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Two programs power a new way of learning

2013 August 15
by HISD Communications

A few weeks ago, I talked about how a change in the way our students learn is driving a shift in the way we design schools to serve them. But it’s also changing the way we deliver instruction, and the way we structure partnerships with businesses and other community members.

The hyper-connected world we live in demands graduates who are tech-savvy, yet flexible enough to adapt easily to the next big thing. To fully bridge the digital divide, students need portable personal-computing devices and any-time access to the Internet. They also need exposure to real-world careers, and the field-specific knowledge that is necessary to succeed in growing industries.

Two exciting things happened this week that will help fulfill those needs. First, teachers at 11 of our campuses began receiving laptops through the district’s PowerUp initiative, and next January, 17,000 high school students will also receive theirs. By the end of the 2014–2015 school year, all of our high school students will have one to take home, and we can’t wait to see the way this improves the high-school experience for them.

We also formally opened our new Energy Institute High School, a first-of-its-kind collaboration between HISD, Petroluem Equipment Suppliers Association, and members of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Through this partnership, students will receive rigorous, STEM-based instruction, get hands-on learning experiences, and land externships in the fields of geoscience, alternative energy, and offshore technology with industry leaders.

A new era demands a new model of delivering instruction and handling partnerships, and that’s why these two developments have me so excited. The old ways are just not going to cut it anymore, but HISD is staying on the frontier of public education by transforming the way we do business—both inside and outside the classroom.

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