About New Tech
Project based learning and New Tech Network
Project-based learning (PBL) is at the heart of our instructional approach. In PBL, learning is contextual, creative, and shared. Students collaborate on meaningful projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and communication in order for them to answer challenging questions or solve complex problems. By making learning relevant to them in this way, students see a purpose for mastering state-required skills and content concepts.
Students aren’t just assessed on their understanding of academic content, but on their ability to successfully apply that content when solving authentic problems. Through this process, project based learning gives students the opportunity to develop the real life skills required for success in today’s world.
"I believe that my curiosity and passion for learning was cultivated at New Tech, and the skills that I developed — critical thinking, self-discipline and time management, communication and team working—have proven invaluable in nearly every aspect of my life" - Alumni, New Technology High School
New Tech Network schools also use Problem-based learning. PrBL is a form of inquiry-based instruction used primarily in Mathematics that places the students in several smaller Problem scenarios rather than a single, large Project scenario. Supported by NCTM and the NSF, much of what makes PBL so successful is present in a PrBL environment, including Entry Events, the Need-to-Know (NTK) process, and student-centered scaffolding.
School Wide Learning Outcomes
Greenville Early College is implementing the New Tech Network form of Project Based Learning (PBL) and Problem Based Learning (PrBL) in grades 6-8 starting with the 2015-2016 school year. Student achievement and success is assessed through a series of School Wide Learning Outcomes (SWLOs). The five SWLOs assess growth in a variety of ways to ensure students are being prepared for the complex and comprehensive demands of 21st century colleges and careers. These SWLOs are:
- Knowledge and Thinking – 40% – The ability to reason, problem-solve, develop sound arguments or decisions, and create new ideas by using appropriate sources and applying the knowledge and skills of a discipline.
- Written Communication - 15% – The ability to effectively communicate content knowledge and thinking through writing by organizing and structuring ideas and using discipline appropriate language and conventions.
- Oral Communication – 15% - The ability to effectively communicate content knowledge and thinking through oral interactions and presentations.
- Collaboration – 15% – The ability to demonstrate effective communication, responsibility, initiative, and leadership in order to be a productive member of diverse teams.
- Agency - 15% – The ability to reflect on the development of self-management skills, learning habits, and mindsets.