by Matthew Riggan
American Enterprise Institute
January 16, 2014
The sense that maybe schools teach the wrong things—or teach the right things in the wrong ways—is what gave rise to the Workshop School (the Workshop), a new high school in Philadelphia. The Workshop opened in September 2013 with a class of 100 students in grades 9-12. The curriculum is organized around projects rather than subjects. This paper focuses on the role of technology at the Workshop, of which the author is a cofounder. The starting point for finding or developing effective technology is generally not hardware and software, but rather a clear understanding of school design and what kind of work (on the part of students and teachers) is supposed to be happening within that design. The noncognitive benefits of technology use may actually have the greatest impact on students. To become successful, students must learn how to harness technology’s power while minimizing its liabilities.

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