Lincoln High: What schools may look like someday

At Lincoln High School near Fayetteville, students learn not so much by listening to lectures but by working in self-directed group projects using laptops they can take home.

Could this be what schools will look like in the future? Maybe. This year, Lincoln is one of two New Tech schools – the other being Cross County High – using the New Tech model.

Begun 15 years ago in Napa Valley, New Tech schools give teachers and students more flexibility to decide how they will learn. Students are given a set of standards and then a project that they use MacBook laptops to design – in groups. They are graded not just on content mastery but also on their work ethic, communication skills and ability to collaborate with others.

Expect more Arkansas schools to adopt the New Tech model. Gov. Beebe’s STEM Works initiative encourages them to do so. Schools like Manor New Tech near Austin, Tex., have seen great success using the model. In the past month-and-a-half, at least 17 Arkansas schools have visited Manor.

Here’s more in my Sunday column.

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