President Obama praises technological high school

Posted on Friday, 5/10/2013 4:58 pm

When parents and educators think about the school of the future, they may picture one that offers virtual classroom experiences, or provides software for students along with textbooks and the usual academic materials. However, if these individuals ask President Barack Obama to describe the institution of the future, he may just talk about Manor New Technology High School in Texas. That is because the commander-in-chief recently made a visit to the school, which has garnered a lot of attention for its unique approach to instruction.

"There's a reason why teachers and principals from all over the country are coming down to see what you're up to," Obama said in a May 9, 2013 speech. "Because every day, this school is proving that every child has the potential to learn the real-world skills they need to succeed in college and beyond."

As far as schools go, Manor New Technology is still relatively new, having opened its doors in 2007. According to the high school's website, this institution's focus is on a project-based learning model that is very different from what is typically found in other educational settings. Manor New Technology students drive their learning, despite how different their various academic abilities happen to be.

"At Manor, a history teacher might get together with a math teacher and develop a project about the impact of castles on world history and the engineering behind building castles," Obama said. "Or a group of students might be in charge of putting together a multimedia presentation about the moral dilemmas in literature as applied to World War II. Internships help students get even more hands-on experience. And while most high school students in America give a handful of speeches by the time they graduate, a student at this school might give as many as 200."

As is to be expected with a name like Manor New Technology High School, modern technology plays an important role in pupils' learning experience.

The institution's unique approach to instruction means that those who are enrolled at Manor New Technology are not typical high school students. Instead of textbooks, students carry laptops and tablet computers to class, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

While educators do not need to completely emulate the work being done at Manor New Technology, they may want to research the school and how its approach to instruction benefits students. What teachers learn could help them with their own efforts to bring the instruction they deliver into the 21st century.


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