Announcing the 2018 Innovative Educator Prize: Applications Now Open through May 31

It’s nearly impossible to stay on top of the technology we use to improve the efficiencies of our professional and personal lives.  

This hit me when I used my cell to text a colleague about our upcoming video conference with educators in three different states. None of this could have happened if the world would have been satisfied with the technologies of a pager. Or a flip phone.

Think about it: what is celebrated as the next best tool of today instantly becomes a relic when an even better tool is introduced tomorrow.

How we teach our students is no different. Education is ever changing, and I’m proud of the work that the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning (FBOL) is doing to encourage and facilitate this educational leadership.

Again this year, FBOL is accepting applications for the Innovative Educator Prize. Our program identifies and supports school and classroom leaders who are developing practices or programs to overcome achievement gaps, drive engagement, and personalize learning for their students. These one-time grants of up to $10,000 will be made payable to the applicant’s school and may be used for technology, professional development, curriculum, and related materials.

In 2017, we awarded grants to seven educators in four different states and the District of Columbia. Winning proposals included:

  • Expanding collaborative classroom and afterschool enrichment/tutoring initiative for English Language Learners in Washington, D.C.’s largest middle school.
  • Developing a production space where teachers and students can create professional, curriculum-aligned content for flipped and blended learning classrooms.
  • Designing a deeper learning experience for language immersion using adaptive online lessons and assessment tools, game-based independent practice, and multi-language math and literacy centers.

In the early 1900s, McGuffey readers, inkwells and abacuses were all that teachers in one-room schoolhouses needed to provide their students with a solid education. But the world has changed immensely, and so has the face of education—not only for the students of today, but also those of tomorrow. What are we doing to ensure that we are preparing our students for success? Integrating technology in the classroom in smart, efficient ways is paramount to achieving this goal.

The FBOL Innovative Educator Prize actively supports educators who are shaping the evolving landscape of K-12 learning. Please note: the 2018 application deadline is 11:59 p.m. EST Friday, May 31. I’m excited to see how you (or your colleagues) aim to strengthen educational programs through innovative approaches to blended and online learning.