Blended learning is any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace. Michael Horn and Heather Staker
Blended learning curriculum is one of many tools in the proverbial “tool-kit” to ensure all students are college and career ready. And as districts are increasingly encouraged to do more with less as financial constraints continue to stress the school system, innovation in the classroom is more important than ever.
We are excited to announce the launch of our newest initiative, the Texas Teaching, Technology, & Innovation Fund or T3IF. T3IF is a dynamic and district-led initiative designed to achieve three things:
Enhance instruction and improve delivery of curriculum,
Foster a culture that supports individualized learning across students, teachers, district leadership, parents and/or partners, and
Improve system structure and policy to allow for full implementation of blended learning practices.
It was important to us to target districts that were already actively planning to implement blended learning curriculum in the 2013-2014 school year and as a result we have engaged five districts including Coppell, Hays, McAllen, Rapoport and Spring.
These districts were invited to participate in a day-long blended learning workshop to learn first-hand about the different learning models and more importantly gain perspective on what learning model(s) will be fit their district’s unique needs.
We believe that the intentional integration of technology in the classrooms has the potential to improve learning outcomes, better prepare students for college readiness and 21st century skills, and allow schools to realize cost efficiencies and scale in more sustainable ways. We also believe that now is a critical time for us to explore different types of blended learning models. The promise of technology is only beginning to take shape. There is still much to learn related to its implications on teacher practice, scheduling, staffing and use of space. And we look to this opportunity to learn by doing.
Following the training, districts will participate in a Request for Proposal process at which point we will announce the leading districts (as many as three) in March and begin the implementation process.
Education Elements is a leading developer of blended learning solutions and as such has been selected as our partner in guiding this initiative. Education Elements helps schools design the right blended learning solutions for them, and works side by side with leaders and teachers to embed online content and data into daily instruction – an essential process we believe is key to the success of the districts.
We are thrilled at this opportunity and look forward to sharing our experience and that of the participating districts over the coming year. We believe this will be a great lesson in shaping next generation learning for the state of Texas. Stay tuned!
Ted Mitchell is president and CEO of the NewSchools Venture Fund. He has long been a leader in education reform in California and nationally. From 2008 through 2010, he served as president of the California State Board of Education. Prior to taking the helm at NewSchools in 2005, Ted was president of Occidental College, vice chancellor and dean of the School of Education and Information Studies at the UCLA, and professor and chair of the Department of Education at Dartmouth College. He has served on a number of policy commissions, including chairing the Governor’s Committee on Education Excellence and the Commission on Teacher Effectiveness for the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of Khan Academy, New Leaders for New Schools, The Teaching Channel, ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career and The McClatchy Company. Dr. Mitchell received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Wally is a co-founder of InterWest Partners (1979) one of the larger venture capital partnerships in the United States. Mr. Hawley’s prior experience includes seven years as president of SHV North America Holding Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of a Netherlands corporation and several years as a consultant with McKinsey and Company in their San Francisco and Amsterdam Offices. He is currently devoting the majority of his time to non-profit endeavors. His current affiliations include:
Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Stanford Institute of Economic
Policy Research, Stanford University
Guest lecturer at Stanford Business School
Board of Directors for Education Elements
Board of Directors member for Voyager Expanded Learning
National Board Member of Young Life
Creating classrooms that inspire teaching and learning
National Board Member of FaithWorks
Elder, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
Wally has a B.A. from Stanford University and a M.B.A. from Harvard University. He has been married to Alexandra Hawley for 37 years. They have two daughters and two grandsons. His hobbies are hiking, fly fishing, and reading. Wally currently resides in Atherton, California.
Howard Behar is the former president of Starbucks Coffee Company North America and Starbucks Coffee International. He joined Starbucks in 1989 when the company had just begun to venture outside the Northwest region. Initially serving as vice president of sales and operations he grew the retail business from 28 stores to more than 400 stores by the time he was named president of Starbucks Coffee International in 1995. Under Behar’s leadership, Starbucks opened its first location in Tokyo in 1996. Following this historic opening, over the next three years he introduced the Starbucks brand across Asia and the United Kingdom. After a two-year hiatus, he returned to Starbucks as President of Starbucks North America until his retirement in January 2003. He was a director of the Company from 1996 to 2008.
