ADE Community Newsletter | May 2016

By Jenny Burns, Community Coordinator for the Allen Distinguished Educators Program
May 9, 2016

Is it May already? Time to begin wrapping-up projects, working on report cards, and daydreaming about summer vacation. Also, it’s time to start thinking about new and engaging projects for next school year! The Allen Distinguished Educators (ADE) program is pleased to share resources with teachers, parents, and education leaders to help bring more hands-on, student-directed, authentic learning opportunities into your classrooms.


MAKEShift Poetry: What does innovative education mean to you?

By Jenny Burns, Community Coordinator for the Allen Distinguished Educators Program
April 11, 2016

Hands-on learning is fun and valuable for educators too! In early March, the Allen Distinguished Educators (ADE) program announced the 2016 class of ADEs at an awards reception at SXSWedu. To kick-off the event, attendees exercised their creativity through a “MAKEShift Poetry” activity developed by 2014 ADE Scott Swaaley. Engineering meets language arts in this interdisciplinary  project in which participants were prompted to create a poem that answers the question: “What does innovative education mean to you?" Participants were then asked to create a figurative representation of their poem using gears and a magnetic board. 

Check out a few of the inspiring MAKEShift poems by event guests and the ADE community.


Meet the 2016 Class of Allen Distinguished Educators

By Jerry Nguyen, Allen Awardee Program Officer at Vulcan Inc.
March 8, 2016

In the quest to ignite innovation in education, the Allen Distinguished Educators (ADE) program has announced its 2016 cohort of teachers who will receive a $25,000 award for pioneering work in education. The ADE award generated 81 initial applications representing 31 states. From 16 finalists, seven winning projects were chosen.

“A national search for innovation in education revealed a significant appetite for strategies that give students more ownership over their learning,” said Dave Ferrero, Senior Program Officer for Education at Vulcan Inc., a Paul G. Allen company. “We believe that recognizing and supporting innovative teachers and their programs will create hands-on, real-world opportunities for students that are replicable models of success.”


Allen Distinguished Educators Are Redefining Excellence and Reinventing the Classroom

By Dave Ferrero, Senior Program Officer, Education at Vulcan Inc.
March 1, 2016

In contrast to most teacher awards, the Allen Distinguished Educators program seeks teachers who are redefining excellence and reinventing the classroom while helping students learn engineering, computer science or entrepreneurship. These are teachers who are unafraid to let a seven-year-old operate a chop saw or challenge a team of high schoolers to launch their own business enterprise, teachers who dare to inspire their students to make their mark on the world now by designing low-cost electrical lighting for children in developing countries or developing custom prosthetics for patients in need.


Collaborative Communities Support Progressive Teaching

By Jenny Burns, Community Coordinator for Allen Distinguished Educators
February 19, 2016

Teachers want and deserve meaningful networking opportunities with like-minded educators as they break through barriers to create change and pioneer more forward-thinking practices in education. The Allen Distinguished Educators (ADE) program is working to support a growing community of educators who are seeking out colleagues with whom to share resources and ideas. “The number one benefit of the ADE program is dedicated time with like-minded colleagues,” says Scott Swaaley, a high school teacher at High Tech High, San Diego and 2014 ADE.


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