2018 Support for Innovative Teachers Piloting Digital Learning Opportunities


The Foundation for Blended and Online Learning (FBOL) today announced the recipients of its 2018 Innovative Educator Prize competition. Teachers and school leaders representing a mix of traditional district, public charter, and Catholic schools in seven states and the District of Columbia will receive support to implement digital learning pilots during the 2018-19 academic year.

Amy Valentine, FBOL’s executive director, said, “The opportunity for classroom and school leaders to adapt to the needs of their students as individual learners is critical to the future success of our K-12 education system. These eight educators have identified a learning gap among their unique student populations and designed a digital learning pilot to help close it. FBOL is proud to support them as they move their inspired proposals from idea to implementation.”

In addition to a financial prize applied to their pilots, Innovative Educator Prize (IEPrize) recipients will participate in a year-long cohort to learn from their collective successes and stumbles throughout the implementation process. Their pilots will be profiled and shared with educators facing similar classroom obstacles to encourage replication and revision.

Jon Craig, an Instructional Coach at Harry S. Truman High School in Levittown, PA and 2017 IEPrize winner, said, "With FBOL’s support, we were able to design and build a digital content studio and curriculum library. The process has encouraged active participation from teachers and students in the creation of relevant and ‘always available’ lesson modules so our district can expand its blended learning initiative. The foundation and educator cohort supported us throughout the grant period, and continue to do so, which has added much to the experience.”

2018 Innovative Educator Prize recipients include:

Jim McGinity | Learning Gate Community School, Lutz, FL 
A partnership between an environmentally-focused charter school and the USF Florida Center for Instructional Technology to develop accessible OER data and lesson plans for blended environmental education courses.

Jennifer Kennedy | J. Marlan Walker Elementary School, Henderson, NV 
Development of a first grade blended learning model using adaptive math and ELA programs and project-based experiences to provide personalized instruction paths for students with special needs and IEPs.

Lauren Shelley | Memorial High School, Houston, TX 
Harnessing student interest in creating content using digital tools to establish a library of peer-produced digital modules to support struggling student populations, such as English Language Learners and those re-taking end-of-course assessments.

Todd Ide | Compass Middle School, Kalamazoo, MI 
Creation of a system of studios allowing Comstock Public Schools to produce original digital content for flipped instruction and transition traditional curriculum material for online learning opportunities.

Paige Mitchell | Anderson School District Five, Anderson, SC 
Design of a mobile learning lab enabling teachers to incorporate STEM and PBL activities into standards-based lesson plans to enrich the student learning process, expand data-informed instruction, and close the opportunity gap separating students with broad cultural knowledge and travel experience and those without.

John Olague | Resurrection Catholic School, Los Angeles, CA 
Reinforcement of an established blended learning program to better support growth mindset, improve personalization, promote student ownership of learning, strengthen professional development, and align curriculum.

Rachael Smith | Academy for Classical Education | Macon, GA 
Collaborative music course designed to promote group composition and performance through scaffolded, project-based lessons and online platform access for expanded learning/creative time.

More information about FBOL’s Innovative Educator Prize can be found here.

About the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning

Through scholarships, grants, original research, and strategic partnerships with a diverse cross-section of leaders, the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning is working to close the gap between the pace of technology in daily life and the pace of change in education. By documenting and sharing their stories, our efforts to keep the student, parent, and educator experience central to the conversations about the future of education help ensure that “school” effectively serves all learners and students can achieve their unique and unbounded potential.