Georgia school's biotech program sets standard for high-tech personalization
- A biotechnology career pathway program at Paulding County High School in Dallas, GA, is delivering a high-tech, personalized learning experience without necessitating a high amount of screen time, EdSurge reports.
- Former wildlife biologist and University of Wisconsin lecturer Marc Pedersen leads the award-winning, highly selective program at the magnet school along with his wife Tricia. Students are required to have high test scores and recommendations from middle school math and science teachers to get in.
- The research- and discovery-heavy program is modeled after graduate school programs, and Pedersen says the research classes can be particularly taxing as 35 students are allowed to pick projects based on their own interests — additionally requiring them to learn how to apply for research grants to finance what they need.
As the Paulding County High School biotech career path hammers home, the true benefit of technology in education is about enabling students to learn how to use it as a tool to achieve a goal — not relying on it as the be-all, end-all solution.
But it's also worth noting how much administrators must bear in mind the additional time commitments educators must make for innovative programs like this to succeed. Burnout is a legitimate concern, especially with nearly three dozen students in just one research class each doing their own unique projects. Ensuring that educators have the supports necessary to sustain that type of commitment is key to ongoing success for such a program. Putting that success in front of lawmakers, industry leaders and the local community can help secure additional funding, which in turn can help ensure those needed supports are in place.
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