Our blogs feature teachers, administrators, parents, and change makers who are doing the heavy lifting in our schools. Their weekly blogs showcase new ideas on teacher development, project-based learning, classroom management, implementing new technologies, and much more. We link to resources, news, and ideas from around the Web and we hope you'll jump into the conversation on what works in education. Meet our bloggers . . .
Elena Aguilar is a transformational leadership coach in Oakland, CA
Elena Aguilar was a founding member of ASCEND, a small autonomous school in the Oakland Unified School District, which opened in 2001. At ASCEND, she taught history and language arts to children in grades 6-8 using project learning. Aguilar has also taught at the elementary school and high school levels. She is a lecturer in San Francisco State University's Department of Elementary Education and a transformational leadership coach in one of Oakland's middle schools. She works closely with BayCES, the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools, to dramatically improve educational experiences, outcomes, and life options for students and families who have been historically underserved by their schools and districts.
Rebecca Alber is Edutopia's consulting online editor and teaches online education at Stanford
Rebecca Alber is dedicated to the transformation of public schooling. Working with Center X, a part of the University of California at Los Angeles's Graduate School of Education, she observes dozens of classrooms each year and, through professional development, assists teachers and schools in meeting students' academic needs through best practices. Alber's other educational work consists of instructing online teacher-education courses for Stanford University as well as being an advocate for those students whose voices are often not heard. In her free time she enjoys travel and surfing.
Amy Erin Borovoy (aka VideoAmy) is Edutopia's digital media curator
VideoAmy programs relevant content on Edutopia.org and in social media spaces like Twitter and YouTube, including new releases, great stuff from the Edutopia archives, and finds from around the web, with a special focus on video. She has a passion for content at the intersection of web video, new technologies, and education. Follow her on Twitter @VideoAmy or subscribe to her YouTube channel for more videos for educators.
Suzie Boss writes about sustainability and project learning
Suzie Boss writes about the power of teaching and learning to improve lives and transform communities. Coauthor of Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age, she draws inspiration and insight from educators who push the boundaries of the traditional classroom. Previously an editor and writer for the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, she is on the National Faculty of the Buck Institute for Education. She has also helped nonprofit organizations design programs that teach both youth and adults how to improve their communities with innovative, sustainable solutions.
Eric Brunsell writes about STEM education
Dr. Eric Brunsell, a former high school science teacher, is an assistant professor of science education at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, he is engaged in projects related to integrating technology into the science classroom and professional development. His research explores how educators use social networking for professional growth. Eric co-authors the "Science 2.0" column for the The Science Teacher, authored Readings in Science Methods, K-8, and co-facilitates #scichat on Twitter.
Lisa Dabbs is a consultant and Edutopia New Teacher Group facilitator advocating for the support of new and preservice teachers
Lisa Dabbs (@teachingwthsoul on Twitter) began her career as an elementary school teacher in Southern California. From there, she assisted as a grant writer and became a project director of a language and literacy program. Soon after, she became an elementary school principal, and she worked in urban school districts for 14 years. In 2009, she joined the team at Kaplan K-12 Educational Corporation as a middle school consultant and was an ELA coach in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She has also served as an adjunct professor teaching graduate-level courses in school administration. Whether as an administrator or independent consultant, Dabbs has been and continues to be passionate in advocating for the support and mentorship of new and preservice teachers.
Maurice Elias directs the Social-Emotional Learning Lab at Rutgers
Maurice Elias, a professor in the Psychology Department at Rutgers University, focuses on development of positive, constructive life paths for children and youth and the organization of opportunities to allow this to happen in equitable ways. Elias is director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab and principal investigator for its Developing Safe and Civil Schools initiative. He is also academic director of Rutgers's Civic Engagement and Service Education Partnerships program, coordinator of the university's internship program in applied, school, and community psychology, president of the Society for Community Research and Action and the American Psychological Association's Division of Community Psychology, and a founding member of the Leadership Team for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
Todd Finley is an Associate Professor of English Education at East Carolina University in C&I
Todd Finley specializes in tech/literacy, has taught elementary and 8-12th grade English, and co-developed the Tar River Writing Project. His MA and PhD were earned at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Finley teaches, researches, works with schools and publishes in the field of curriculum, instruction, technology, and collaboration. He lives a ridiculously contented life with his wife, daughter, and several dogs. Newfies have become an obsession. Collected resources (@EnglEduProf), and other conversations (finleyt) can be found on Twitter or his home page, eeprof.com.
