New Tech Network — “Whole-School Design”

New Tech Network (NTN) is looking for a few good partners. Charter schools? Yes. School Districts? Yes. Could your school be one?

According to Ted Fujimoto of Landmark Consulting Group (dedicated to scaling innovations in learning) in this Education Dive interview, any community that wants to transform its existing schools or launch new ones can leverage nearly 20 years of experience and not try to cobble individual design elements from scratch. New Tech Network, based in Napa Valley, California, provides end-to-end training, coaching and tools for teachers and administrators over 4-5 years to help communities implement their whole school designs with fidelity, he says. New Tech Network has over 200 schools and is growing about 20-40 schools a year, mostly as transformed district schools and some charter schools. They are in 29 states and Australia. These school designs, he says, are producing superior results across all socioeconomic groups of students in graduation rates, college persistence, and workforce skills.

Project-based learning is the heart of the NTN instructional approach. Students collaborate on projects that require critical thinking and communication. Learning becomes relevant, and student engagement reaches new levels. Higher student engagement is associated with better educational outcomes.

The smart use of technology supports their innovative approach to instruction and culture. They use Echo, an online learning management system, to create a vibrant network connecting students, teachers and parents across the country.

Each New Tech school maintains a culture that promotes trust, respect, and responsibility. According to the NTN website, students and teachers have 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.

NTN has emerged as a leading design partner for comprehensive school change. They work with districts and charter organizations to design innovative learning environments. They coach schools for lasting change and ongoing improvement. Now, that’s what 21st century education is all about.