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Twitter Chat: Public Schools, Private Schools, and Ed Tech

What can public schools learn from elite private schools—and vice versa—when it comes to using technology in the classroom?

Three leading educators will dive into that question during an Education Week Twitter chat being held Tuesday, April 7, from 8 to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Use the hashtag #EWedchat to follow along and participate.

The chat will feature Peter Hutton, head of the prestigious Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The $43,360-per-year school—which features its own "innovator in residence," coding instruction in every classroom, and a unique partnership with an Ivy League-affiliated "maker space" unlike any other—was featured in a recent Education Week multimedia profile.

Also taking part will be Christopher Lehmann, the decorated head of Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy high school and the founder of the popular Educon conference.  SLA espouses a similar philosophy to Beaver—hands-on, project-based learning driven by students' own questions and aided by technology—but does so on about one-fourth the per-pupil budget. Lehmann's efforts to replicate the SLA approach were the subject of Education Week's 2013 "Innovation Gamble" series.

And rounding out the discussion will be Kecia Ray, the executive director of learning technology for the 81,000-student Metro Nashville schools system in Tennesee and the board chair for the International Society for Technology in Education. In Nashville, Ray has been involved in efforts to bring public and private schools together to learn from each other. She says it's important that the learning between sectors go both ways.

"A best practice is a best practice, independent of where that practice lives," Ray told Education Week last month in our big-picture overview of how elite private schools are using ed tech.

So how can schools, regardless of type, build a culture of experimentation with technology? How much do limited resources and standardized test-based accountability regimes constrain what public schools can do? What can elite private schools learn from their public-sector counterparts about taking efforts to scale?

Join us on Twitter Tuesday, April 7 from 8 to 9 p.m. Eastern Time to weigh in using the hashtag #EWedchat.  See you there!

Photo: Students work on a project at Nuvu, a Cambridge, Mass.-based design and fabrication studio affiliated with the Beaver Country Day School. 

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