New Tech Network to Open Dozens More Schools Nationwide

Student-Generated Viral Video Contest Judged by All-Star Panel Including “Lord of the Rings” Star Sean Astin, Former AOL CEO Barry Schuler, & Others

NAPA, Calif.--()--New Tech Network today announced it will be opening over three dozen new schools in 2012, expanding to more than 115 schools in 18 states that will use New Tech’s innovative, project-based learning methods. The schools include additional NYC Department of Education’s “iZone” schools, New Tech’s first-ever middle schools, and New Tech’s first international school in Australia.

New Tech Network works with local school districts, principals, teachers, and communities to implement its transformative approach to learning in schools across the country. Teachers at New Tech schools design rigorous, real-world projects tied to state standards that are deeply integrated with technology to create a learning environment that is relevant and engaging for students. The annual graduation rate for New Tech Network schools in 2010-11 was 97 percent and the four-year cohort rate was 86 percent. In addition, the New Tech Network student acceptance rate to two- and four-year colleges was 98 percent. (Additional New Tech Network outcomes from the 2010-11 academic year can be found here.)

“With this record-setting number of new schools joining the Network, we will be preparing more than 40,000 students for success after high school,” said Lydia Dobyns, President of New Tech. “We are grateful to district and state leaders in 18 states who have selected New Tech Network as their partner to re-imagine teaching and learning. The diversity of schools in our Network proves that relevant and rigorous education is within reach for communities everywhere, including public, charter, and parochial schools.”

“Evergreen School District is very excited to partner with New Tech Network to bring an exciting and proven new model of learning to our students,” said Kathy Gomez, Evergreen School District Superintendent. “Bulldog Tech will open in the fall of 2012 with 150 seventh grade students and a wait list of nearly 50. The response of our community to technology embedded, project based learning has been outstanding. We are very proud to be the first NTN school in Silicon Valley!”

Student Video Contest Answers: What’s So Special About New Tech?

New Tech’s ability to engage students and teachers in classrooms nationwide has been evidenced by the success of its recent student-generated viral video contest. Launched this spring across all of New Tech’s 85 current high schools, the contest helped elevate students’ voices, promoted multimedia skills, and raised awareness and understanding of New Tech’s approach to cultivating a love of learning while helping students prepare for jobs and active citizenship in today’s world.

The video project – which aimed to provide both a window for local communities to better understand what’s happening in New Tech schools and inspiration to those considering ways to transform high school education – generated 10,194 YouTube views nationwide. Student groups with a maximum of four members from across the Network submitted two-minute videos that answered the questions, “What skills will you graduate with that will make you successful in life and the careers of tomorrow?” and “What is so special about New Tech?”

An all-star panel of judges from the worlds of education, entertainment, and media evaluated the submissions:

  • Sean Astin(@SeanAstin): Popular film actor (The Lord of the Rings, The Goonies, Rudy)
  • Brad Wyman(@bradwyman): Hollywood movie producer (Monster, Freeway, LOOK )
  • Austin Haeberle(@cinemaus): Peabody Award-winning television producer (We Don’t Want No War)
  • Barry Schuler(@BSchuler): Managing Director of DFJ Growth Fund, Chairman of Radiance, Former AOL Chief Executive Officer, Board Director at KnowledgeWorks
  • Lydia Dobyns(@LydiaDobyns): New Tech Network President
  • Chad Wick(@knowledgeworks.org): KnowledgeWorks Founder and Director
  • Brian Ross(@WorldofLearning): KnowledgeWorks CEO
  • David Reis(@DavidReis): President and CEO, DEI Worldwide

The volume and quality of student submissions is a testament to the success of New Tech Network.

“In judging the contest entries I placed emphasis on the few who really used the learners, speaking in their own words (or scripted) about why they believe in their school. Obviously, some got a boost from technical expertise, which was fun to see, but music, content and ‘watchability’ were important factors,” said Mr Astin.

