Saturday, September 09, 2006

Microsoft High School Opens

Three years ago, the city of Philadelphia came to Microsoft and asked them to design a school. What they got was a “school of the future"

The $63 million dollar facility will eventually enroll up to 750 students. A class of 170 low-income students currently fills up the freshman ranks.

Here is some interesting information about how the school functions:

  • Classes start at 9:15 a.m. and end at 4:19 p.m., simulating the typical work day.
  • Students use smart cards to register attendance, open their digital lockers and track calories they consume.
  • Students carry laptops, not books.
  • Teachers use “smart boards” that allow the user to zoom in or out, write, and link directly to the internet.
  • The library has been replaced by an interactive learning center that contains only digital information.
  • The cafeteria has been replaced with a food court complete with restaurant style seating.
  • The school will use an “education competency wheel,” based on the desirable traits Microsoft encourages among its employees.
  • Students have scheduled appointments with teachers instead of structured classes.
  • Students laptops feature software that determines whether they are picking up the material or whether they need remedial help.
  • Lessons focus heavily on current events to teach important subjects.
  • And last but not least - students must apply to college to receive a diploma.


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