Recently, the Carnegie Corporation announced a $15M grant program to seed the creation of innovative models for new high schools in the U.S. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate how their school plans to leverage Carnegie’s 10 integrated design principles for a high performing secondary school. In their report, Opportunity by Design: New High School Models for Student Success, Carnegie notes that “Instead of retooling individual elements such as teacher preparation, learning time, or technology in isolation, all the elements that we know work and some emerging tools must be integrated into comprehensive school designs that will truly meet the needs of every student.” In essence, we need a complete redesign of how schools work and what schooling means.
There is a lot to be done, but for starters, we’ve seen how integrating technology into a school’s fundamental design can create new avenues for learning and teaching. New tools for visualizing data enable teachers to explain complex material, while helping students better understand complicated math or science concepts. Technology unlocks access to ideas and resources that have value and application beyond the walls of a computer lab; the power of technology impacts classrooms long after the laptop has been powered down for the night.
Most importantly, technology fosters creative thinking by expanding the tools we have to be creative. By incorporating digital storytelling or mobile game design into the classroom, we allow students to explore and think outside the box. And, as we’ve said here before, companies want employees who can do more than specific tasks – they want people who can think creatively, who innovate and who have the right skills for tomorrow’s workplace. To better prepare our students for success, we should integrate lessons and assignments that promote creative and innovative thinking. Technology is just one tool that will help educators achieve these goals.
The opportunity to innovate is here. What do you think it will take to create the high school of tomorrow?
Today, the world needs creative thinkers to help solve the big challenges we face — in our global economy, in our environment, and in social issues. And we need people who are fluent in the latest digital tools that fuel creativity and self-expression. To inspire young women and help them develop skills they will need to become future problem solvers and innovators, Adobe Education hosted a special Tech Girls event at Presentation High School in San Jose, CA. A group of girls, ages 11 to 14, came from all over Silicon Valley to learn how to use Adobe tools including Adobe Edge Animate and Adobe Muse in a series of workshops. Mala Sharma, vice president of GTM and strategy for Creative Pro and Education at Adobe, spoke to these young women about her background and encouraged them to consider careers in technology.
The workshops were led by Adobe Education Leaders; Deila Caballero of Presentation High School, Jeff Larson of Balboa High School in San Francisco and Kevin McMahon of Bellarmine College Prep. All of the presenters were impressed by the knowledge and talent of these young women and praised Tech Girls for providing youth with such amazing opportunities:
“Workshops like this one directly impact the future of STEM fields by planting the seeds of technological inspiration in the minds of today’s young women. By encouraging each generation of girls to be fearless and confident technology users we give them a chance to explore educational opportunities which they may not otherwise have in the standard education model. The best part of this event was watching each student explore a new technology with excitement, creativity and success.” Deila Caballero, Presentation High School, San Jose, CA
“Having the chance to teach Adobe Edge to the young ladies involved in the Tech Girls workshop was a delightful reminder of the capacity of young people to rapidly learn and work with technology. The girls were quick to pick up on the general workflow and then quickly move into discovering things about the software I wasn’t even sure we’d have time to cover. I hope my daughter has a chance to participate in something like the Tech Girls program at some point, as the program is a beacon for encouraging girls pursuit of STEM related interests.” Jeff Larson, Balboa High School, San Francisco, CA
“The Tech Girls Workshop was a great experience. When teaching new apps such as Muse and Edge, students usually require some adjustment period. But these bright young girls were almost finishing my sentences by the time we were done. Moreover, their website and animation work was quite impressive. As a father of a daughter, the Tech Girls program gives me great hope for the future.” Kevin McMahon of Bellarmine College Prep, San Jose, CA
This is just one way Adobe is getting involved in helping youth explore new opportunities through technology and innovation. Share with us how your work inspires kids in new and creative ways.
Technology is changing the way we teach and the classroom is no longer defined by paper, pencils and chalkboards. Thanks to technology, traditional ways of learning are evolving toward a more creative platform. In fact, educators and students alike are redefining the way they share and gain knowledge.
Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting 125 delegates from 12 countries across Asia Pacific at the Adobe Education Leadership Forum 2013. Many education leaders and institutions such as Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School in Australia, Institute of Technical Education in Singapore, Learning Links Foundation in India and Korea Education Research Information Service, came together to share their experiences and discuss changes they see in education today.
Trevor Bailey, director of worldwide education at Adobe, addressed the importance of fostering creativity, highlighting that it should no longer be an elective in the classroom – it is the future. He also shared how technology enables teachers and students to tap into new streams of learning.
Bruce Dixon, co-founder of Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation and the founding director at ideasLAB Australia took the stage as well, stressing that educators shouldn’t underestimate the power of technology as it can help students through their learning journey. In fact, contemporary pedagogical insight comes from a better understanding of the realities of the modern learner’s world and how they gain knowledge. More specifically, today’s modern learner can be looked at in three different ways:
- The Social Learner, who moves from ‘me’ to ‘we’
- The Self-Directed Learner, who moves from dependency to autonomy
- The Inquiry-Based Learner, who moves from the known into the unknown
Today, technology caters to the different learning styles, providing educators with a great opportunity to not only embrace the new tools but to continue the evolution of the way we teach and learn. By incorporating technology and creativity into the classroom we are teaching our modern learners in a language that is native to them. This is what they are used to and the best way to prepare them for future success!
Check out more photos from Adobe Education Leadership Forum 2013 here: