The WHS Innovation Lab represents a partnership between the UNH Department of Education and Winnacunnet High School. This partnership seeks to increase the quality of teaching and learning at WHS, specifically around the use of 21st century classroom technologies.
As an expectation of the partnership, SAU 21 staff members will have access to in-house graduate level UNH technology integration classes. Participating teachers will be able to share their knowledge and expertise with the local school and community, both incentivizing and broadening the professional expertise in the district. Additionally, this partnership calls for a full-time technology integrator who will work with teachers to enhance their approaches, curriculum and use of technological tools.
The partnership will also allow The University of New Hampshire to deepen its connection to K-12 instruction, specifically around best practices associated with technology integration in public schools. Not only is the Innovation Lab a place for new ideas and approaches, it is also a place where these ideas can be tested against the very real challenges of the public school environment.
In order to overcome some of these challenges, WHS will use the Innovation Lab model to pursue non-local sources of funding (state and federal grants) in an effort to broaden the scope and access to technology throughout SAU 21 at minimal cost. WHS will also actively seek to develop partnerships with local libraries, museums and businesses in order to purposefully add value to the local and surrounding communities. Lastly, the Innovation Lab will act as a magnet to deepen connections with other K-12 institutions across the state that wrestle with similar challenges around planning, training, purchasing and implementing comprehensive district-wide technology plans.
This model of professional development is unique in its scope and depth. The strategy is to develop both academic foundations and professional expectations for 21st century teaching and learning while also leveraging the relationships, tools and technology available in the seacoast region. The goal is simple: to add value to the WHS school, the seacoast communities which it serves, and the state of New Hampshire.
We look forward to a challenging and productive partnership.