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The 7 Allen Distinguished Educators
What a fantastic opportunity for innovative teachers!  I hope that many will apply for the ADE Program’s new educator resource – use one of four hands-on integrated learning project guides created by an ADE and modify it as needed to work in your environment.  You get to innovate without reinventing the wheel, and you will contribute to the growth of a community of like-minded educators who see themselves as innovators.
Here’s some information about the ADE Program, courtesy of Dave Ferrero, Senior Program Officer for Education at Vulcan Inc.

About the Allen Distinguished Educators (ADE) program:

We’re launching the ADE program to recognize K-12 teachers across the U.S. who are “breaking the mold” of K-12 education by creating innovative, hands-on, student-directed approaches to learning computer science, engineering, and entrepreneurship. This program is inspired and funded by philanthropist and entrepreneur Paul G. Allen. We’re doing this to help parents, teachers, administrators, and policymakers recognize the value of these emerging skills areas and approaches to teaching and learning. We believe that more students would flourish if they have the opportunity to learn 21st century skills from innovative teachers like these. In fact, the $25,000 award to recognize Allen Distinguished Educators is just the beginning for this program. We really want to use their example as a catalyst to spread the notion that teachers are effective innovators by distributing teacher-created education resources to inspire, enable and empower others to follow their lead—or invent innovative programs of their own.
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New Educator Resources Now Available:
The ADE Program has recently released a host of teacher resources to inspire, enable and empower educators (K-12) across the US to bring more innovation to their classrooms and prepare their students with real-world skills in computer science, engineering and entrepreneurship. These educator resources include DIY Guides and DIY Grants, Microdocumentaries, ADE Roadmaps and an online community of like-minded educators.

More About Guides:

The ADE Program is enabling teachers to bring more innovation to their classrooms by providing four free Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Guides featuring hands-on integrated learning projects created by the inaugural cohort of ADEs. The DIY Guides include an interactive guided tour, downloadable project plan materials complete with step-by-step instructions, materials lists, learning standards addressed and links to supplementary resources, and an online discussion forum. We understand that all students, teachers, classrooms and schools are unique and different. That’s why we encourage teachers to “break” these projects and adapt or mold them to fit their specific instructional needs. The four DIY Guides include the “52 Minute Challenge” by Glenn Corey from Novato High School, “Design Learning” by Regan Drew from Riverpoint Academy, “MAKEShift Poetry” by Scott Swaaley from High Tech High and “53 Miles per Burrito” by Mike Wierusz from Inglemoor High School.

Apply for a grant to implement a DIY Guide:

In addition to the four DIY Guides, the ADE Program is now accepting applications for DIY Grants (up to $1,000) to enable teachers to adapt and implement a DIY Guide. Specifically, we’re looking to incentivize teachers who teach in environments different from those where the projects originated to try them and report back to us on what changes were necessary to make the project work with their students. We’re doing this because we recognize the importance of context and want to ensure usability across a range of school settings and circumstances. The grant application period is from Nov. 3 to Dec. 4 at 11:59pm (PT) and the application process involves a simple form that takes about ten minutes to complete. DIY Grants will cover the cost of materials to implement a DIY Guide plus an additional $200 to account for the teacher’s time and effort to adapt, modify, improve and expand the guide, and to report it all back to us.
We understand that innovative teachers are seeking to connect with likeminded educators to discuss projects and to share key learnings. That’s why we created the DIY Guides and online discussion forums in order to facilitate teacher collaboration and foster the spread of innovative ideas. Additionally, the DIY Guides and Grants were created to lower the barrier to adoption of innovative projects irrespective of school and classroom settings. The main goal of the DIY Guides and Grants is to enable more educators around the nation to bring innovative real-world project based learning opportunities to their classrooms.

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About the Founder & CEO

Dr. Koshi Dhingra has dedicated her career to STEM education and is passionate about having every child live up to their potential. Seeing a lack of girls and other underrepresented youth in STEM programs, she founded talkSTEM in 2015 to address the imbalance. She has a doctorate in science education from Teachers College, Columbia University, has years of experience teaching in graduate and undergraduate programs, and has held leadership roles in universities. She advises and collaborates with a broad range of educational institutions globally. Dr. Dhingra began her career teaching science in middle and high school in New York. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, three children, and two dogs.

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