Fellowship Media Center

December 10, 2014
Opinion: Four Lessons from D.C. Teachers Who Catalyzed Citywide School Redesign

In summer 2013, Shane Donovan, a ninth grade physic teachers at Washington D.C.’s E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, faced a familiar challenge. He was teaching ten students, all of who were at vastly different levels. Many had previously failed the course because they needed more academic support. Others struggled due to poor attendance or behavioral problems.

Donovan needed laser-like support for each student to get them back on track in time. But he wasn’t alone.

To read the full article on EdSurge by Carolyn Chuong, please click here.

December 10, 2014
Blog Post: Final Reflections on a Transformative Year: 5 Characteristics of an Innovative Educator 

These past twelve months in the Education Innovation Fellowship have been a transformative journey, stirring in me a desire to rethink not only our centuries-old understanding of school and classroom design, but also what it means to be a truly innovative educator.  

My journey culminated on Saturday at the second annual Education Innovation Summit here in D.C.—a daylong conference convening more than 150 teachers, school and industry leaders, and policy experts on the state of education innovation both in and beyond Washington. Thanks to the support of CityBridge Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund, as well as the leadership and will at D.C. Public Schools and D.C.’s robust charter sector, I believe that the city is reaching a critical moment in this personalized learning movement. Personalized learning for all students is no longer this impossible dream, but actually a feasible reality.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by 2014 Education Innovation Fellow Adam Hill, please click here.

November 14, 2014
Blog Post: Focus on Teachers: D.C. teacher Tanesha Dixon talks personalized learning and "Good Old Fashioned Hard Work"

Family engagement + building relationships + blended learning+ engaging students+ good old-fashioned hard work.

According to middle school teacher Tanesha Dixon, this is Wheatley Education Campus’ formula to support personalized learning for students— and it is also a significant reason why the student proficiency rate has tripled at the school in the last five years.

“I can’t stress the HARD WORK part enough,” Tanesha emphasized in our recent conversation with her.

To read the full blog post on Impatient Optimists by Vicki Phillips, please click here.


November 14, 2014
Blog Post: The Wild Wild West: My California Gold Rush Experience

Earlier this year, as a member of CityBridge Foundation’s 2014 Education Innovation Fellowship, I was afforded the opportunity to visit a number of schools in California and Detroit that are implementing different models of personalized and blended learning. All of the schools had important takeaways, but two of them—Rocketship and Summit Denali—stood out because of their instructional practices and overall models.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Milton Bryant, please click here.


November 10, 2014
Blog Post: Building a Foundation for Blended and Personalized Learning

With many schools and districts beginning to explore blended and personalized learning as a solution for improving outcomes for students, how do you imagine classrooms will change in the next five to ten years? What technology will students use to learn? How will classrooms look different? What skills will students need to be successful in the classrooms of tomorrow?

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Brieanna Samples-Wright, please click here.


November 7, 2014
Blog Post: Innovation is Not an Option; It is a Must!

As my former principal used to say, “Success is not an option; it is a must.”
I’ve carried this mindset with me to my current teaching position because I feel that I can and have to do much more for DCPS. We need all students to be successful, and I believe that innovation is the answer.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Sara Arranz, please click here.


November 4, 2014
Blog Post: There is No "I" in "Teach"

This summer, I had the opportunity to pilot a personalized learning model with a group of students. I am not your typical general education teacher with a classroom of 22 to 28 students who are at all different levels and are working towards a set of grade level standards. Instead, my job as a special education teacher is to carry out the “Individualized Education Plans” (IEP) that come with my students. My caseload normally ranges from 10-15 students at various grade levels who also work with multiple teachers in other classrooms.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Kristin Fiorini, please click here.


October 30, 2014
Blog Post: Blended Learning is Not Enough

I am coming to the end of a fabulous experience as an Education Innovation Fellow, and it is through this fellowship that I began my journey of discovery of blended and personalized learning. As with any profession, education is replete with vocabulary that has different meanings to different groups of educators, innovators, and the public. Blended learning, which is a combination of online and teacher-led learning, is one such term. But what I find so exciting about blended learning is that it is a powerful tool that can allow educators not only to blend, but also to personalize learning.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Belinda Omenitsch, please click here.


