Today’s schools face high demands to prepare students for an information-rich, technologically sophisticated, highly automated, entrepreneurial, global economy that requires a skilled and flexible workforce.
At All4Ed, we influence, train, and support school and district leaders to create innovative systems that ensure young people, particularly those historically underserved, are provided with access and opportunities to thrive in a modern world. Innovative leadership is imperative to break the cycle of marginalization caused by inequitable systems. Alongside our work with education leaders, we advocate for national and state policies to close the digital divide that prevents too many students from accessing and navigating the digital world necessary to succeed in education and life.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
— Albert Einstein
Advancing Innovation in America’s Schools
For over two decades, All4Ed has been a strong champion for equity in education to ensure all young people — regardless of background, race, ethnicity, learning or physical ability, zip code, or family income — receive a high-quality education. We believe innovation is critical to achieving this vision.
After publishing our seminal publication, The Digital Learning Imperative, All4Ed launched the first Digital Learning Day (DLDay) in 2012. At the time, the digital learning landscape was uncertain, and many educators did not fully recognize how the effective use of technology could reduce inequities and personalize instructional opportunities for students. DLDay shined a light on issues caused by lack of access to broadband and educational technologies, particularly for low-income areas.
Eager to support these early adopters and highlight the value and potential of ubiquitous technology in schools, the first DLDay celebrated innovative educators and schools that were working to improve learning experiences and outcomes for students. Since its inception, our annual DLDay highlights innovative approaches in diverse districts across the nation.
Following the success of DLDay, the U.S. Department of Education invited All4Ed to partner in hosting a series of “Future Ready” summits as part of the Obama administration’s ConnectED initiative to bring high-speed internet to 99% of the nation’s students by updating the Federal Communications Commission’s E-rate program. Along with our advocacy efforts in support of E-rate modernization, the 2014 White House Summit became an opportunity for All4Ed to support ongoing professional learning opportunities for district leadership teams when 124 of the nation’s most innovative superintendents signed the Future Ready District Pledge. Since then, more than 3,500 superintendents have pledged to lead districts that prepare students for their future—not the past—and All4Ed created the Future Ready SchoolsⓇ (FRS) network.
Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity — not a threat.
— Steve Jobs
FRS was founded on an evidence-based planning framework that guides school and district leaders in implementing student-centered learning strategies in seven key areas, also known as “gears.” FRS helps school and district administrators build leadership capacity to create policies that target existing inequities; remedy disparities in in-school and out-of-school technology access; and use technology to improve learning opportunities, particularly for students from underserved backgrounds. FRS provides relevant, high-octane professional learning experiences for educational leaders so they are equipped with tools to create experiences that today’s modern learners need to thrive. Through leadership institutes, virtual workshops, ongoing mentoring support, and other professional learning opportunities, FRS empowers district and school leaders to vision, plan, and implement innovative, sustainable change.
Every child, regardless of zip code or family income, deserves access to the following:
- A personalized, student-centered learning environment
- Research-based digital learning strategies implemented by caring and qualified teachers
- Robust learning experiences that prepare students for an increasingly technology-driven workforce and world
- Learning that taps into passions and interests for deeper engagement and agency
- A clear pathway to postsecondary success