Mary Beth Hertz is an elementary school computer teacher
Mary Beth Hertz has been teaching in urban, inner city elementary schools in Philadelphia since 2003. She previously taught on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and at an alternative school for at-risk high school students in Ohio. She believes that every student can learn and has a passion for integrating technology across the curriculum. She supports teachers in her building with their technology needs and trains teachers in using technology for their professional use as well as in the classroom. She is a co-organizer of edcamp Philly and an active member of the educator community on Twitter. She is the author of the Philly Teacher blog and can be found on Twitter as @mbteach. She has also been recognized as one of ISTE's Emerging Leaders of 2010.
Ben Johnson is an education consultant, master teacher, and trainer
Ben Johnson is the CEO of Johnson Education Group Johnson Education Group and uses his passion for engaged, aligned instruction to help school systems one teacher at a time. He has been a coach and mentor for many teachers and principals in Texas. He has served as an administrator in large and small schools, and at a charter school. He was the assistant superintendent of the Natalia Independent School District where he helped bring about major improvements in student learning. He has a master's degree in educational administration from California State University, San Bernardino, and is nearing the end of his doctoral studies for Educational Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Phoenix.
Bob Lenz is the founder of Envision Schools and four urban charter high schools
Bob Lenz is chief education officer and cofounder of Envision Schools, where he and his educational-support team help school leaders and teachers create the culture, processes, systems, curriculum, and assessments that produce powerful teaching and learning, a community of learners, and results. Lenz has served public education as a teacher, a student-activities director, a school-reform leader, a consultant, and a principal. He earned a bachelor's degree from St. Mary's College, in Moraga, California, and a master's degree in education from San Francisco State University. He lives in San Rafael, California, with his wife, Cathy, and their children, Evelyn and Brendan.
Andrew Marcinek is a high school technology integration specialist
Andrew Marcinek has been an English teacher for six years. He is also an adjunct professor of Language Arts at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA. Next fall Andrew will take over the Instructional Technology Specialist position at The Boys' Latin Charter School of Philadelphia. Andrew also authors a blog, iTeach, that focuses on 21st century classroom innovation and offers lessons and ideas for teachers seeking to advance their curriculum and tweets by the handle @andycinek.
Andrew Miller is an online educator and serves on the national faculty for the Buck Institute for Education
Andrew Miller (@betamiller on Twitter) currently serves on the national faculty for the Buck Institute for Education and travels nationally to train educators and present at conferences on his areas of expertise. He also consults independently for groups such as Abeo School Change (formally known as the Small Schools Project). He has taught both online and in the brick-and-mortar setting while implementing his core tenants, which include culturally responsive teaching, project-based learning, and game-based learning. He presents and writes for a variety of organizations including the Huffington Post, the National Council for Teachers of English, iNACOL, ISTE, ASCD, and the National Association of Multicultural Education. You can learn more about Andrew at AndrewKMiller.com
Danielle Moss Lee writes about educational equity
Dr. Danielle Moss Lee (@HEAFNYC on Twitter) is President and CEO of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund. Under her leadership, HEAF has increased its enrollment, retention and participation, expanded its outreach in the community, and increased an already impressive record of college attendance among its graduates. She has led her staff in expanding the curriculum, broadened students' service in the local and international communities, and increased student participation in pre-college summer programs resulting in student travel opportunities throughout the globe. Dr. Moss Lee holds M.A. and Ed.M. degrees from Teachers College Columbia University, where she completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership. She is a graduate of the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management's Executive Level Program at Columbia Business School and completed the Harvard Business School SPNM program for non-profit executives.