October 28, 2014
Blog Post: The Edtech Trinity: Time, Training, and Tools

Edtech tools will never replace teachers, but teachers who use edtech tools will replace those who don’t.
There’s absolutely no denying that edtech tools are changing the teaching profession. As a result, I’ll argue that the edtech trinity in education must include time, training, and tool searching. As the edtech industry grows and becomes more advanced, every teacher will have the following choice to make: Either get ahead of the learning curve or fall further behind.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Angel Cintron Jr., please click here.


October 15, 2014
Article: After 20 years, a teacher reinvents her classroom using techonogy

Teacher Valyncia O. Hawkins knew she needed extra time with students who arrived in her classroom behind grade level, but slowing down the whole class risked boring the more advanced students. But even after 20 years as a teacher, Hawkins still didn’t have a good method to keep everyone moving forward. The 21 children in her classroom at Anne Beers Elementary School shared the label of fifth grader, but they arrived with different needs. It was clear she was losing some of them. It was disheartening.

“When I would stand and talk they would be bouncing off the walls,” Hawkins recalled.

To read the full article on The Hechinger Report by Nichole Dobo, please click here.


October 9, 2014
Blog Post: When it All Falls Down

As a child, I was taught to recite that age-old nursery rhyme, “London Bridge is Falling Down.” Of course, when you’re young, you never really take the time to ask why London Bridge is falling—nor do you realize that the rhyme really makes no sense. And as you get older, you may still find yourself asking why London Bridge fell down. Could it have been a fire? Natural disaster? Or could it have been as simple as a lack of support?

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Jerriel Hall, please click here.


October 8, 2014
Article: Is the next Khan Academy star a teacher in D.C. Public Schools?

When a bell rang in a fourth grade classroom at Ketcham Elementary School, students rotated on the learning circuit.

There were several learning stations, giving children a chance to work in small groups with educators while others worked at their own pace on educational games on computers. The D.C. Public School District has been experimenting with blended learning programs like this in several schools.

To read the full article on The Hechinger Report by Nichole Dobo, please click here.


October 8, 2014
Blog Post: Growth vs. Mastery

My blended learning pilot this summer was designed to fill learning gaps for incoming 9th grade students—specifically, I wanted to increase their English Language Arts (ELA) grades, improve their performance on standardized tests, and increase their overall engagement.  30% of my school’s 9th graders failed the course last school year with a grade of D or lower.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Shayla Adams, please click here.


October 7, 2014
Blog Post: Teacher Leadership: Leading Without Leaving

The word “teacherpreneurs” makes me want to throw up.  It reminds me of a celebrity mash-up, like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie become “Brangelina.” YUCK! The education world has mashed-up “teacher” and “entrepreneur” to become this strange lovechild.  While I believe the phrase itself is a mismatch of words, I think the concept is genius.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Joshua Johnson, please click here.


October 6, 2014
Blog Post: Teacher Leadership: Leading Without Leaving

“For each question, fill in only the circle that goes with the answer you choose. Fill in the circle completely, and make your mark heavy and dark…”  

Teachers, do these words sound familiar to you? If you’re anything like me, just hearing them makes you feel a certain something in the pit of your stomach.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Connie Parham, please click here.


September 23, 2014
Blog Post: Finding the Right Fit

My journey into personalized learning was fraught with frustrations, disappointments, and pivots. I began the school year with a class of 18 brilliant fifth grade learners, 12 of them with individualized education plans (IEPs). What I learned immediately was that the more traditional method of whole-group instruction wasn’t the most beneficial. Although there were some benefits to teaching all students at the same time, I found that this particular teaching practice did not account for the variance of our learners. A student in fifth grade reading at 2nd grade level processes and understands information, and the world, differently than a fifth grader reading on a 4th or 6th grade level.  Pivot!

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Dwight Davis, please click here.


September 22, 2014
Blog Post: One, PAWS UP! Two, HOME KEYS! Three, BEGIN!

The third graders in my classroom begin to type their short stories with a flurry. Eyes scan their compositions for the next word and small pinky fingers stretch to reach the Q’s and P’s.
Periodically, a hand shoots up, “How do you make a question mark?”
“Mr. Strader, can you just type mine for me?”

