Close this search box.

Our Network

Resources and Tools

Frequently Asked Questions

NTN is a nonprofit education organization that works closely with leadership teams and classroom educators to make change scalable and sustainable. With more than 25 years of supporting schools and districts in change-making, NTN has the ability to recognize common patterns across systems and what is unique about each school and district community. 

Let’s take a moment to answer “What is Project-Based Learning?” Project-based learning (PBL) is an inquiry-based and learner-centered instructional approach that immerses students in real-world projects that foster deep learning and critical thinking skills. Project-based learning can be implemented in a classroom as single or multiple units or it can be implemented across various subject areas and school-wide. Click the link to the  Comprehensive Guide to Project-Based Learning for more information.

Like project-based learning (PBL), problem-based learning (PrBL) engages students in complex tasks, employs student-centered instruction and small group work, and positions the teacher as a facilitator of learning. In addition, PrBL accurately reflects the types of explorations, discussions, questions, and interactions that are authentic to mathematics as a discipline. Click here to learn more about the difference between PBL and PrBL

  • PBL Research – Read through a database of evidence and research not conducted by NTN focused on project-based learning and its effects on teachers and students.
  • 2023 Impact ReportNew Tech Network is proud to present the 2023 Impact Report. This endeavor highlights new and updated research, and provides evidence about the NTN Model, project-based learning, and the work taking place across our network.
  • By integrating project-based learning into the classroom, educators can unlock a multitude of benefits for students. The evidence supports the positive impact of PBL on students, teachers, and school communities. Find out more about How Project-Based Learning is Effective in Education.

NTN provides support and collaboration for teachers as they engage learners, create relevant, meaningful PBL content, and support the social and emotional needs of each student.  As with all adult learning, teachers are ultimately in control of implementing what they learn. NTN provides professional development aimed at creating equitable learning environments through PBL and learner-centered practices. NTN School Development coaches work with PLCs or grade-level teams to support PBL design and implementation, provide email support on a particular classroom practice or project idea feedback and teachers can browse the NTN Help Center for PBL resources and tools for immediate use in their classrooms. We know teachers have deep knowledge about their content areas, their students, and their practice. A large part of our support is helping teachers leverage their assets while cultivating equitable learning environments in their school. 

NTN has no set curriculum for teachers to follow. We encourage teachers to continue implementing content that their state standards have outlined for them.  We do have NTN Curriculum Frameworks that are used to support learning about PBL design in various content areas, including some elective courses. The projects embedded in the NTN Curriculum Frameworks are intended to be models, but only models to get you started. You may choose to review them to understand what PBL looks like in the planning phase OR you may choose to use the projects in your classroom. As with any instructional materials, you will need to adjust based on the needs of your students, your context, etc. The Project Snapshots in the Curriculum Frameworks were created to use as a curriculum map for a given grade level.  Project snapshots are built out to varying degrees and some have completed Project Planning Toolkits linked within them  

In addition to the Curriculum Frameworks, the NTN Practices Cards are a compilation of key cultural, instructional, and assessment practices aimed at cultivating equitable learning environments. These equity-centered practices, curated in card sets, provide strategies to design and implement learning that supports the NTN Focus Areas of Supportive and Inclusive Culture, Meaningful and Equitable Instruction, and Purposeful Assessment.

We often get asked how many projects teachers should aim for in a year. On average, elementary PBL teachers complete 4-6 projects a year and secondary PBL teachers complete 6-8 projects. Math teachers typically complete 6-8 PrBL units, each including multiple problems. However, you will need to adjust this based on your level of experience, local needs, the typical length of your projects, etc.

New Tech Network’s decades of experience guiding schools through comprehensive transformation is guided by these four Focus Areas. NTN developed the focus areas to align the work of whole school transformation and to help school communities understand the overarching goals that impact the work through all phases of our school development process.

COLLEGE & CAREER READY OUTCOMES: Prepare each student for postsecondary success with the knowledge, skills, and mindsets to be ready for college and career: Collaboration, Knowledge and Thinking, Written Communication, Oral Communication, and Agency.

SUPPORTIVE & INCLUSIVE CULTURE: Foster a school-wide culture of belonging, care, community, and growth for adults and students. This type of culture helps ensure that students and teachers alike have ownership over the learning experience and school environment.

MEANINGFUL & EQUITABLE INSTRUCTION: Center the instructional approach on authentic, complex thinking, and problem-solving. Based on our experience, high-quality, relevant project-based learning (PBL) is the best way for students to experience deep, contextual, and shared learning and acquire and demonstrate proficiency in college and career ready outcomes.

PURPOSEFUL ASSESSMENT: Cultivate shared, school-wide understandings of equitable, purposeful assessment and grading practices that inform teacher instruction, emphasize individual student growth, and demonstrate progress towards college and career readiness. These include performance assessments for students to demonstrate their learning in age-appropriate ways.

The New Tech Network Learning Outcomes are five research-based outcomes designed to allow teachers to support and assess students based on a holistic picture of their skills while meeting state academic requirements. We believe that schools should prepare each student for post-secondary success with the knowledge skills and mindsets to be ready for college and career. These foundational skills for future success are codified in five learning outcomes:

Knowledge and Thinking is the ability to reason, problem-solve, develop sound arguments or decisions, and create new ideas by using appropriate sources and applying the knowledge and skills of a discipline.

Collaboration involves a group and an individual’s ability to contribute to group tasks.

Agency is a combination of academic mindsets and the ability to take ownership over one’s learning.

Oral Communication involves the ability to communicate knowledge and thinking orally.

Written Communication is the ability to effectively communicate knowledge and thinking through writing by organizing and structuring ideas and using discipline appropriate language and convention.

Sign Up for the NTN Newsletter