Anne O'Brien is the deputy director of the Learning First Alliance
The Learning First Alliance is a permanent partnership of 16 major national education associations that collectively represent some 10 million parents, educators, and policymakers. Alliance members work together to find common ground and create shared strategies for giving every child a chance for success in work, in life, and as citizens. A former public school teacher and Teach For America alumna, Anne maintains Public School Insights, a blog that promotes what is working in our public schools.
Mark Phillips writes about education reform
Dr. Mark Phillips taught high school for 10 years in Manhasset, NY, before earning his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He taught in the international Confluent Education program at U.C., Santa Barbara and then became Chair of the Department of Secondary Education at San Francisco State University. His teaching focus at SFSU was in helping teachers develop alternative approaches to engaging contemporary adolescents. With a special interest in the use of film and video in education, he was a contributing editor with Media and Methods magazine and presently works as a volunteer with the California Film Institute's Educational Outreach program.
Nicholas Provenzano is an English teacher and tech curriculum specialist at a public school in Michigan
Nicholas Provenzano is a high school English teacher and technology-curriculum specialist for Grosse Pointe Public School, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. He has a master's degree in educational technology from Central Michigan University. When he is not spending time writing on his blog, TheNerdyTeacher.com, or tweeting at @TheNerdyTeacher, he is working on ProjectPLN.com and Edcamp Detroit. He is happily married and is enjoying time with his new son, @BabyProvenzano. The senior Provenzano is a nerd in every sense of the word.
Betty Ray is Edutopia's community manager
An early participant in AOL and First Class BBS communities, Ray witnessed the power of the Internet to revolutionize interpersonal relationships back when most companies were trying to sell pet food and patio furniture online. Her first professional community role was at Minnesota Public Radio in the mid-1990s, when she produced site content and online events for MPR listeners. Since then, she has led community initiatives with myriad organizations, including a community Internet-radio network, a social network for people over 40, a green-media company, and a group of brain researchers. Prior to joining Edutopia, Ray produced a plan for an arts and science fair for kids in grades K-12 and their teachers and parents. A kid-centric version of Maker Faire, this event is a project-based festival at a public arts facility in Oakland, California. She lives in an Oakland artists' community with her husband and young daughter.
Judy Willis is a neurologist and former middle school teacher
Dr. Judy Willis is an authority on brain research regarding learning and the brain. With the unique background as both a neurologist and classroom teacher, she writes extensively for professional educational journals and has written six books about applying the mind, brain, and education research to teaching and parenting. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa as the first woman graduate from Williams College, Willis attended UCLA School of Medicine where she was awarded her medical degree. She remained at UCLA and completed a medical residency and neurology residency, including chief residency. She practiced neurology for 15 years before returning to the university for her teaching credential and master's of education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then taught in elementary and middle school for ten years and currently gives presentations and conducts professional development workshops nationally and internationally about educational strategies correlated with neuroscience research.
Heather Wolpert-Gawron teaches at a middle school in San Gabriel, CA
Heather Wolpert-Gawron teaches language arts for grades 7-8 and is a speech-and-debate and podcasting coach in California's San Gabriel Unified School District. Her students can be heard on iTunes (keyword: Bulldog Radio). A ten-year teaching veteran and a California regional Teacher of the Year, she's also a Writing Program Fellow at the University of California at Irvine. She is a contributor to Teacher Magazine and has been featured in Imagine magazine and Arts Education in the News. She is also a member of the Teacher Leaders Network, working on virtual learning communities and online collaborative environments. She frequently presents at conferences, passing on strategies related to peer teaching, collaboration, and mentorship. Heather's musings on educational policy, curriculum design, and daily school life can also be read at www.tweenteacher.com.
- Tony Bencivenga
- Peggy Benton
- Bonnie Bracey Sutton
- Milton Chen
- Anthony Cody
- Douglas Cruickshank
- Diane Demee-Benoit
- Owen Edwards
- Mimi Gilman
- Pat Harder
- Stephen Hurley
- Katie Klinger
- Patsy Lanclos
- Larry Leverett
- Sandy Mittelsteadt
- Jim Moulton
- Mark Nichol
- Chris O'Neal
- Gaetan Pappalardo
- Ron Smith
- Susan Tidyman
- Audrey Watters
- Claus von Zastrow
- Rob Williams