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Kent Strader, please click here.


September 18, 2014
Blog Post: Returning to Base Camp: The Next Steps in Personalized Learning

In 1953 Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the peak of Everest. They were the first to successfully climb the mountain and return. Almost 30 years earlier, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine perished near the top of that same peak, and controversy still swirls about if they reached the summit. It doesn’t really matter whether they did; climbing a mountain is all about making it back home.

As a teacher, this metaphor is powerful when considering my adventures this year with personalized learning. As one of Citybridge Foundation’s 2014 Education Innovation Fellows, I have been to California, Detroit, and Washington, D.C., in search of the best practices in personalized and blended learning. Over the last few weeks and months I have started to incorporate some of those practices into my teaching.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow James Howes, please click here.


September 17, 2014
Blog Post: Praise is the Key to Unlocking Motivation

What’s your motivation? What moves you to be the absolute best you that you can be? Who’s your cheerleader? Who makes you feel like you can go to the moon, kiss the stars and come back ready for another supernatural adventure?  In my classroom, with my students, I am that person. I am the motivator, the cheerleader and the nurturer. I love what my role as a teacher has morphed into.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Michelle Contee, please click here.


September 16, 2014
Blog Post: Rookie Mistakes: Five Lessons about Blended Learning I Learned the Hard Way

These are the voyages of a 5th grade Latin class and their teacher who decided to implement a blended learning model–station rotation style–during the final month of the 2013-2014 school year.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Jamel Daugherty, please click here.


August 5, 2014
Blog Post: Effective Practices Gleaned From Summer Pilot Projects

"The people that aren’t here for summer school are really missing out,” Cindy, a spunky seventh grader, tells me. “I’ve learned so much more this summer because I get one-on-one time with Mr. Johnson, and I get to work at my own pace. School wasn’t like that before.”  

When was the last time you heard a student boast this much about summer school?

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Adam Hill, please click here.


August 2014
White Paper: Creating a City-Based Blended Learning Network

City-based education reform organizations across the country are developing strategies to increase the number of high-quality blended learning options in their cities.  In a separate white paper, CEE-Trust explored the roles of city-based organizations in scaling up successful blended learning pilots.  This white paper examines the roles these organizations can play in building networks of innovative educators who are designing and implementing high-quality blended learning.

To read the full white paper, please click here.


July 2, 2014
Blog Post: Easy Tips to Film and Share Effective Blended Learning Practices from the Classroom

While most teachers around the country see the month of June as a time to finally relax with the arrival of summer, the teachers in the CityBridge Education Innovation Fellowship (EIF) have their eyes focused on the launch of their blended learning pilot projects. In my last blog post, I wrote about how the Fellows used design thinking principles to develop their summer pilots. In our June EIF program session, the 19 Fellows, teachers from PreK-12 D.C. public and public charter schools, learned about approaches to document and share their pilot projects with the broader blended learning community.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Adam Hill, please click here.


May 28, 2014
Blog Post: Using Design Thinking to Develop Personalized Learning Pilots

Since January, the 19 D.C. public and public charter school teachers of the Education Innovation Fellowship (EIF) have explored the expansive field of blended and personalized learning in search of promising practices to implement in their classrooms. Drawing from visits to over a dozen schools in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Detroit and D.C, as well as intimate conversations with thought leaders like Gisèle Huff, former Governor Bob Wise, and Tom Vander Ark, the Fellows are now in the “Design and Innovate” phase of the Fellowship. The focus of this phase is to design blended and personalized learning pilots for their own classrooms and schools, and to begin prototyping these designs over the summer.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Adam Hill, please click here.


May 14, 2014
Blog Post: Device Management 101

Some teachers see laptops or the iPad cart as the Holy Grail, a silver bullet that will somehow magically solve their differentiation, efficiency, and engagement problems in one fell swoop. There are others who see technology integration as the bane of their existence, either because it distracts from learning or is another item on their To-Do List to address and master to be deemed competent. Whether you look at educational technology with delight or dread, one thing is certain given the demands of the Common Core State Standards. You (or someone who works closely with you), will have to develop, learn, practice, and perfect your device management strategy.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Tanesha Dixon, please click here.


