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The Educator Innovator was unveiled at Reimagining Education, an Innovation Summit hosted by the US Department of Education and the MacArthur Foundation on May 28-29, 2013. The summit challenged educational leaders, including students, to devise creative ways to connect education to today’s opportunities and create a learning approach designed for our times.
At the center of the discussions was the potential of Connected Learning, an approach to education and a set of design principles for expanding learning opportunities derived from research into learning in the digital age. Connie Yowell, Director of Education Grantmaking at the MacArthur Foundation, shares a view into what it means to reimagine education in her article with Pharrell Williams in the Huffington Post. Implications of the approach are discussed by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Mimi Ito, Katie Salen and S. Craig Watkins in a webinar about taking “A Dive into Connected Learning” with the Alliance for Educational Excellence.
The two day Reimagining Education summit (#reimagineed) included presentations by thought leaders, broadcast through C-SPAN, and extensive small group working time for participants to design and pitch solutions to challenges in education. One of the challenges identified was the need to provide seed funding for educators to pursue educational innovation and improvement on the ground. A working group took up the challenge to focus on funding innovation through an Educator Innovator Fund. Their suggestion, visible in the drawing above, was to identify an agile “zone” of small scale but spreadable innovation where educators across learning institutions would get to innovate, co-design, disrupt and remix practices in support of connected learning. The fund, therefore, would be a place to cultivate a garden of innovations and bring together the appropriate nutrients, including key partners and financial support, needed to make it grow.
Click here to get involved and to find out more about the Educator Innovator Fund and ways you can help us build a fund for innovation in schools and communities. Keep an eye on this space for descriptions of what innovation in learning looks like and how you can get involved.