Welcome to the Revolution

Day 2 at Digital Consortium 
Project-based learning in a project-based environment is how Riley Johnson describes his school.

He’s the principal of New Technology High School, nestled in California’s Napa Valley, about an hour’s drive (without traffic) north of San Francisco.

“We have teachers here who are some of the best project-based practitioners I’ve ever met,” Johnson told his visitors on Friday, Oct. 7. The group he was addressing consisted of superintendents and other tech educators that made up Day No. 2 of the fall meeting of AASA’s Digital Consortium.  Attendees had an opportunity to see project-based learning firsthand.

Part of New Tech’s mission: “To be a student-centered model for educational innovation.”

“Learning and engagement is evident,” tweeted Jill Gildea, superintendent of the Fremont School District 79, Mundelein, Ill. “Amazing visit at New Tech High,” said Dwight Jones, superintendent-in-residence at Discovery Education and one of the Consortium’s co-sponsors.

“For me it’s about how do we define project-based learning and the quality of it,” added Johnson.

Earlier in the day, the Consortium made stops at two other schools in the Napa County School District—American Canyon Middle and Phillips Elementary Schools.

“Learning accelerants,” is how Dan Scudero, principal of American Canyon puts it. His welcoming remarks took place in his school’s library where a sign, hanging from the wall, read “Welcome to the Revolution.”

“We’re in the technology age,” said Scudero. “Kids are learning at deeper levels and are taking on more leadership roles.”

The tour was well received by members of the Consortium.

“This gives me an opportunity to see what other educators are doing and what can I bring back to my kids in Mentor,” said Matthew Miller, superintendent of Mentor (Ohio) Public Schools.

“The AASA Consortium brings like-minded superintendents and thought leaders together around some of the most significant challenges we face in connecting our kids to the content, the skills, the dispositions that we know are important for their future success,” said Brian Troop, superintendent, Ephrata (Pa.) Area School District.

“It’s fantastic that so many superintendents are visiting from all over the country,” said Patrick Sweeney, superintendent of Napa Valley Unified School District, the host district of the Consortium. “If we as a nation can share great ideas from Wisconsin, from Georgia, from Texas, from California, we’ll be a better nation.”

The fall meeting of the AASA Digital Consortium served as the third gathering of the year for the group. Meetings have taken place at the Discovery Education headquarters in Silver Spring, Md. and Chicago, Ill.

To join the conversation via Twitter, access #AASA_DigitalConsortium.

 



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