April 2015 – Additional Information

Professional Learning | Next Generation Learning | STEM

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Meet New Professional Learning Team Member Danielle Bell

The Colorado Education Initiative’s (CEI) Professional Learning team welcomes Danielle Bell. As project assistant for the team, Bell will focus on event planning and coordination. Before joining CEI, she worked at the Colorado Construction Institute. Bell is pursuing a degree in hospitality, tourism, and events at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

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Meet New NGL Team Member Paul Beck
2015 Traverse Conference

Meet New NGL Team Member Paul Beck

The Colorado Education Initiative’s (CEI) welcomes program manager Paul Beck to the Next Generation Learning (NGL) team.

Beck has spent more than a decade working with nonprofit organizations committed to student education and enrichment through programs that provide more — and improved — learning time. He comes to CEI from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, where he supported the expanded learning time initiative, TIME Collaborative, community schools, and other youth development efforts in Denver area schools and districts.

“With Paul on board, we plan to host more networking events, innovation funding, and site visits for educators,” said Sam Olson, director, NGL. “With his help, we will also launch a partnership with Rose Community Foundation and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.”

We sat down with Beck to learn about his vision for NGL:

What excites you about Colorado’s vision for next generation learning?
I think personalizing learning and letting students have input about what they learn and how —also focusing on real-life goals and outcomes — is the best way to learn. I think everyone learns best this way. One of my favorite memories from Boys & Girls Clubs was experiencing the impact of students choosing their own path. A music and poetry program designed around student choice ignited creativity, deep thought, and self-expression in students who were normally very surface level. My on-the-ground experiences with students and teachers like this will provide a unique and important perspective to our district and systems level work at CEI.

What should our partners know about you?
I’m open-minded and want to provide support and resources to schools in any way they need help. My favorite thing about working with schools is that they are filled with people who have really good ideas and are excited to help kids learn and grow. They are a fun and funny place to be because of the youthful energy of kids, and I try to bring that to my work every day. I’m excited to learn more about the statewide needs of schools, students, and teachers — and what they are doing that is cool, exciting, and needs to be celebrated.

Tell us about the new work you will be leading in partnership with Rose and Annenberg.
Annenberg recently launched the Time for Equity Indicators Framework, including its research report, Web-based data tools, and other resources. Through support from Rose Community Foundation, CEI will partner with schools, districts, and community organizations to explore how this work might inform and support efforts here in Colorado. We’re excited to learn together about meaningful and realistic ways to measure work in schools and shift ideas about how we look at achievement through the lens of these indicators, while creating them together with teachers and community members so they are local, personal, and relevant.

 Email Beck to share work or ask about ways to partner.

New NGL Work

  • NGL was inspired by the latest issue of VUE, Time for Equity: Expanding Access to Learning, which featured multiple organizations and authors sharing stories of impact about the communities, students, and educators behind Annenberg’s work.
  • Last spring, NGL was honored to engage with CompetencyWorks, iNACOL, and an inspiring group of thought partners from around the country to explore system shifts focused on personalized, competency-based, and blended-learning environments. Maximizing Competency Education and Blended Learning: Insights from Experts portrays a breakdown of opportunities, challenges, research, key considerations, and exemplars for districts navigating this process. It touches upon components that have been integral to The Colorado Education Initiative’s and the Colorado Department of Education’s learnings to support strategies in partnership with local educators, including equity, community engagement and visioning, building capacity to design and manage change, implications of research on brain development and learning, and motivation and engagement on the design of learning environments and system characteristics. We’re eager to hear what you think about this work and how it relates to your leadership and support needs. To share your thoughts, email Sam Olson.
  • Early adopters of NGL like Grant Beacon Middle School in Denver continue to share their work so others can learn from their successes and challenges. Check out this new case study for insights about student impact, scheduling, teacher supports, communications, and other student- and teacher-led innovations that are integral to Grant Beacon’s model.

2015 Traverse Conference

Join Colorado educators for hands-on, imaginative, and real-world experience to apply design thinking in the classroom at Traverse: An Expedition to the Future of Learning, June 8-10.

More than 100 educators from Colorado and the nation will hear innovative speakers, network with colleagues, build professional communities, and participate in hands-on learning to engage students in real-world problem-solving. The event is hosted by the Watershed School and other cutting-edge national partners dedicated to re-imagining the future of learning.

 Attend for free as our guest!

The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI), a lead sponsor of the conference, is excited to offer free registration (a $400 value) to four Colorado educators. Simply submit a response to the following design challenge and you will be entered into a random drawing to receive a free registration: How can we empower educators to design relevant, engaging, and rigorous experiential learning opportunities for Colorado K-12 students?

Responses can be in the form of, but not limited to, the following:

  • Personal stories of classroom or school impact to include video, text, or audio recording.
  • Ideas to solve the challenge from the perspective of classroom educators, school or district leaders, or another stakeholder group.
  • Blog posts about why this topic is important in Colorado’s current education landscape.
  • Other creative format designed by the applicant.

 Submit your design challenge response by May 6.  If travel assistance is needed, please submit your expected travel expenses in your response. For more information, .

 Why is CEI sponsoring this event?

CEI believes in the power of design thinking as a professional learning framework to ignite innovation in instructional practice, professional culture, and leadership development. We also believe that all students should have access to experiential and relevant educational opportunities to develop essential next generation student outcomes.

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Colorado STEMworks Database Accepting Applications
Colorado STEM April Network Call

Colorado STEMworks Database Accepting Applications
The Colorado Technology Association (CTA) invites STEM programs throughout Colorado to submit an application to become part of the Colorado STEMworks database. Any STEM program that serves Colorado’s preK-12 students and/or teachers is eligible. Apply today! Applications are due April 16. For information about the Colorado STEMworks database, visit the CTA website.

Please forward this opportunity to other programs. If you have any questions, email Micaela Johnson.

Colorado STEM April Network Call
The Colorado STEM Network comprises STEM stakeholders from across Colorado. During the monthly call/webinar, cross-sector participants present on current programs, events, and opportunities. To join the network or present on a future call, email Micaela Johnson.

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