We believe in education as a means for transforming people’s lives, especially those facing economic and social barriers. We hope that supporting and telling these educators’ stories multiplies the impact of their good work by inspiring more people to teach generously.
Professor Renee Hobbs has dedicated 30+ years to media literacy education through teaching, researching, writing books, and creating supportive communities for educators.
One of those communities is the Media Education Lab, which equips educators to teach students how to access, critically evaluate, and create media on their own. Many countries, including the US, need this skill to bridge political and cultural polarization gaps.
After hosting the University of Rhode Island's Summer Institute in Digital Literacy in-person for eight years, Renee moved the program online with Pathwright in 2020. She discovered unexpected positive side-effects.
Participant diversity increased because hotel and travel expenses were no longer barriers. Four teachers from a Navajo reservation and educators from Brazil, Romania, and other underserved communities joined online. Renee reflected, "Our online community grew more diverse and deeply collaborative and intensified our feelings of connection across time and space."
Media Education Lab also saw a spike in participation overall. 10,248 unique individuals joined its Zoom meetings in 2020.
In 2021, Renee published a new book on propaganda, Mind Over Media, and an online companion course that models the learning activities in her book. Renee hopes this course will help educators engage with students in analyzing current events, propaganda, and disinformation.
In February 2011, Jeremiah Dew (JDew) gave a solo theater performance that would change the course of his career. He created and performed "One Voice: A Black History Narrative" to share black history from the perspectives and voices of the people who lived it. He reenacted speeches of both iconic characters and regional people to emphasize how just one voice, any voice, can make a positive impact in our communities.
JDew planned to perform the One Voice Show for just two nights as a special event, but his audience (and perhaps fate) wouldn't allow it to be a one-off performance. Corporations, churches, offices, and schools asked him to bring the show to their communities. Ten years later, JDew has performed the One Voice Show for 50,000+ people.
The show captured even more interest in 2020 as a social movement emerged in response to the death of George Floyd. A US congressman supported JDew’s efforts to film portions of the show on location at the Lincoln Memorial. These recorded performances would become part of JDew's first ever virtual show experience.
Now 2021 looks to be the show's biggest year ever. The virtual experience takes JDew's performance beyond any current in-person limitations, packaging the show within an online group experience that creates more opportunities for dialogue and Q&A. Reflecting on the past year, JDew said, "I hope [my show] helps us be better neighbors to each other."
You can get a preview of the virtual experience at One Voice: A Black History Narrative Performance + Course, or book a live performance at onevoiceshow.com.
Reach Out & Read resources and trains physicians and advance practice providers to encourage parents to read with their children, a family activity proven to be crucial to a child's cognitive, social, and emotional development.
In 2016, Teandra Ramos-Hardy had the opportunity to take years’ worth of expertise and training and transform it into online courses for Reach Out & Read Carolinas. Through her efforts, it was suddenly much easier for Reach Out and Read providers to receive training and certified medical education credits.
Teandra's already important work became essential in a new way in March 2020. Many families were under immense stress, and the care doctors provided as well as the free books they prescribed to young children were and continue to be especially helpful for families in need.
By September 2020, Teandra had seen a 57% overall increase in engagement with courses from the previous year. And the courses that she promoted in March grew rapidly (e.g. engagement for "Building Resilience in Children & Families" increased by 750%).
Busy doctors and practitioners took time from their schedules to read children's books live on social media to promote family health and togetherness — a testament to the effectiveness of Teandra's courses and ROR's message. Here's one of those Facebook book readings from Family Nurse Practitioner, Mr. Francisco Rojo.
Math teachers, Luke Wilcox and Lindsey Gallas, created the resources at Stats Medic for their own classrooms. They designed their online courses around the philosophy that discussion, experience, and creating curiosity take priority over memorization.
This philosophy is the key to success for their many international students and English Language Learners. Students coming from multi-cultural backgrounds take to memorization differently and many don't succeed.
In the spring of 2020, when teachers and students were struggling to find a way to finish the school year and pass exams, Lindsey and Luke offered their AP statistics course for free. "We knew that teachers were completely overwhelmed due to the pandemic, but that they still wanted all of their students to do well on the AP Exam, despite the circumstances." - Luke
Luke and Lindsey saw equity as a math problem that, in this case, called for lowering the cost of a resource they poured a lot of time and energy into. Learn more about what they do with Stats Medic.
The 4A's provides leadership and direction for over 600 advertising agencies, accounting for 85% of U.S. advertising spend.
In a critical moment, when most companies were canceling their 2020 internship programs, Sean McGlade stayed nimble. He helped the 4A's Foundation team transform their multicultural advertising internship program (MAIP) of 47 years into the online MAIP Virtual Engagement Program.
For decades, MAIP has helped diverse students launch their agency careers and supplied the industry with a vital and vibrant talent pipeline. But this year was different; with the traditional model rendered impossible, the 4A's reimagined the program and partnered with agencies and brands to deliver a project-based experience focused on craft skills, cross training, and community-building. The program was a resounding success (see 2020 Fellowship Impact).
Sean and the MAIP team had the courage to innovate in the face of an extreme challenge. They made sure opportunity didn't get canceled for the 354 MAIP Fellows of 2020.
High Tech High's Graduate School of Education trains teachers in a Project-Based ("deeper learning") pedagogy.
With so many schools entirely virtual this year, Ben Sanoff recognized that educators' greatest need wasn't just training materials for themselves but ready-made learning materials for their students as well.
So in September 2020, Ben and HTH partners launched Deeper Learning Hub Courses: a library of project-based courses for educators to engage students in experiential learning projects (e.g. the "Science of Tortillas" and "Math is Beautiful"). Teachers have a ready-to-teach curriculum that they can customize to their classes however they wish.
Each course leads up to a final "Share Your Learning" project to empower students through exhibitions, student-led conferences, or presentations with an authentic audience.
The Share Your Learning Campaign has seen over 3,000 educators representing millions of students join in just three years. We can't wait to see how educators use Deeper Learning Hub courses to continue building value in students by giving them a voice in their learning.
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