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
“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
- 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.