April 30, 2014
Blog Post: It's About Helping Students Learn Better: DCPS and Blended Learning

As one of many tools used in building the best-performing urban school district in the country, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) has invested in blended learning and developed a district-wide strategy to support various blended learning models through its 111 schools. To do so, DCPS is starting small, focusing on strategy and exploration, and using varied blended approaches in select–mostly low-performing–schools with a handful of digital learning solutions. DCPS has three specific implementation strategies: seeding innovation, developing blended learning feeder patterns, and building upon existing instructional models.

To read the full blog post on Education Elements by DCPS's John Rice, please click here.


April 29, 2014
Blog Post: Key Learnings from Some of Detroit's Competency-Based Learning Models

For the past four months, the 19 public and public charter school teachers in the CityBridge-NewSchools Education Innovation Fellowship have engaged in an in-depth study of the most promising practices in blended and personalized learning, traveling the country and hearing from the leaders in the field., Recently, the Fellows spent part of their school-year spring break on a whirlwind tour of four public schools in Detroit that are budding laboratories in personalized learning.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Adam Hill, please click here.


April 1, 2014
Blog Post: Education Innovation Fellow Profile: How blended learning has changed the classroom for Angel Cintron

For nearly three years, Angel Cintron, Jr., a social studies teacher at Charles Hart Middle School in Southeast Washington, D.C., had been the “sage on the stage” in his classroom—using the traditional teaching method where one teacher spends most of his time lecturing to 30 students. Angel worked tirelessly to support the needs of all his students in a school known to be one of the most challenging in the city, but still, he was not satisfied with his results.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Adam Hill, please click here.


March 13, 2014
Blog Post: #IamDCPS

In 2013, less than half of the nation’s SAT takers meet the 1550 benchmark set for college and career readiness.  The numbers are markedly lower for Black (15.6%) and Latino students (23.5) (source: SAT Benchmarks: Development of a College Readiness Benchmark and its Relationship to Secondary and Postsecondary School Performance by Jeffrey Wyatt, Jennifer Kobrin, Andrew Wiley, Wayne J. Camara, and Nina Proestler). 

So what happens to those students who, despite taking the SAT, do not reach this benchmark? Similarly, what happens to the seniors who did not take the SAT or worse, the students who did not for whatever circumstances make it to their senior year?  As an educator, I think these numbers are appalling and dare I say criminal.  In one of the most industrialized counties on this planet, we fail to provide equal access to an education that would lend itself to high school and college completion. 

To read the full blog post on Join DCPS Schools by Education Innovation Fellow Alumna Tanesha Dixon, please click here.


March 5, 2014
Blog Post: 2014 Education Innovation Fellowship: Key Learnings from the Golden State 

CityBridge Foundation’s 2014 Education Innovation Fellowship (EIF) kicked off last month with its second cohort of fellows who will spend the year together learning about the most promising practices in blended learning. Last week, we began the “travel and learn” portion of the Fellowship with a week-long trip to the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas. We visited nine public schools on the cutting-edge of blended and personalized learning and met with some of the field’s most prominent thinkers and supporters.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Adam Hill, please click here.


March 4, 2014
Blog Post: Teacher to Family Partners: A Path to Long-Lasting Relationships

I sat at my first parent teacher conferences nine years ago, terrified. What would the parents say? What would the parents ask? Would I have answers right away or would I need to look them up? I seriously didn’t know what to expect. However, now that my very first conference day (and many others) have come and gone, I know that the terror I initially felt was unnecessary.

To read the full blog post on Join DCPS Schools by Education Innovation Fellowship Alumna Rabiah Harris, please click here.


January 31, 2014
Case Study: Blended Learning in D.C. Public Schools

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has released a case study exploring the use of digital and blended learning in D.C. Public Schools (DCPS).  The report examines the challenges and opportunities facing urban school districts like DCPS and highlights the work being done in blended learning across the District, including the Education Innovation Fellowship.

To read the full case study on blended learning in DCPS, please click here.