A frequent speaker on the topics of organizational and personal leadership, Mr. Behar serves on several profit and nonprofit boards, including Anna’s Linens, Education Elements, EZ Grill, Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, and University of Washington Foundation, and he is sponsoring a joint educational initiative with the University of Washington School of Social Work and the Business School. He also served as the Fritsky Leadership Chair 2008-2009 at the UW’s Foster School of Business. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Lynn, and he loves boating and spending time with his children and young grandchildren.
Dave Whorton is the founder and managing partner of Tugboat Ventures, a seed and early stage venture fund focused on serving committed, passionate entrepreneurs with big ideas in consumer internet, cloud computing, mobile, security and SAAS. Tugboat’s small, highly effective team strives to make a significant difference from as early as inception through successful IPO or sale.
After earning a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford´s Graduate School of Business, Whorton found his way to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Texas Pacific Group Ventures, where he developed and incubated numerous investments.
Whorton has been called a “serial entrepreneur.” He was founding CEO of Good Technology (acquired by Motorola); co-founder of Drugstore.com (DSCM) and general manager and president of Optical Engineering, Inc. Dave also worked at Netscape, Hewlett Packard and Bain.
He currently serves on the board of directors of Education Elements, FiveApes, RepairPal and RichRelevance. Prior investments that Dave led include Blue Nile (NILE), Cranium (sold to Hasbro) and SuccessFactors (SFSF). Dave also worked closely with Amazon, Autotrader, E.piphany and Google in their early days. Dave is a founding non-profit board member of CharterCities and NewSchools Venture Fund.
Ethan Beard serves as Director of Platform Partnerships for Facebook, where he oversees worldwide partner relations for companies building on Facebook Platform, including apps on Facebook and Facebook Connect for mobile and web. He previously served as Director of Business Development at Facebook and led the team responsible for creating and managing strategic partnerships. Ethan joined Facebook from Google, where he served as Director of Social Media and Director of New Business Development. Prior to Google, he spent several years as Director of Business Development for MTV Online. Earlier in his career, Ethan co-founded BigSoccer, an online community for soccer fans and spent time structuring derivatives at Bank of America.
Neil Kole is Vice President of Information Technology at Informatica, a data integration software provider. He previously held the same position at both VMWare and Symantec. Neil has over 20 years of experience building high-performance teams. He is an operational leader with the ability to quickly develop strategy and plans that can be driven to execution and that demonstrate technological improvements and cost savings. Neil has built large global organizations to support the rapid growth of some of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies, including VMware, Intuit, Symantec, Union Pacific, Xerox and IBM.
Louis Monier is Chief Scientist at Proximic, a provider of data services to the online advertising marketplace. Monier has held principal positions at AltaVista, eBay, Google and most recently Qwiki. As the founder of AltaVista, Monier is widely considered one of the fathers of Web search. He held technical positions at both Google and eBay, where he created eBay Labs and was instrumental in the redesign of eBay’s search infrastructure. Most recently, Monier was co-founder and CTO of Qwiki, a service that transforms data into rich media presentations for content creation and easier consumption on mobile devices.
Randy Womack is Chief Operating Officer at Castlight Health, which offers companies a hosted software tool that provides employees with personalized views of their medical benefits and the costs associated with medical procedures. Womack has a strong track record in managing Internet and software companies. Most recently, he was CIO and VP of Operations for SuccessFactors, a customer-focused business execution software company with more than eight million users and 3,000 customers across 168 countries. He first began working with SuccessFactors as an early-stage startup while a partner in the Fast Forward Group at Greylock Partners. Prior to Greylock, he served as CIO at Digital River, an e-commerce ASP with more than 6,000 online stores, where he helped lead the company to a successful IPO. Randy’s previous experience includes Xerox, Oracle, Artificial Linguistics and Dell Computer.
Anthony Kim is the CEO and founder of Education Elements, a blended learning technology company he created in 2010. A seasoned entrepreneur, Anthony also founded and led Provost Systems, a provider of software and services for operating online schools, where he worked with K-12, post-secondary and Department of Defense institutions to support innovation in instructional delivery and instructional technology. After selling Provost Systems to EdisonLearning (formerly Edison Schools) in 2008, Anthony served as Executive Vice President of Online at EdisonLearning until 2010, building out its newly formed online business unit. Anthony graduated from Cornell University and has served as an advisor to several software companies. He lives in San Francisco with his family, including two huskies.
