New Tech Network transforms schools into innovative learning environments. New Tech’s project-based teaching approach engages students with dynamic, rigorous curriculum. Through extensive professional development and hands-on coaching, New Tech teachers evolve from keepers of knowledge to facilitators of rich, relevant learning.
New Tech began Napa, California, where local business leaders were concerned that meeting basic standards would not be enough to ensure that students were graduating with the skills needed to meet the needs of the new economy. Working with the local school district, they established Napa New Technology High School with the first class of 100 students in 1996.
As Napa New Technology High School thrived, New Tech was awarded a $6 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With this funding, New Tech was charged with launching 14 schools over three years. In 2009, New Tech became a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, allowing New Tech to further expand its reach. Today, New Tech has grown to more than 120 schools across more than 15 states.
THE NEW TECH APPROACH
The New Tech model provides an instructional approach centered on project-based learning, a culture that empowers students and teachers, and integrated technology in the classroom. New Tech’s hands-on, multi-year approach gives schools structure and support to ensure long-term success.
- Project-based learning is at the heart of New Tech’s instructional approach. In project-based learning, learning is contextual, creative, and shared. Students collaborate on projects that require critical thinking and communication. By making learning relevant to them in this way, student engagement reaches new levels. This higher level of engagement is associated with better educational outcomes.
- The smart use of technology supports our innovative approach to instruction and culture. All classrooms have a one-to-one computing ratio. With access to Web-enabled computers and the latest in collaborative learning technology, every student becomes a self-directed learner who no longer needs to rely primarily on teachers or textbooks for knowledge and direction. We use Echo, an online learning management system to create a vibrant network which helps students, teachers, and parents connect to each other, and to student projects across the country.
- Finally, each New Tech school maintains a culture that promotes trust, respect, and responsibility. At New Tech schools, students and teachers alike have exceptional ownership of the learning experience and their school environment. Working on projects and in teams, students are accountable to their peers and acquire a level of responsibility similar to what they would experience in a professional work environment.
New Tech schools leverage what research tells us about how people learn to create an exceptional teaching and learning environment. This approach is working. In 2010-11, New Tech Network (NTN) schools demonstrate high levels of student engagement and continued growth along several measures of academic progress. Results on college acceptance rates, graduation rates and behavioral indicators point to strong performance levels among many New Tech schools. See New Tech Results.