At Quest, we pride ourselves in being an environment where technology doesn't come first, but where learning and experiences do. When it comes to learning experiences, that's where things get interesting. At Quest, we were one of the pioneering schools to build a "maker" lab, which we commonly call the Innovation Lab (or iLab). Our innovation lab is rich with opportunity. With the ability to 3D print, sew, laser cut, drill, solder, Dremel, saw- and so much more, we are able to create learning experiences around Design Thinking that very few schools can offer. We are also able to create opportunities for creativity in science, social studies, math, art, and other curriculum where none existed before.
A 1:1 Learning Environment
Quest is also a Chromebook school. A few years ago, we saw the opportunity to provide students with a 1:1 solution, meaning one computer for every child. Our cloud computing needs were growing, and teacher/student productivity needs were growing. While there is much debate over what are the best devices in these cases (and they continue to get better every year), Chromebooks offer the Google Apps for Education environment, which we find to be a vast, growing platform for tools, productivity, and creativity. Google Apps for Education continues to be the leader in education apps, and the cloud connectivity of their tools, allows for work to be done in any location, online or offline, creating a true mobile learning environment.
A Mobile Learning Experience
With that 1:1 environment, this provided us the ability to take many of our classrooms in the digital realm, teachers set up their classes using Learning Management Systems (LMS), using tools like Haiku and Google Classroom. Instead of emailed newsletters, we began teachers blogs (http://questacademy.edublogs.org), which allow for parent and community interaction. Teachers began "flipping" their classrooms. Every aspect of Quest has grown, with our commitment to offering a rich, digital and creative maker environment that you can't get anywhere else.
A Technology Experience Like Nothing Else
Integration of technology into the classroom has been a big push for Quest of recent, and with the acquisition of the iLab, we've also begun pushing technology into the classroom though a staff Technology Integration Specialist. With each student having ubiquitous access to devices- the need to "do technology" has waned. We are always using technology in one way or another, whether it's through our Chromebooks, iPad cart, the Innovation Lab, or through teacher led lessons with interactive white boards. Technology has become the standard-bearer for Quest students. We are well aware that the jobs that students will be applying for after college- may very well not exist today. We are preparing them for that future.