My Tech High’s mission is to “provide a personalized education program focused on tech and entrepreneurship to help students become self-directed learners who are creative, curious and motivated to solve our world’s problems.”

Experience Overview

My Tech High (MTH) is a personalized virtual program, administered by K-12 public schools in Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Tennessee, Indiana, North Dakota, and Florida (models vary slightly by state). In general, students in the program are full-time public school students and can take all of their courses through the My Tech High platform tuition-free. The program operates within the public school system by using per-pupil funding to allow families to design a customized education plan for each child, including a mix of book-based, online, and community education resources.

MTH enables families and students to select relevant courses, as well as online providers, and then build a personalized schedule that works best for their interests and learning preferences. Students can choose their courses from a marketplace of options, including the MTH digital library of core curriculum which maps to state standards, a third-party provider (virtual or in-person), or a custom-built course. Each student works with an experienced and state-licensed teacher each week to ensure on-going accountability and continued success.

MTH offers early-college options by partnering with College for America and Snow College Online to provide students the option of obtaining an associate degree through a competency-based program.

Learning In Action

Since MTH’s program operates as an education marketplace, students and families begin by designing an ideal education plan tailored to the individual needs of each child. They can browse through the program’s course catalog, which covers a multitude of classes including online (teacher-supported and/or parent-supported) and in-person courses available in student’s local regions. MTH partners with the top curriculum providers available to allow families to sample their different options and select the best fit for their students.

MTH also offers numerous technology and entrepreneurship courses that are designed and produced internally, which are conducted throughout the school year. They also offer a range of third-party providers, such as DreamBox Learning, Edgenuity, ALEKS Math, and Lexia, among others, that offer their own platform and courseware. Finally, students can choose to register their full schedule for College for America or Snow College Online to work towards completing their associate degree.

As part of their personalized schedule, each student is enrolled in a Homeroom, where they submit Weekly Learning Logs and connect with their teacher. They then proceed through their customized schedule – for example, a live language arts class from a third-party provider, an adaptive math software, and a physical science lab to conduct at home. Students also have the option of participating in student clubs, which are based on student interests and led by club advisors with the help of families.

Numerous students choose to engage in outside enrichment activities, such as local dance classes or community book clubs, which may or may not be credit-bearing. Many families value learning over “chasing credits” – and they see these supplemental activities as part of their child’s overall learning journey and want them to value and enjoy the experiences. While MTH families greatly value postsecondary education, they don’t place as much of an emphasis on acquiring a high school diploma since many of the students are able to begin college courses while in high school (either to earn an associate degree or receive college credit) – or they want to pursue an alternate path through vocational school, coding bootcamp, or other paths which typically do not require a high school degree.

Teaching In Action

While students choose from a variety of learning opportunities offered by outside partners, MTH educators play an important role as homeroom teachers for students. These state-certified educators review each student’s weekly learning logs and provide personalized feedback to students and support to parents. MTH teachers have also built 35 elective courses around technology and entrepreneurship, which are led by staff throughout the year.

Associated Resources

The strategies below explore some of the best practices used by My Tech High, which can be replicated, adapted, and implemented across different school settings.

The following artifacts from My Tech High provide illustrative examples of what their teaching and learning strategies look like in action.

Conditions for Success

  • Learning Materials & Tools: MTH provides students with a wide variety of options for online learning materials and tools, allowing students and families to select their preferred curricula and coursework.

  • Community & Culture: The school offers numerous clubs based on student interests to foster community and collaboration amongst the student population and families. Students register for clubs in the first two weeks of the semester, and meet monthly online as determined by the group’s members. The clubs are led by advisors along with the help of families and MTH staff.

  • Technology & Data Infrastructure: MTH has created a unique schedule-builder tool to help students easily customize their schedules, along with a robust platform to manage students’ courses.

  • Finance & Resourcing: The school works with the public school system by filling the enrollment gap (e.g., reaching out to homeschool students) and using the per-pupil district funding to provide online courses for those students. Students also receive a technology allowance – an annual subsidy to ensure they have access to a computer, high-speed internet, and a webcam.

  • Communications: MTH hires Parent Support Specialists who offer daily question-and-answer sessions via Zoom, as well as virtual information sessions around various topics such as early college credit, special education, and more. The specialists provide a helpful and non-judgmental approach, and are responsive to family emails between the hours of 10 PM and midnight (when most busy parents need answers).

  • Time: The program’s emphasis on customization lends itself to extreme flexibility with time, allowing students to customize their own daily schedules and determine when and where they would like to complete their coursework.

Other Key Highlights

At MTH, parents and families use the school’s robust private Facebook group to share notes, feedback, and questions on different curriculum providers and tools. Families have a large number of options for curriculum platforms, so peer feedback is crucial to determining the best fits for families.

MTH also maintains a YouTube channel where they post informational videos (e.g., how to create a schedule), student showcase projects, guest interviews, and more.

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