Quest to learn: the digital school

After watching the PBS documentary (PBS documentary: DIGITAL MEDIA – NEW LEARNERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY) about how different schools are adapting their teaching practices to the globalized technology savvy learners of this century – and considering that I am the father of a very curious five years old boy – I feel fascinated on how different teachers are disrupting the traditional classroom and adapting their practice to appeal to the newer generations.

I was particularly interested on the Quest to learn middle and high school in New York City (Quest to learn middle school), I think not only is very impressive the things they do regarding instructional design, learning environments, and curriculum development, but also how those kids are able to recognize the process they are going through. They were using fancy words like: system-based learning, hands-on projects, trial and error, learning through games. For me, that was the most impacting thing. Those kids are self-reporting that they are going under a process of learning that is different, effective, and fun. I believe that just for the fact that they are recognizing and giving such important to the process, they are becoming life-long learners. They will be able to learn from every situation because they were able to make the connection that learning can be also fun, and I think that is magical.

As someone on the video mentioned: “To be a lifelong learner is more important to understand the process of learning than to learn content”

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5 Responses to Quest to learn: the digital school

  1. Miko says:

    Hello Homero,

    I agree with you. These interviews really reflect a change of perspective regarding education in these children. Sometimes we only rely on formal/summative assessments to determine if a change has taken place, but these projects show us in many other different ways that children are changing for good their points of view and practices in education.


  2. yosoymarian says:

    I agree. Watching this segment of the video resurrected my views on teaching. Though I don’t have kids, I can see how this can translate to engineering principles. Why can’t we use digital tools and gaming to teach undergrads fluids, dynamics, etc and still comply with ABET.

  3. Homero says:


    I was also thinking about engineering. There is a constant concern about how to attract more K-12 students to the engineering field, I believe this can be an excellent opportunity to foment their intellectual curiosity. However, one of my concerns is how these students will feel when go to college and their first class is a lecture with other 300 students and a professor delivering information?

  4. Claudio says:

    Homero, I share your perplexities about the “culture” shock of going to college and suddenly being faced with a more traditional lecture style. Part of me wants to say “they’ll get used to it,” since college brings many other shocks too and it’s just part of the picture. At the same time, having been reared in a more contemporary way might allow them to get more out of even very traditional lectures, kinda like students who don’t “study to the test” end up doing better on standardized tests than students who do. I hope that makes sense!

  5. Homero says:


    Totally makes sense. I think you are right, these kids hopefully are changing their worldview and will be able to adapt to every learning environment and make the best out of it. Great point!

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