January 22, 2014
Blog Post: 2014 Education Innovation Fellows Announced

Congratulations to the 2014 Class of Education Innovation Fellows, sponsored by CityBridge Foundation and New Schools Venture Fund.  The year-long Fellowship, in its second year, will introduce fellows to many the nation’s most promising and effective practices in blended learning, along with the education leaders who run them, through site visits around the country and organized events in DC.  It also provides fellows with the opportunity to create and run summer pilot programs in their own schools. 

To read the full post on the D.C. Public Charter School Board blog, please click here.


January 10, 2014
Blog Post: CityBridge Foundation is Catalyzing Local Innovation in D.C.

Margaret Angell and her colleagues at the CityBridge Foundation are leading some really great work in support of personalized learning in D.C. Their dual focus on teachers and more recently on school design (with support from NGLC’s Breakthrough Models Regional Fund) is a really useful one-two combination that I believe will yield tremendous innovation at multiple levels in the coming years. They also deserve kudos for working across the district and charter sectors, and creating opportunities to bring educators from both together.

To read the full blog post by Scott Benson of iPersonalize, please click here.


October 22, 2013
Blog Post: CityBridge is Changing the School Landscape in D.C.

In 2013, CityBridge and NewSchools launched the Education Innovation Fellowship, a extraordinary opportunity for a dozen teacher leaders. They meet monthly for a year and visited innovative schools in New York and California. I met with the Fellows in June to discuss 10 Big Blended Learning Questions.  The Fellows will have learned everything we know about next-gen tools and models over the course of the year.  They brought their principals with them to three sessions to get them excited about the opportunity.  The Education Innovation Fellows are ambassadors for the implementation of effective blended learning models in D.C.

To read the full blog post by Tom Vander Ark of Getting Smart, please click here.


October 17, 2013
Blog Post:  Getting Students What They Need - Blended Learning Supports a Science Classroom

“Can’t there be TWO teachers in this room, like ALL my other classes!” Sam yelled.  She reached her breaking point for not being able to get help in science on classifying chemical reactions for the second day in a row.  Sam was not a complainer, though.  She is a hard working student who just couldn’t figure out a difficult assignment that was paired with a lab activity and could really use additional assistance.  For now, she would have to wait.  There were other students who needed more help and in that moment, they took priority.  I hoped that she would figure it out on her own or bit more patient.  However, I knew that Sam and others deserved more.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Rabiah Harris, please click here.


September 27, 2013
Article:  Microsoft hosts D.C. panel of experts on modernizing the teaching profession

On Wednesday, leading policy makers, educators and industry leaders gathered to address approaches to modernize and elevate the teaching profession to meet the demands of a globally competitive world at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C.  Panelists discussed how critical it is for every U.S. student to have an outstanding teacher, agreed that there needs to be a culture shift in order to elevate the teaching profession and provided examples of great teaching and teaching programs.

To read the full article on Microsoft on the Issues, please click here.


September 26, 2013
Blog Post:  Blended Learning at Roots Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.

In the context of blended learning, students are exposed to online content that is rigorous, self-paced, personalized, AND offers immediate feedback.  There are smaller groups designed to teach and reach, as well as personalize and intervene; and instruction is truly data driven each and everyday.  What teacher could ask for more?  Blended learning sounds like a panacea to me!  Quite naturally, I want in!

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Rasheki Kuykendall, please click here.


September 25, 2013
Article:  Spotting Schools’ Version of "Bigfoot"

Spotting kids learning at their own pace is like catching a glimpse of Bigfoot. We all know about Bigfoot but beyond a few grainy photos, few can claim they have actually seen it in the wild.

To read the full article on EdSurge, please click here.


September 6, 2013
Blog Post: Not the Algebra They Were Expecting: An Exploration of the Blended Algebra Workshop

Day one of the Blended Algebra Workshop is both exhausting and exhilarating. Though this workshop model will not be the overnight silver bullet for math proficiency it has undoubtedly opened students’ minds to a different flow and feeling about math class. Moreover, the individualized pace in pursuit of mastery has the potential to empower students to explore new ways of learning and equip them to pass this summer school algebra course and instill in them something I believe no other math class ever has: confidence.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Kyle Morean, please click here.