Shelli is the Chief Operating Officer for Education Elements, supporting the team in creating classrooms that inspire teaching and learning. Prior to joining Education Elements, Shelli was the Vice President of Disney English China, China’s leading English Language provider delivering immersive English language learning experiences, products and services for children ages 2 to 12 years of age. Shelli oversaw all operational aspects and scaled the business from 15 centers in 5 cities to 34 centers in 8 cities educating more than 24,000 young learners. Shelli enjoyed an 18 year distinguished career at Starbucks Coffee Company. She held several executive positions including Regional Vice President, China; Vice-President of New Business Development, Greater China; and Vice President of Operations and Store Development, Taiwan. Shelli graduated from University of California Riverside. She lives with her husband and son in Northern California.
David Sanchez leads Product Development and Platform Partnerships for Education Elements. David brings over 15 years of experience developing technology products and services that deliver transformational user experiences. Most recently he held product and marketing strategy roles for Jawbone, the leading innovator in mobile lifestyle electronics and Tellme, a platform-as-service pioneer and leader in voice recognition services which was acquired by Microsoft in 2007. David began his career with Accenture where he was a founding member of the Strategic Alliances and Channels practice and spearheaded its growth worldwide through long-term assignments in Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Spain.
Jackie Pugh is a member of the Design & Implementation team, and works closely with school administrators and lead teachers to implement blended learning models that fit a school’s needs and innovative aspirations. Jackie began her teaching career as a Teach for America corps member teaching first grade in the Roosevelt School District located in south Phoenix. She later became an instructional coach, implementing Success for All, a school-wide leveled literacy program and comprehensive school reform model supporting Kindergarten through 8th grades. As a member of her school’s leadership team, she planned and executed staff-wide professional development and coordinated the school’s supplemental educational services program serving over 20% of the school’s at-risk student population. Her experience in Arizona has fostered her passion to redesign schools as she continues to work in the education sector in Washington DC. Jackie attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and received an MA in Elementary Education from Arizona State University.
Jane Bryson works to design and implement blended learning into schools at Education Elements. Jane has six years of teaching experience, including two years at Town School for Boys, a private school in San Francisco, and four years at East Palo Alto Academy, a charter school serving a low-income neighborhood. At East Palo Alto Academy, she was a lead teacher and administrator running the Early College program focused on college readiness. Beyond the school environment, she has also worked with NewSchools Venture Fund as well as with the US Department of Education on the Race to the Top federal grant program. She graduated from Stanford University with an MBA and MA in education, as well as a BA from Stanford.
Angela Chubb serves on Education Element’s School Partnerships Team. Prior to joining Education Elements, Ms. Chubb was the Senior Vice President at Leeds Global where she worked as an international education consultant. Her work included advising the government of Abu Dhabi on the design and implementation of comprehensive school system reforms, including the adoption of world-class standards, the implementation of new instructional methods and approaches, and the transition to a bi-literate curriculum. In addition, she supervised the design and delivery of professional development services to 800+ school leaders across the United Arab Emirate, resulting in the successful implementation of the country’s groundbreaking New School Model. Previously Ms. Chubb was the Senior Product Manger for EdisonLearning. In addition, Ms. Chubb also served as Vice President and Executive Director of Achievement Services and supervised 60 schools and principals along the east coast. Ms. Chubb was the founding principal and CEO of an award winning K-12 Charter school with over 1000 enrolled students. Ms. Chubb also served as an Academy Director and Elementary School teacher. Ms. Chubb graduated summa cum laude from Kansas State University with a B.A. degree in Education and earned Master’s degrees in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership.
As part of Education Elements’ Service Delivery Team, Keara works closely with school leaders and teachers to design and implement blended learning solutions that accelerate student achievement. Keara began her career as a Teach For America corps members, serving as a third grade teacher on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. Since then, she has managed development, operations, programming, communications, curriculum design, and professional development projects for education organizations in the non-profit and for-profit sector, including Education Pioneers, Teach For America, InsideTrack, and Brooklyn Historical Society. She received an M.A. in Public History from New York University and a B.A. in History and International/Intercultural Studies from Claremont McKenna College.
