What does a blended, Socratic environment mean?
In the purest way imaginable, our blended learning environment is a formal program in which our students learn at least in part (math and foreign language) through online learning with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace. Our Discovery Based learning Experiences allow us to engage students through a Socratic method that emphasizes small group, discussion-based experiences wherein skilled teachers use open-ended questioning to steer student learning. Each day, our students experience the best of blended and Socratic methodologies.
Is Discovery Prep a type of "home school?"
The short answer is, no. Our learning environment takes place on a fairly traditional campus, in classrooms and in learning spaces around campus. Our daily schedule is block scheduled with students engaged in more instructional hours for more instructional days than most of the area's public and private schools.
"Rediscovering College Preparation" What does this look like?
How is technology integrated into the students' experiences and what are the tech needs for the students?
Can you speak a bit about "Student-centered learning?
The vast majority of high school students labor their way through high school only motivated by the extrinsic motivation of college admissions. This causes students to "grade grub", build resumes, and spend countless hours in activities they think admissions officers want to see on applications. They neglect their innate gifts and talents, lose sleep and can eventually burn out. At Discovery Prep our students engage deeply in their experiences. We encourage students to discover their talents and to live passionately. In the end this pursuit lends itself to vibrant college applications. Our graduates are inspired, curious and motivated students; they are prepared for the challenges of college and life thereafter.
Educational technology sits paramount to our students' experiences. We strive to seamlessly integrate technology into all we do. Our students use technology to generate content, to connect with mentors and other learners around the world, and to pursue a depth of study untenable in disconnected school settings. Students use connected devices every day. To this end, each student needs a laptop and a tablet or handheld device (phones work great).
Michael Horn explains it like this, "Student-centered learning is essentially the combination of two related ideas: personalized learning (what some call 'individualized learning') and competency-based learning (also called 'mastery-based learning')." Our blended approach allows, or rather enables, the type of personalized and competency based learning that creates a student centered learning system.