New Tech Network Awarded “Next Generation Learning Challenges” Grant

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Planning grant to support integration of Project-Based Learning, online and personalized instruction

“This grant will further our development efforts to provide ground-breaking digital and blending learning offerings for teachers and students," said President Lydia Dobyns.

New Tech Network (NTN) was recently awarded a $100,000 planning grant from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) to integrate the principles of a blended learning model into its successful Project-Based Learning (PBL) instructional design. A blended learning model incorporates both online as well as classroom instruction with an emphasis on personalized learning.

Next Generation Learning Challenges funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, accelerates educational innovation through applied technology to dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the United States. New Tech Network was specifically chosen for the grant because of its success transforming education in more than 130 public school districts and charter schools across the country.

A total of 30 NGLC planning grants were recently awarded. According to the NGLC, grant recipients, who represent school districts, charter schools and charter management organizations, reform organizations, and state agencies, are developing what the organization calls “‘breakthrough’ model schools that integrate personalized, blended, competency-based approaches in creative, promising ways.”

“We are pleased that NGLC has recognized New Tech Network for its innovative work in creating powerful school cultures, engaging and relevant Project-Based Learning experiences, and the pervasive use of technology in and outside the classroom,” said Lydia Dobyns, President of New Tech Network. “This grant will further our development efforts to provide ground-breaking digital and blending learning offerings for teachers and students.”

In addition to providing funding, NGLC provides an opportunity for grantees and other adopters to learn from the successes of peer organizations working to solve the same barriers to student success. To kick off its recent grants, NGLC brought all 30 planning grantees to San Francisco for a three-day School Design Workshop in July, in conjunction with Indianapolis-based CEE Trust.

NTN is partnering with S.A.I.L. (Superior Adventures In Learning) Academy in Florida —
which is scheduled to open a new blended learning New Tech school in 2014. NTN and S.A.I.L saw the opportunity to bring competency-based personalized learning, into a new school design that will build on the hallmarks of successful New Tech schools. S.A.I.L Academy’s mission is to create a positive and challenging environment blending both traditional academic instruction and the arts to develop students' artistic and professional aspirations.

New Tech Network has received other recent noteworthy recognition. Earlier this year, President Obama visited a NTN school for the launch of his “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunities Tour.” The President visited Manor New Technology High School near Austin, Texas, to highlight the school’s transformative approach to education and focus on the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

New Tech Network, a non-profit organization, in partnership with public school districts and charter organizations, will support 30 new elementary, middle and high schools joining the Network in 2013, expanding to more than 130 schools in the U.S. and Australia. The most recent data from New Tech high schools shows that that New Tech students graduate at a rate 6 percent greater than the national average, enroll in college at a rate 9 percent greater than the national average, persist in 4-year colleges at a rate 17 percent greater than the national average and stay at 2-year colleges at a rate 46 percent greater than the national average. (Additional NTN outcomes for 2011-12 can be found here.)

About the New Tech Network
The New Tech design is a blueprint, accompanied by a set of core beliefs, tools, and strategies to help each school fulfill its purpose. New Tech design principles provide for an instructional approach centered on project-based learning, a culture that empowers students and teachers, and integrated use of technology in the classroom. Through extensive professional development, personalized coaching and access to Echo -- a learning management system, NTN empowers principals, teachers, and students to develop compelling, relevant and meaningful K-12 learning communities.

NTN is a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, which seeks to transform U.S. public education from a world of schooling to a world of learning.

Media Contacts:
Krista Clark
Twitter: @NewTechNetwork

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