Janice Flynn works with schools to implement Education Elements’ blended learning model. Janice comes to Education Elements from UPD Consulting where she provided project management support to state education agencies, school districts, and education nonprofits. She holds a masters degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a bachelors degree in American Studies and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame. Janice currently lives in the Washington, DC area.
Kusha Tavakoli works with schools to implement Education Elements’ blended learning model as smoothly as possible. Prior to joining Education Elements, Kusha worked across a wide range of industries in various consulting environments for more than five years with Deloitte Consulting and The Hackett Group. During this time, he worked on consulting engagements with companies such as Genzyme Genetics, General Motors, Alcoa, and Navistar, among others. The central focus of these engagements was improving business processes by working alongside clients to drive sustainable results. Kusha has a B.S.E. in chemical and biomolecular Engineering from University of Pennsylvania.
As a part of Education Elements’ Client Support Team, Simon Urrutia strives to help resolve any questions our clients have with HLMS and to further efforts to implement blended learning in the classroom. Prior to joining Education Elements, Simon worked with vendors in Google’s Real Estate and Workplace Services. He has also served in other client support roles at Charles Schwab and Alameda County Office of AIDS. Simon’s approach to customer service has also been influenced by his professional and academic experiences in education. Simon holds a MA in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and has completed additional graduate coursework in Educational Psychology.
Mike Wolking works with schools to implement Education Elements’ blended learning model. Mike spent four years as a teacher at Charles R. Drew Middle School in south Los Angeles, a position he began as a Teach for America Corps Member. While at Drew he fostered outdoor education partnerships with Burton Snowboards and the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, and spent summers as a language learning leader for Putney Student Travel in France. Mike comes to Education Elements from the Office of Innovation at the New York City Department of Education, where he supported the visioning and implementation of blended learning programs for 18 New York City public schools. Mike holds a B.A. in economics and political science from the University of Michigan, a masters degree in education from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and a masters degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He grew up in the Detroit area and currently lives in Washington, D.C.
As Education Elements’ User Experience (UX) Designer, Ken Arendt works with the product team to ensure visual design, usability, and user interactions are intuitive and grounded in making blended learning easy and enjoyable for all users. Ken has a long history working with startups and has held several product management and design oriented positions. He has worked extensively with consumer products and mobile devices on various platforms. He also cofounded a company which developed educational apps on mobile devices prior to coming to Education Elements. Ken holds a BA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Originally from Illinois, Ken now resides in San Jose, CA with his wife and two kids.
Beverly Chung leads product development for Education Element’s core HLMS platform and content and tools integrations with key ecosystem partners. Prior to Education Elements, Beverly worked as a product manager for EF Education in Shanghai, the leader in online English education globally. She also brings several years of experience working across the social sector, as a former strategy consultant and director of internal strategic projects. She has helped organizations like Teach For America create, evaluate and launch innovative programs and products. Beverly earned her BA from Stanford University and MBA from Columbia Business School. She currently lives in San Francisco.
As a product manager, David works on need-finding, prioritization, feature design, QA, and other tasks in our development cycle. Before joining Education Elements, David spent two years in the Teach for America corps, and spearheaded implementations of various technology platforms at his placement school. Before that, he spent time in IT support for SAY Media and Lewis & Clark college, as well as on marketing, copywriting, and translation projects for businesses in Japan and the US. David currently lives in San Francisco, and holds a B.S. in Economics from Lewis & Clark college and a California teaching credential from Loyola Marymount University.
Justin serves on Education Elements’ Knowledge Management Team. In this role, he analyzes EdTech providers to help schools make informed decisions about which content best suits their needs. Most recently, Justin taught 5th grade ELA at a KIPP middle school in San Jose, CA. Before that, he taught middle school ELA for six years in Miami, FL where he employed a blended learning model to help his students maximize their achievement. For three summers, he worked with The New Teacher Project in Miami and Louisiana to train new teachers and lead summer training institutes. He also worked with a group of Teach For America Corps Members to develop their instructional design and classroom management skills. Justin holds a BA in English from the University at Albany and an MA in Education from Stanford University. He lives in San Jose, CA.