August 14, 2013
Blog Post: Blending Family Engagement: Parents and Software Scaffolding Together

Ms. Robinson is one of the parents participating in our Summer Family and Technology Engagement Program at Ingenuity Prep, a new charter school in southeast D.C.  The seven-session training in basic literacy instruction gives parents, like her, an opportunity to apply what they learn when working with their children, using literacy apps on the iPad.  This summer thirteen families graduated from our program and each family was given an iPad on long-term loan from the school. Students are able to access adaptable and extensive literacy instruction at home, and we’ve added supplemental science, math, and social studies apps for both the kindergarteners as well as their siblings.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Charlotte Hansen, please click here.


July 30, 2013
Blog Post: Pace Yourself: Restructuring Content in a Competency Based Classroom

I have come to realize that one advantage of my summer pilot is that ninety-five percent of my interactions with students these past three weeks have been productive and directly related to learning. There have been only three occasions in the past forty-five hours in my classroom where a student was doing something that was distracting enough to a peer that I had to address it. This is not because I built phenomenal classroom culture in three weeks; it is because a competency-based curriculum values mastery over time. I don’t feel that terror that all teachers feel when a student misbehaves in a traditional classroom, that fear that if we don’t all get through this material, right now, we’re going to lose time. I don’t feel the need to have eleven arms dragging each of my eleven students through the same content at the same time for fear that they will drown. Instead of talking about how students are or aren’t “using their time well,” I get to discuss with them what they do or don’t understand right now.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow Shane Donovan, please click here.


July 24, 2013
Blog Post: Letting Go

As I contemplate the layout of my “new” classroom, I also contemplate the “new” way I will engage my students. Although I have been successful with some students, I know that I have not been as successful with others. My red chair has been as a constant a presence in my classroom as the daily schedules on the door and the student objectives on the board. Organizing my instructional delivery has become second nature. But, as with my chair, it is time to change my furniture.

Although it may be an adjustment to not have my old and comfortable red chair at the beginning of next school year, I look forward to the change. As an Education Innovation Fellow, I have gained valuable insight this year about utilizing blended learning. I know facilitating a blended learning classroom will eventually become as comfortable to me as my old red chair.

To read the full blog post on Blend My Learning by Education Innovation Fellow, Valyncia Hawkins, please click here.


June 11, 2013
Blog Post: CityBridge Fellows Learn to Extend Reach

Take a good idea, share it, and watch the dividends pour in.

That’s how to do more with less, or even the way to start or advance a movement. But success hinges on solid communication products, strategy and tactics.

Which is why CityBridge asked The Communication Center to teach its Education Innovation Fellows – a cohort of 12 innovative and energetic teachers from Washington, D.C. schools – how to blog.

To read the full blog post by The Communication Center's Steve Piacente, and to watch video clips from his blog training with the Fellows, please click here.


June 8, 2013
Blog Post: 10 Big Blended Learning Questions

The CityBridge-NewSchools Education Innovation Fellowship is a great developmental opportunity for teachers in Washington DC.  On Monday we’re holding a conversation about blended learning.  Following is a list of some of the questions we’ll discuss and some resources for developing answers.

To read the full blog post by Tom Vander Ark of Getting Smart, please click here


June 4, 2013
Blog Post: Ten People Who Are Changing Education Today—And Will Be Ten Years From Now
For the last two years, I've published a series of profiles of young education leaders who are helping to transform education today and are likely to have an even greater impact in the coming years. This year's list features ten amazing leaders working in education in a variety of ways: 

  • Katie Beck, Director of People and Idea Development, 4.0 Schools
  • Sharhonda Bossier, Deputy Director, Families for Excellent Schools
  • Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don, Co-Founders, ClassDojo
  • Andrew Coy, Executive Director, Digital Harbor Foundation
  • Ethan Gray, Executive Director, the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust (CEE-Trust)
  • Crystal Harmon, Vice President for Strategy and Operations, TNTP
  • Rabiah Harris, Teacher, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School
  • Kira Orange Jones, Executive Director of Teacher for America Greater New Orleans and Board Member, Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Ryan Smith, Director of Education Programs and Policy, United Way of Greater Los Angeles

To read the full blog post on Education Week, please click here.

