we get them inspired?
The idea behind using technology in schools began with the intention of addressing this problem. Our world is moving at the speed of science where new discoveries and new technologies set the trends and standards of everyday life. There is a rising need to not just integrate technology with traditional teaching methods but to use it to create new ones. High Tech High is a good example of such a schooling method. The school uses “the pedagogy of technology i.e. group-taught, team-performed and experiential-applied, and integrates that to the content of academia i.e. numeracy and literacy.”
Unlike traditional schools using technology, High Tech high does not use technology to teach students, but allows students to learn through technology. Teachers guide students in learning various subjects through project work, building solutions (this is where the engineering side comes in) that will ultimately solve an existing problem within the community. So far the school has a good success rate where 99.5% students have gone on to enrol into college.
According, to High Tech High’s CEO Larry Rosenstock there is an integral lesson to be learnt from technology: why is it that a child, regardless of its socio-economic background, when left alone with technology, whether it is a tablet or video game, will find a way to operate the gadget, and go back to it time and time again despite the various failures and frustrations that might first occur in operating the device? There is no denying that technology has an addictive quality to it. It integrates interactive, practical, hands on learning and provides a basis for peer to peer bonding (have you seen that new app? Did you hear about that new game?) And if the success of High Tech High is anything to go by, perhaps there is a lesson in incorporating technology with education.
If you want to share how you use tech in your classroom or know how you could integrate it your lessons, you can contact Lucy Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org