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 SDCOE Program, Teacher Win Innovation in Education Awards

​​​A certification program and resource teacher from the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) have both won Innovation in Education awards this year from the Classroom of the Future Foundation​.

Leading Edge Certification for the Online and Blended Teacher will receive the Impact Award, which is given to programs that embody all three of the foundation’s priority areas.

Jeff Heil, a technology resource teacher, will get the Innovate Award, which highlights creative innovations that enhance learning.

“It’s pretty unusual to get two awards from one organization,” said Bruce Braciszewski, executive director of the Classroom of the Future Foundation.

Heil stood out for his innovative use of technology, Braciszewski said.

“What everyone was impressed with was his ability to use a whole variety of technologies in professional development and coaching instruction,” he said.

The Leading Edge Certification program guides educators through a rigorous and engaging curriculum focused on not only facilitating online and blended courses but also on developing a solid understanding of how to enhance learning opportunities for all students.

The coordinators of Leading Edge Certification have been collecting data for three years on the impact the program has had on educators. One documented outcome is that even a year or two after taking the course, 81 percent of participants report they have either improved or maintained the skills they learned and 98 percent are confident in their abilities to implement online and blended learning strategies in their classroom.

“It’s nice to have the program acknowledged for all of the hard work that the teachers and students have put in,” said Mary Kraus, a project specialist who helps oversee the program.

The Innovation in Education Awards program will be held May 20 at the Hahn Center at the University of San Diego. More than 500 educators, business leaders, and students attend each year’s event, which showcases innovative uses of learning technology in San Diego County’s classrooms.

The awards recognize innovative projects across the county that demonstrate the power and scope of ways to improve education. There are four awards:

  • The Inspire Award recognizes programs that get kids excited about learning
  • The Innovate Award showcases creative innovations that facilitate enhanced learning.
  • The Achieve Award demonstrates the tangible program results that drive student learning.
  • The Impact Award is a best-of-show award given to the one program that best embodies all three attributes–inspire, innovate and achieve

Award recipients are picked by a panel that includes teachers, superintendents, technology specialists, and Classroom of the Future Foundation board members.