• New Tech Visit Offers Glimpse Into 21st Century Learning

    A team of twenty Coppell ISD and City of Coppell representatives including teachers, counselors, administrators, the chamber of commerce board chairman, mayor, councilperson, city staff, media representative, and PTO officers recently learned about the highly acclaimed New Tech Foundation learning model when they visited two New Tech High campuses in the Sacramento, California region. According to Superintendent Dr. Jeff Turner, “This type of 21st century learning model is what we have been dialoguing with our community about for the past couple of years but it makes the most sense when you can see the students taking responsibility for their own learning and hear their success stories firsthand. Our school community is ready for this type of instructional model which compliments the shift in the way research says students learn.”
     
    Bob Pearlman, New Technology Foundation (NTF) Director of Strategic Planning, led the two-day tour beginning at the NTF headquarters in Napa by giving a brief historical perspective on 20th century education describing schools that were originally designed around a teacher-centered curriculum. He then made the comparison to 21st century learning skills saying, “They represent the dichotomy between what businesses now need in the workplace and what is being taught in the classrooms. Businesses need employees who are creative and innovative, critical thinkers and problem-solvers, and who can communicate and collaborate. They should also be information and media literate. Add to that life and career skills including flexibility, adaptability, initiative, self-direction, productivity, accountability, leadership, responsibility, as well as social and cross-cultural skills and you’ve got the basis for 21st century learning.”
     
    New Tech students and staff led panel discussions and tours of the campus in Napa on day one and in Sacramento on day two. The Coppell group was able to see and hear about the strengths of the New Tech High model which has been successfully replicated in thirty six locations since its inception twelve years ago. Highlights include:
    • Project-based learning where the project actually becomes the organizational structure (the curriculum) and the textbook becomes the resource in solving real world issues as a team
    • A learning environment that encourages students to ask complex questions with no simple answers
    • Students taking responsibility for their own learning in a collaborative setting using a 1:1 computer ratio
    • Teacher facilitation of the learning process
    • Accountability through authentic assessments that measure growth over time
    Members of the traveling team will now serve as ambassadors for the New Tech High model that will be replicated at New Tech High @ Coppell. According to David Geeslin, “This trip has been so beneficial in helping me see 21st century learning in action. The students and staff members were impressive and I know this is something the Coppell community will embrace. I wish this had been available to me back when I was going through school.”
     
    Students and parents interested in learning more about Coppell’s new choice high school should plan to attend the informational meetings scheduled throughout the month of January. Those meetings will culminate with a panel discussion led by New Tech High students from California and application distribution on January 29th and 31st. Click here for more information about 21st century learning and Coppell ISD’s new choice high school. You may also contact Tabitha Branum, Director of New Tech High @ Coppell (NTH@C), by e-mail at newtechhigh@coppellisd.com.