“The hard work, dedication and pure creativity as demonstrated by these students is just amazing,” says Mr. Reis. “As somebody who works with some of the most talented folks in movies, TV, advertising, and the internet, I was truly dazzled. It’s clear that NTN is more than just a good school; it truly fosters teamwork, creativity, passion and good old fashioned hard work. Nicely done. I’m proud to be part of such a great group of students and faculty who are truly changing the world, one mind at a time.”

The “Grand Prize Winner,” based on votes from the all-star judge panel and themed around the education revolution, can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/Jek9KF. Members of the winning team included the following New Tech students from Scottsburg New Tech High School in Scottsburg, Indiana:

  • Savannah Barber, Sophomore
  • Skylar Burke, Sophomore
  • Amanda Amick, Sophomore

This group won a trip to New Tech Network’s summer national conference, which will take place in Michigan on July 18th. There, the group will present its award-winning video to over 1,200 New Tech Network teachers, administrators, superintendents, students, and alumni.

The “People’s Choice Winner,” based on total number of YouTube views and themed around the education revolution, can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/JAP1FU. Members of the winning team included the following New Tech students from Belleville New Tech High School in Belleville, MI.

  • Keaton Feil, Freshman
  • Chase Duncan, Freshman
  • Logan Toth, Freshman
  • Elijahwan Wilson, Freshman

In addition, students from five teams of finalists earned the thrill of seeing their creative work showcased over New Tech Network’s website and YouTube channel.

First introduced in Napa, California in 1996, the New Tech model has proven successful across diverse student populations in urban, rural, and suburban public high schools. While 60 percent of these schools are in their first or second year with the New Tech model, preliminary graduation data is impressive. In the 2010-11 school year, annual graduation rates for reporting New Tech schools was 97 percent. New Tech students tracked from freshmen through senior year graduated at a rate of 86 percent, far above the national average of 69 percent, as reported by the recent study, “Diplomas Count 2010.”

New Tech is emerging as one of the fastest-growing approaches to transforming high school education in the U.S. For a full list of New Tech schools, visit our website at: http://www.newtechnetwork.org/newtech_schools

To see New Tech’s highly successful approach in action, please visit: http://www.newtechnetwork.org/inside_newtech

About the New Tech Network

New Tech Network (NTN) is a non-profit school development organization that partners with districts and organizations to implement innovative schools. With 115 schools in 18 states, New Tech schools are characterized by a student-centered school culture that empowers students and teachers, an engaging project-based curriculum, and the integrated use of technology to facilitate relevant, teaching and learning. New Tech Network provides customized strategic consulting, teacher and administrative training and coaching and access to the Echo Learning Management System for students and teachers. New Tech Network provides a wide range of professional services to help rural, urban and suburban communities build thriving New Tech schools that achieve meaningful student outcomes. New Tech Network is a subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, which seeks to transform U.S. public education from a world of schooling to a world of learning.

About KnowledgeWorks

KnowledgeWorks is bringing the future of learning to America’s high schools and creating widespread, lasting change in the communities and states we serve. Our portfolio of high school approaches includes New Tech Network high schools, EdWorks high school redesign, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Early College High Schools.

Contacts

Media:
RLM Finsbury
Daniel Delson, 646-805-2036
DD@rlmfinsbury.com
or
RLM Finsbury
Ashley Carlton, 646-805-2087
Ashley.Carlton@rlmfinsbury.com
Twitter: @NewTechNetwork
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NewTechNetwork

Release Summary

New Tech Network today announced it will be opening over three dozen new schools in 2012 and the recent success of its student-generated viral video contest.

Contacts

Media:
RLM Finsbury
Daniel Delson, 646-805-2036
DD@rlmfinsbury.com
or
RLM Finsbury
Ashley Carlton, 646-805-2087
Ashley.Carlton@rlmfinsbury.com
Twitter: @NewTechNetwork
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NewTechNetwork