May 22, 2013
Blog Post: Ka'Ching

CITYBRIDGE FOUNDATION: $1 million to D.C.-based nonprofit, CityBridge Foundation, in the form of a three-year grant from Microsoft to support the CityBridge-NewSchools Innovation Fellowship, a one-year program that trains teachers to lead and design blended learning pilots at their respective schools. Twelve teachers participated in the program's inaugural year. The new funding will help double the number of teachers each year with a focus on STEM subjects, according to the Washington Post.

To read the full blog post from EdSurge, please click here.  

May 17, 2013
Article: Microsoft Donates $1 Million to Help Expand 'Blended Learning' in D.C. Schools

Washington, D.C. – Microsoft has donated $1 million to help D.C. teachers redesign their classrooms using a “blended learning” approach that combines online learning with face-to-face instruction.  Blended learning has drawn both excitement and skepticism as it has exploded in popularity in recent years. Boosters believe that technology could transform schools and give students a more personalized learning experience, while critics fear that when executed poorly, blended approaches reduce learning to clicks on a computer.  The donation will help expand a D.C. program — known as the Education Innovation Fellowship — that exposes teachers to the latest thinking in the field and then encourages them to adapt those ideas into their own classrooms.  Local philanthropy CityBridge Foundation launched the training program for 12 teachers this year with help from the NewSchools Venture Fund, a national nonprofit that invests in education groups and has supported a number of education-technology efforts.

To read the full article in the Washington Post, please click here.


May 17, 2013
Press Release: CityBridge Announces Partnership with Microsoft to Support the Education Innovation Fellowship

Washington, D.C. – CityBridge today announced a $1 million, three-year grant from Microsoft to support the CityBridge-NewSchools Education Innovation Fellowship.  The Education Innovation Fellowship introduces blended learning to a growing cohort of teacher leaders in Washington, D.C. and establishes a new set of pilots in Washington that may serve as additional proof-points for the power of technology and blended learning.

To read the full press release, please click here


Spring 2013
Article:  Blending, Upending

Some smart philanthropy is betting that increased teacher satisfaction will be the catalyst that truly spreads blended learning in schools.  Money spent introducing teachers to blended learning will thus be money well spent, goes this thinking.  CityBridge Foundation, which focuses on Washington, D.C., has made introducing teachers to blended learning a key part of its giving strategy.  After a carefully studied pilot project at D.C. Scholars Stanton Elementary School in summer of 2012, CityBridge launched the New Schools Education Innovation Fellowship later that year.  The foundation selects a dozen teachers who meet for one day every month to hear from blended-learning experts and see technology demonstrations.  They travel to blended-learning schools in other states over their breaks. During the summer, they each test a blended-learning pilot program.  The fellows later implement their pilots in their own schools.  “We believe creating a cohort of teachers and helping them to become entrepreneurs, to take risks, and to innovate is going to set our city up to really embrace blended learning in the right ways,” says Emily Silk, who handles blended learning for CityBridge.  The foundation hopes to select new fellows annually to build up the ranks of ambassadors for blended learning.

To read the full article in Philanthropy Magazine, please click here.


January 31, 2013
Blog Post:  New Class of 2013 Education Innovation Fellows

Six DC public charter school teachers have joined six teachers from the DC Public Schools system as the first class of CityBridge Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund Education Innovation Fellows.  The two foundations established the Education Innovation Fellowship after extensive research on the potential for blended learning to improve DC public education.  The program aims to capture the blended learning happening nationwide as professional development, and to establish a new set of pilot projects that would provide additional proof-points for what blended learning can do to harness technology and actionable data to drive new learning gains in the Washington, DC.

To read the full blog post by Don Soifer of the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB), please click here

January 25, 2013
Press Release: CityBridge, NewSchools Launch Teacher Fellowship in Blended Learning

Washington, D.C. – On January 28, CityBridge Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund will launch the Education Innovation Fellowship, a year-long program designed to introduce blended learning to a cohort of teacher leaders in Washington, D.C.  Twelve Education Innovation Fellows were selected from a competitive applicant pool of  D.C. Public School (DCPS) and D.C. public charter school teachers.  The Fellowship will run through December 2013 and will involve school-based pilots, discussions with experts and practitioners, and travel to see promising blended learning models in action.  The Fellowship will culminate with an Education Innovation Summit on December 9 in Washington, D.C.

To read the full press release, please click here.