- Arizona schools are using innovative approaches to technology and partnerships to ensure students are prepared for life after high school.
- Some schools, like Taft Elementary School in Mesa, are using connected projectors to boost collaboration with interactive learning opportunities like quiz games or virtual field trips, Ed Tech: Focus on K-12 reports, while Phoenix's Xavier College Preparatory is using 3D printing to introduce students to engineering design — with plans for lessons in medical prototype creation in the works.
- Schools in the state have also found the proximity of Arizona State University, often lauded for its innovation in the higher ed space, to be beneficial, with one partnership giving K-12 students the opportunity to work with the university, Google, and community leaders from Gilbert to design and code apps for the city.
While much of the attention to education innovation in Arizona tends to be directed toward higher ed at ASU, the state's K-12 classrooms are experimenting with plenty of creative approaches to learning, as well. And the bulk are focused on imparting skills and experiences that students can tout post-graduation when moving on to college, technical education, or into the workforce.
For example, using connected projectors in a way that promotes collaboration among everyone in the classroom ultimately works toward building in-demand soft skills, while 3D printing projects that challenge students to prototype and build medical prosthetics offer real-world STEM experience. Those projects also offer an opportunity to make the connection to how the arts can play a role in technical fields.
That schools in the area are also looking to their communities and local higher ed institutions for partnerships that improve learning is also key. Beyond adding additional layers to the classroom experience, these sorts of partnerships can also be used in low-income schools to get students on track and equipped with the skills to enter college or a technical program after high school and succeed, further improving their lives in the long run.