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Leadership Blog

Vander Ark on Innovation

This archived blog was written by Tom Vander Ark (@tvanderark), an education advocate, adviser, and author of Getting Smart: How Personal Digital Learning is Changing the World. Tom is Founder and Executive Editor of Getting Smart and a partner in Learn Capital. (Vander Ark on Innovation ceased publishing in January 2019.)

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion Last Words on Innovation
After more than six years and 800 blog posts, I am wrapping up my contributions to Education Week. Before I go, a look at innovation vs. improvement and how we can all support creating a future that works for everyone.
Tom Vander Ark, January 28, 2019
4 min read
School & District Management Opinion What Game Are You Playing: Improvement or Innovation?
Improvement and innovation have different rules, expectations, and risks. The key is knowing which game you're playing, but getting the balance right between fostering innovation and fighting for equity may be the challenge of our time.
Tom Vander Ark, December 13, 2018
3 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion The Best Academic Schools in Tennessee Feature the Best Character Program in the Country
Valor Collegiate Academies has been in the top 5 percent of Tennessee schools on growth and achievement every year since it started in 2014. But Tom visited Valor because of the well-regarded Valor Compass, a holistic human-development program.
Tom Vander Ark, December 11, 2018
6 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion Scaling Competency-Based Education: Equity-Focused Strategies for Policy and Practice
An in-depth look at current barriers to competency-based education, the equity imperative behind CBE, and five key points to move the field toward CBE for all.
Tom Vander Ark, December 5, 2018
4 min read
Teaching Opinion Project-Based Schools Close Silicon Valley Gaps
Tom and Emily recently visited several schools in Silicon Valley. Dive in to see how high-challenge communities are responding with personalized and project-based learning.
Tom Vander Ark, November 26, 2018
4 min read
Teaching Opinion The Progressive Schools of Philadelphia
A look at some of the 10 progressive autonomous schools in the Philadelphia Innovation network expanding opportunities and serving families through local and national partnerships.
Tom Vander Ark, November 21, 2018
5 min read
School & District Management Opinion Design Thinking, City as Classroom, Museum as Home Base
Tom recently visited the Grand Rapids Public Museum School that's rooted in design thinking and place-based education. Here's a look at the school and how they're using their XQ Super School grant to extend their vision for high-quality, community as a classroom learning opportunities for more students.
Tom Vander Ark, November 19, 2018
4 min read
Future of Work Opinion 20 Signs of Progress at Singapore American School
A look at the progress seen at Singapore American School when it comes to prepping students for life and college and 20 signs of progress in talent development, care and guidance, and high impact teaching.
Tom Vander Ark, November 7, 2018
9 min read
School & District Management Opinion Growing Network Supports Thriving San Diego Students
How can we help students learn how to learn? Through projects and personalized learning. Discover how Thrive Public Schools makes this possible for each and every student that enters their doors.
Tom Vander Ark, November 5, 2018
3 min read
Personalized Learning Opinion How Teachers and Leaders Can Promote Personalized Learning
Personalized learning is the future of education. In the latest episode of the podcast, Tom shares five important attributes, five tips on learning environments and how teachers and leaders can help promote personalized learning.
Tom Vander Ark, October 31, 2018
6 min read
Families & the Community Opinion Family Technology Pact: Why You Need One and the Hidden Benefits
By: Rachel Wigglesworth. Everyone uses digital media nowadays. How can we navigate what is an appropriate amount of use with our families? Rachel shares how she is trying a family "technology pact."
Tom Vander Ark, October 29, 2018
10 min read
Personalized Learning Opinion Moving to Mastery in Idaho
Schools in Idaho are moving towards competency-based education in order to provide more personalized learning for all students. Read more from Tom's recent visit.
Tom Vander Ark, October 24, 2018
4 min read
Education Opinion The Case for Competency as a New Equity Agenda
By Tom Vander Ark and Mary Ryerse
We believe that every student deserves a great high school education - one that engages, challenges and inspires them, equips them to succeed in a rapidly changing world, and prepares them to thrive in the jobs of the future. We believe that all students should progress based on mastery and be provided the supports they need to succeed.
Tom Vander Ark, October 22, 2018
8 min read
Teaching Opinion Randy Ziegenfuss on Teacher Leadership and Student-Centered Learning
Tom chats with Randy Ziegenfuss about his journey as an educator, his time at Salisbury and his podcast, "Shift Your Paradigm."
Tom Vander Ark, October 17, 2018
4 min read