Kawai Lai leads the Knowledge Management team in its efforts to curate education technology and build Education Elements’ expertise in blended learning. Kawai started as an Education Pioneers Fellow with Education Elements in 2011. Prior to joining the company, Kawai helped Fortune 500 companies as well as non-profits implement and prepare for new technologies with Deloitte Consulting’s Technology practice. She is passionate about promoting STEM subjects among young women and serves on the Board of Directors at Arise High School in Oakland, CA. She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from Haas, UC Berkeley. She lives in the bay area with her family and labradoodle.
As the Finance Manager at Education Elements, Jenni Tonti is responsible for all aspects of financial management as well as financial planning and analysis. Prior to Education Elements, Jenni worked at Fiscal Management Associates, providing financial consulting services to nonprofit organizations. There she worked with numerous education-focused organizations to improve their financial systems and processes. Jenni began her career as the finance and operations director at an organization dedicated to youth leadership development. As a graduate student Jenni participated in the Education Pioneers Fellowship Program, acquiring content knowledge about the education sector while gaining work experience in strategic operations. Jenni has a BS in Architecture from University of Michigan and an MBA from UC Berkeley-Haas. She currently lives in San Francisco.
Ben brings over 15 years experience developing leading schools and growing businesses that integrate technology and educational services. Most recently Ben held dual roles VP of Business Development and CIO at Extreme Learning, a leading provider of live tutoring over the web. Ben started his career as a middle school teacher and member of Teach For America; later holding roles as a director of technology and a middle school principal. He speaks Spanish and holds a Masters Degree in Education from Stanford University.
Amy Jenkins is the VP of Marketing at Education Elements. Prior to Ed Elements she spent five years leading projects at the Monitor Group, a strategy consulting firm. Her global projects spanned across commercial and non-profit sectors, and ranged from marketing to innovation to general strategy. Before Monitor, Amy worked at NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy firm working to transform public education through powerful ideas and passionate entrepreneurs. In 2001, Amy co-founded the local affiliate site of America SCORES, an after-school program for low-income youth, where she was in charge of program development as well as fund-raising. She served as a teacher through Teach for America in Oakland, California and has been active on the boards of several non-profit organizations. Amy has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
Kyle Rutledge develops new Education Elements partnerships as a Regional Director of Growth & Development in the Eastern United States. Before joining the company, Kyle was a Vice President of Sales and Senior Regional Sales Manager at Blackboard, Inc. where he helped to start virtual learning programs at the state, district and school levels. He has also worked as a Director of Sales at k12, inc. and Aventa Learning establishing virtual and blended learning programs with state departments of education, school districts and charter schools. Kyle holds a BS in Communications from the University of Tennessee. He resides in Davidson, NC with his wife and two daughters.
As a Data Creative on the Product team, Charlie helps figure out how teachers can get the most out of student data. Before joining Education Elements, he spent a year interning for Asia Society’s Northern California office and running errands for TaskRabbit. Charlie currently lives in San Francisco, and holds a B.A. in History and East Asian Studies from Oberlin College.
Filip Kesler leads Platform Partnerships for Education Elements. Filip brings over 20 years of experience building successful ecosystems and channels for disruptive technology companies. Most recently he built a reseller partner channel for Egnyte, the leading file sharing platform for the enterprise, enabling thousands of partners to benefit from the rapid growth of the Egnyte platform and the enterprise cloud storage market. Earlier in his career, Filip held executive Business Development and Alliances roles with Informatica, Interwoven, PwC and others. He lives in San Francisco and works on children’s literacy with non-profits, such as 826 Valencia.
Liz helps manage day to day life at Education Elements, from recruiting and vendor account relations to human resources and social media marketing. Prior to joining Education Elements, Liz worked in appraisal compliance at a mortgage lender and managed operations for a home appraisal company. Liz majored in International Development with a minor in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. She currently lives in San Francisco.
Taha Kazi is part of Client Services Team, and works with schools and online content providers to implement Education Elements’ blended learning models for teachers and students. He comes to Education Elements from Kumon, where he was fortunate to work in several roles from working directly with students in classrooms to designing and implementing technology products and solutions across various Kumon learning centers in North America. Taha has a bachelors degree in Actuarial Science from Georgia State University. He currently lives in DC, and likes to spend weekends photographing wildlife.