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Research on Implementing the New Tech Network (NTN) Model in Three South Carolina Districts (2017- present)

Background

As a school reform organization, the New Tech Network (NTN) works with 173 K-12 public schools around the country that are implementing a model that emphasizes personalized and project based learning. Member schools are provided with a set of core services that lead them through the planning and deployment of practices that engage, empower, and enable students to learn effectively. The New Tech Network guides schools to structure their program around a set of four “pillars” that are key to the attainment of five student learning outcomes. The four pillars are: culture, teaching, outcomes (with rubrics), and technology. The learning outcomes are: agency, collaboration, written communication, oral communication, and knowledge and thinking.

 

About the Project

The National Center for Restructuring Education Schools and Teaching (NCREST) at Teachers College Columbia University is collaborating with the New Tech Network to carry out research on New Tech’s support of the implementation of their model in three districts in South Carolina.

Their three-district cohort model encourages peer learning among the districts and their member schools as they adopt NTN practices over a multi-year period. The New Tech Network is interested in monitoring progress for the purpose of informing implementation strategies used in the three school districts, measuring annual progress towards goals during the three project years, and providing options that would allow for the creation of a framework and infrastructure for analyzing longer term impacts of a three-district cohort approach that can inform evaluation designs in other similar districts in South Carolina and across the US.

 

NCREST is employing a mixed methods approach to the research over a three year period (July 2017- June 2020). The research design has been developed in close consultation with NTN leadership to clarify the critical questions of interest. NCREST is carrying out the following research activities:

  • Interviewing New Tech project staff leaders, coaches, and district leaders
  • Conducing site visits to schools within the three district cohort, to conduct interviews, focus groups, and observations.
  • Administration of surveys to school teachers and staff, school administrators, district leaders, and students about New Tech practices, events, school culture, and utilization of the NTN ECHO system resources
  • Observations during key events such as summer professional development sessions and coaching sessions
  • Looking into student outcome data such as: on-time completion rates, results on the South Carolina end-of course assessments for the year, and school National Student Clearinghouse reports on progression into college of graduating classes

 

For more information, contact Elisabeth Barnett at Barnett@tc.columbia.edu or Jacqueline Ancess at ja127@tc.columbia.edu

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