Kudos to APS for giving kids new ways to learn

A recent story in The News showcased Alpena Public Schools’ new project-based learning program at Alpena High.

The freshman courses allow students to learn science, history and English lessons in a more collaborative and hands-on way. It gives them more access to technology, as all students are given Chromebook laptops on which to perform their coursework.

The world into which we will send these students is changing fast. The economy of today is far more technologically driven, globally oriented and demanding of collaboration than was the economy of yesterday.

Tomorrow’s economy is sure to be even more so, and Alpena High’s new approach seems to be a worthwhile effort to prepare students for that world, and we applaud it.

What’s more, different students learn better in different ways. Not every kid is programmed to find success sitting in a classroom, reading from a hardcopy textbook, listening to lectures, writing out essays and taking multiple-choice exams.

The project-based learning initiative gives such students a different route to a more robust education, and we applaud that initiative.

The district is testing the effectiveness of the program this year and may expand it to other grades in future years. We wish the students and the district well and, should the program accomplish its mission, hope the district finds a way to offer it to more students.