Ok, maybe yes, but how about if this was scheduled first thing Monday morning following a long Thanksgiving Break? Well, as they say, that’s how they roll at High Tech High.
Last week I had a fun opportunity to visit High Tech High School in San Diego, CA. This unique public charter high school draws students from a diverse set of backgrounds who are seeking a learning environment that emphasize real-world, project-based activities infused with a range of technologies to support the learning. Edutopia.org has done a nice job documenting the High Tech High experience in a couple pieces including this article on Hands-on Learning at High Tech High and this video.
What struck me the most when visiting was the self-starter driven nature of the learning environment. These are certainly not stand-and-deliver classroom environments, however beyond that, the kids were self-motivated, guiding their own activity and learning and doing so in positive ways. Moreover, this was Monday morning following a long holiday break and they seemed to not miss a beat (TV cameras notwithstanding)! Impressive.
The reason for my west coast journey south to visit the school was to meet with two superstar educators at High Tech High Margaret Noble and David Stahnke. It was an exciting day as the two were interviewed live from their classrooms by their local TV station for the Good Morning San Diego show that broadcasts daily.
The reason for this exciting classroom activity was that Margaret and David were selected as global winners at the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum in Washington, DC last month. Winning the category of “Knowledge Building and Critical Thinking” their unique integration of Media Arts and Mathematics earned them a well-deserved 1st place award competing against 115 educators from 60 countries.
Kudos to reporter Brad Perry who jumped into the assignment with zeal engaging with the students, teachers and the principal along the way and making this a lead story for their show. It is not everyday teachers are acknowledged for the positive and innovative contributions they make and to do so in such a public forum should not be the exception.
If you’d like to see the TV coverage here are two links:
Truly an exciting day and the recognition Margaret and David are getting in the local community is well-deserved, cheers to them. And if you want to get the dirt on them, which actually isn’t that dirty at all, checkout their profiles in our new Educator Spotlight feature on Facebook.