Technology & Learning, February 1999, p. 41

Here are proven, expert tips that have spelled success at three of the nation’s leading schools.

  1. Technology-Based School Community Programs. McNair Elementary School in Georgia has been a pioneer in developing a flagship technology program with the community. To succeed, you must:

    • Settle on a well-defined mission.

    • Forge partnerships local businesses, higher ed institutions, and government agencies in order to secure funding, training, and equipment.

    • Offer support and training for teachers.

    • Develop programs that appeal to all segments of your community, from young children to the elderly.

    • Publicize your program by calling on local news outlets, developing a web site, or holding community events.

  2. High-Tech High Schools. These lessons learned at the award-winning New Technology High School can be applied to any school:

    • Create a flexible environment of trust and respect. Students will live up to the trust offered to them.

    • Partner with high-tech corporations, who can offer everything from equipment donations and training, to job opportunities for graduates.

    • Use group learning methods, which are situations that most students will encounter in the real business world.

    • Objectively assess the effectiveness of your technology, with an emphasis on content and ideas.

  3. Make Over An Existing School Using Technology. In Worcester, Mass., school officials created from scratch the “Accelerated Learning Laboratory.” Here the key ingredients were:

    • The “accelerated learning” approach meant that every student would be considered gifted and talented, and get the due attention and resources. The curriculum is “project-based” and heavily dependent on technology.

    • Collaborate with experts. A.L.L. officials drew on the expertise of professors, psychologists, education specialists, and top schools.

    • Use community resources and build projects that utilize state and local government agencies as well as institutions of higher education.