Methodology & ROI

iTECH Academy at Miami Springs SHS is a Magnet Schools of America National Award of Excellence Magnet School and is MDCPS’ complete video game, animation, and simulation magnet program that uses video game design as the natural vehicle to deliver CS to high school students with an integrated science, technology, engineering, art, and math curriculum.

At iTECH we use bilingual student-centered teaching methods that shift the focus of activity from the teacher to the learners.

These methods include active learning, in which students solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate, or brainstorm during class; cooperative learning, in which students work in teams on problems and projects under conditions that assure both positive interdependence and individual accountability; and inductive teaching and learning, in which students are first presented with challenges (questions or problems) and learn the course material in the context of addressing the challenges. Inductive methods include inquiry-based learning, case-based instruction, problem-based learning, project-based learning, discovery learning, and just-in-time teaching.

Student-centered methods have repeatedly been shown to be superior to the traditional teacher-centered approach to instruction, a conclusion that applies whether the assessed outcome is short-term mastery, long-term retention, or depth of understanding of course material, acquisition of critical thinking or creative problem solving skills, formation of positive attitudes toward the subject being taught, or level of confidence in knowledge or skills.

In addition, iTECH Academy students will compete locally and nationally with their projects and will earn ICE (Industry Certification Exams) that make them marketable in the workplace. Some of the industry certification exams substitute statewide college credits that include math and science credits. And our summer dual enrollment program with Miami Dade College offers students an opportunity to further advance in their trajectory through the acquisition of more computer programming skills. The cost savings to the student career and added competitiveness at iTECH Academy is priceless. Below are iTECH Academy Industry Certifications Offered and Cost Savings for Articulated Industry Certifications 2014-15*

The Adobe Certified Associate ICE, Interactive Media Using Adobe Flash Professional software is 3 articulated credits earned, the average tuition and fees per credit hour is $124.00, the exam fee is $109.23, and the total cost savings is $481.23.

The Adobe Certified Associate ICE, Visual Communication using Adobe Photoshop and Graphic Design and Illustration using Adobe Illustrator software are not articulated, the exam fees are $109.23 each, and the total cost savings for the combined exams is $218.46.

The Microsoft Technology Associate, Gaming Development Fundamentals is not articulated, the exam fee and total cost savings is $50.77.

*Total cost savings is calculated based on 2014-15 cost of average tuition and fees and Industry Certification Exam fee for Florida resident students. Cost of textbooks and practice material are not included. For students that opt into dual enrollment, cost of dual enrollment and textbooks for dual enrollment are not included.