Fellowship Media Center

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.