An Truly Innovative Way to Teach Tech

When public schools get “innovative” on technology, we offer a high school course on Java, talk about 1:1 computing, promote a “day of code” or buy carts of Chrome books so that kids can interact with digital content for a couple of hours each day.

But that’s not what real innovation looks like.  How about a school where every class includes coding as part of the curriculum, even Art?  Where teachers are coached by Google engineers and IDEO designers?  Where students spend full trimesters in lab setting solving real-world problems?

Beaver Country Day, an elite Boston-area private school, shows what innovation looks like.  Hint:  it isn’t about the technology itself:

[At] Beaver, which has embraced technology and has more resources than most public schools could ever dream of, classrooms rely almost entirely on free and open-source software and cheap programmable hardware units that can be bought for as little as $35.

As a result, Beaver educators say it’s their school’s culture, not its resources, that allow them to push the boundaries of educational technology use.

“If kids have access to a device and the Internet, none of what we’re doing at Beaver requires any cash,” said Melissa Alkire, a history teacher and technology integration specialist at the school. “This doesn’t have to be tied to an elite education.”

Read the whole article here: article