Education Technology Success Story – Carpe Diem Collegiate High School

by Kelly Walsh on September 16, 2012

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This exciting institution is one of many success stories that have been enabled through expertly planned and executed uses of instructional technologies and other education innovations.

With the new school year off and running, it’s a great time to seek out and share inspiring stories about education technology successes in our schools. It’s also been a year since the New York Times kicked off a series on the value of education technology investments, and while a lot of the right questions were examined in those articles, they also had the effect of downplaying the impact and potential of instructional technology (from a very big stage). It’s more important than ever to share some of the impressive education technology success stories out there – situations in which innovative, impassioned educators have begun changing the nature of teaching, and laid a foundation upon which a more individualized and successful education paradigm is being built.

Over the next few weeks we’re going to share a few of these stories here – please comment and tell us about other efforts or achievements like this that you are aware of and help to spread the word and advocate for the potential of education technology!

Carpe Diem

We’re starting this series with a look at Carpe Diem Collegiate High School in Arizona. This public school has been highly successful at increasing student achievement with their innovative, technology-enabled blended-learning approach. They’ve recently expanded on this success by offering of a fully online experience so that students across the state can benefit from their innovations.

Carpe Diem state test score improvements graph

The statistic illustrated in the picture above speaks for itself, and the video below offers a much more complete story of Carpe Diem’s approach success. But first, here are a few more informational nuggets to whet your appetite to watch the video and learn more about this innovative scholastic endeavor:

  • To achieve this kind of success, Carpe Diem designed their school from the ground up around the student (instead of building it around the bureaucracy).
  • They embrace the fact that today’s student is ‘wired’ and this is just one of the elements they tap into to achieve their goal of creating a more positive, enriching, and empowering experience for students.
  • They have taken the flipped classroom model and evolved it – students spend part of their days on the computer working through an individualized online program, then they move to a classroom setting where they work interactively and hands-on with teachers and other students applying and reinforcing their learning.
  • Carpe Diem embraces individualized learning and incorporates many adaptive techniques to enable students to move at their own pace, and helps teachers readily identify when and where help is needed so they can deliver it at the right time.
  • “Subject mastery, not course completion, is Carpe Diem’s touchstone”.
  • Carpe Diem is accredited by North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and AdvancED.
  • Carpe Diem is now providing offerings ranging from 6th through 12th grade.

Watch the video to get a more complete picture:

Carpe Diem is an inspiration to educators and technologists alike, and I firmly believe that there is much in this model that should be embraced become a part of education should evolve. I just wonder what it’s going to take to get all the right players – the politicians, the teacher’s unions, parents, taxpayers, etc., on board. If you agree that this type of educational model is where we need to go, please share this article with some colleagues, and be sure to come back next week to read about another inspiring education technology success story!

In closing, just a reminder that if you know of some other success stories out there, even if it is just a case of what one teacher is doing, feel free to share them in a comment (and be sure to mention any measurable results if you can). Thanks!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Mark Milliron’s Sobering, Honest, and Inspiring Keynote Address at CT2012
8 Great Reasons to Flip Your Classroom (and 4 of the Wrong Reasons), from Bergmann and Sams
TechChange – Enabling Social Change With Innovate Uses of Education Technology

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer, and an adjunct faculty member, at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Class Workshop in a Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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