Some key practices associated with the New Tech Network (NTN) model of instruction include:
- Co-Taught, Integrated Curriculum: When appropriate, New Tech Network teachers work with their colleagues to develop integrated curriculum that blends two or more subjects together into one course (e.g. ELA 10 and World History combine into World Studies). These integrated subjects are also taught collaboratively, with two or more teachers facilitating together in the same classroom as a team. This practice has a number of positive benefits, including the active modeling of collaboration, greater differentiation options for students, and ongoing observational and thought-partner feedback for staff in real time.
- Structured Scaffolding: Much of the supporting instruction within a project is based on the premise that students should receive direct support if and when they need it. Students are provided tools to help them identify their learning needs, after which they request workshops to help them address those needs often through some direct instruction provided by a teacher.
- Embedded Assessment of All Outcomes: The instructional model for NTN schools is designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills represented in all the NTN outcomes. To fully support that development, intentional scaffolding and assessment of each outcome is embedded throughout the curriculum.
- Community Connections: New Tech Network teachers work at building connections to experts and organizations in their community that will bring greater meaning and authenticity to their PBL or PrBL curriculum. Not only does this increase student engagement, but having an external evaluator of student work can also help place the teacher into the role of guide or coach, allowing students to see them as partners who can help them address meaningful tasks.
- Problem-Based-learning is often preferentially used in courses like math and foreign language. PrBL utilizes similar inquiry practices as PBL, but on a smaller time scale which allows students to see the content in multiple contexts and with frequent opportunities to model and make sense of the content.
While PBL and PrBL allow great opportunities for differentiation, students at New Tech Network schools truly personalize their high school education through capstones, early college experiences, and professional fieldwork. As students progress through their New Tech Network career, key benchmarks or capstones often mark the way, allowing them to celebrate their growth and gather feedback about potential next steps in their academic and professional careers.