2010 Innovation in Education Award Winners
Program: PRIDE Academy, where Purposeful, Rigorous, Innovative, Dynamic Education is available to ALL
School/District: Santee Elementary, Santee Elementary School District
Description: The PRIDE Academy embodies the transformation of learning by energized and proactive teachers. Students address thoughtful and challenging questions using integrated technology tools working in collaborative groups who then communicate their results to an audience of classmates. Students are excited to learn because their choices and voices are heard. “What’s the point of learning if there are no challenges?” said one fourth grade student. Academic achievement shows gains of 41 API points in three years, demonstrating the effect of inspired teachers and students.
Program: Serra High School Biotechnology Workforce Program
School/District: Serra High School, San Diego Unified School District
Description: Bringing the biotechnology community into the classroom exposes students to the academic rigor in a professional context. Students work on laboratory projects at school as well as visiting real-world labs in San Diego biotech companies and research groups for field trips, job shadows, and externships. Partnering between teachers and industry professionals gives students motivation, role models, and relationships between school and career.
Program: Integrated Learning Environment
District: Bonsall Union School District
Description: As a vital part of the strategic plan for the Bonsall district, the Integrated Learning Environment brings together learning at school and home, focus on math and language skills, and the governance needed to ensure accelerating academic performance. Based upon differentiated instruction and extended learning with 24/7 access, students are guided by frequent assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses. Several game-like instructional programs engage students while providing both remedial learning as needed and scores based on progress assessments. Academic achievement gains helped close the gap for English learners and socioeconomically disadvantaged students while the district performance improved.
Program: Transforming Teaching and Learning with iPod touch
District: Escondido Union School District
Description: Give students a mobile learning device geared towards an academic purpose guided by a professional community of educators then amazing results can happen. Each student learns at their own pace, either racing ahead or working on what challenges them, in their own style with audio, text and video presenting the lesson concept, and at their own time. Teachers construct more project-based lessons with more multimedia content that engages students who know where they stand on the path to knowledge. Students are progressing at rates never thought possible, some two grade levels in six months of language instruction, and at deeper levels than before, explaining concepts to others using these devices. Success at Escondido has encouraged other districts to adapt these techniques.