In many traditional classrooms, the teacher is the leader standing at the front of the room conducting content-based lectures and assigning textbook reading. Students sit in rows answering questions when called upon. This method often leaves both the teacher and the students disengaged from the learning process. In New Tech classrooms, rather than imparting information, teachers help students engage in a discovery process for new knowledge. New Tech teachers spend more time sitting next to student teams asking questions to guide learning rather than lecturing at the front of the classroom. Using the team teaching approach, teachers work together to integrate course content to design projects that incorporate multiple areas of learning along with 21st-century skills. The teachers design real-world projects and require students to present their work to external audiences that provide unique insight and feedback. Using rubrics and peer evaluations, teachers assess students on what they learned and how they performed on the project.
New Tech teachers receive in-depth training to transition to the project-based learning environment. Teachers participate in national conferences and local trainings. They also receive on-site coaching throughout the school year to improve teaching practices. Through the Echo Collaborative Learning Environment, teachers tap into existing projects and communicate with teachers across the country to ask questions and receive feedback.