9 November 2005

An Innovative School - Empire High

Students at Empire High School work in classrooms with a videoscreen instead of a blackboard, and each of the 750 students receives an Apple iBook laptop computer in place of a pile of textbooks. The teachers are using technology as context for tools, content and learning. "We want to educate students for the work world that they will soon be entering where technology is integrated into most jobs and careers."

Cindy Lee is Principal of Empire High School gave an interview on BBC World yesterday. She said their reason for developing a school like this was to face the challenge of keeping students engaged in learning. I like this mindset of teaching students how to learn rather than teaching them just about topics. I also think it will give students a chance to develop their own learning styles.

Finally, a school focused on preparing students for the future using the comtemporary tools that are shaping society today. By learning this way, students are not stuck with antiquated academic books that are their only reference to support what teachers are presenting to them. Now, they are directed to online resources that are up-to-date and reflective of contemporary contexts.

I can't wait to see how this impacts learning and knowledge absorption. I wonder if it will also cut down on kids skipping classes and leaving school before graduation. Hopefully, it will raise the current levels of academic standards in public schools.

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