This November is a special month for Renton Prep Christian School. It will mark the one year anniversary of being a Microsoft Showcase School. Renton Prep constantly keeps getting positive and blessed outcomes since receiving such a tremendous award. We owe it all to Jesus, He keeps providing everything we need to be able to walk this faithful path. Renton Prep would not be where it is today or continue to evolve without the faithful and dedication of heart from our faculty, students, and parents.
Becoming a Microsoft Showcase School has created tangible changes in the school’s culture. Allow me to share with you a few thoughts on the way this has transformed us and others around the world. By breaking free from the norms of the past and embracing technology and the wisdom of the ages, we have found ourselves on the front lines of education. This was not apart of the plan. Our priorities center on the needs of our students and their God-given potential. By honoring Him in everything we do and by tapping into the best science in technology, we are experiencing the best results. The fruit of this approach is beginning to come forth!
Within one year we’ve had visitors from Brazil, Pakistan, China, Serbia, Australia, and Scotland inquire about our methodology. Many people from universities, authors, school districts, and developers have been coming to us. It’s amazing, and it has given our students the chance to share their heart-felt stories without traveling the globe.
An interesting trend we see is that children have been much more receptive and open to talking with adults, formulating what they want to say, and seeing the value in speaking about learning and technology. Renton Prep Christian School is paving the path and setting those trends for the future in education believing this will set up our students for success, therefore encouraging our students to keep moving forward. This helps them gain confidence in all areas of their journey. Their confidence and speaking have greatly improved. This means they are becoming articulate and focused. What a thrill it is to watch as our students speak with confidence to adults who are willing to listen to them
One of the gems Mr. Mitra shares in the short video is called the “Grandmother Effect,” the video is summed up with one word: ENCOURAGEMENT. His research has proven that encouragement is the best approach to education. Mr. Mitra points out even with feeling left out of the loop in the past, young people when encouraged are wanting to spread the kindness and help with accomplishing tasks. As a result when a young person’s voice is heard a new threshold opens for them. Each child taking a joyful step into the excitement of learning. Gaining the confidence to help contribute to product development and helping people find success. This sort of phenomenon goes far beyond our school.
University professors are drawing near us inquiring about our approach. They, in turn, have changed the way they teach college age students and adults. Tools like Docs.com have given our students practice creating digital portfolios and resumes. This is a positive social media presence that they will be able to use for interviews, internships, and college applications. Renton Prep students have learned that their voice matters, and people outside of school value what they are doing. It gives them a greater sense of pride in what they have accomplished.
Renton Prep Christian School is honored to be recognized as a Microsoft Showcase School. We believe the real honor and recognition goes to those who put their trust in Renton Prep. Allowing our students to experience a range of learning, real-world experiences, and conversations that we would not have had access to otherwise. Our students have seen how inviting Microsoft teams into our school has given them the ability to help shape, form, and direct new products that they have been able to use. At Renton Prep Christian School it is more than just about technology. It is about building human connection while maintaining those human relationships, giving us the ability to push ideas further to make a positive global impact. We have unleashed the power of today’s youth and want to humbly share it with the world.
(Please read my article “The School in the Cloud” and view the short video by Sugata Mitra. If you love kids and are passionate about their intellectual development, it will stir your heart.)