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The Digital Learning Collaborative announces annual award program

The Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC) is thrilled to announce our inaugural awards program recognizing a few of the incredible leaders, schools, and organizations that are improving student opportunities and outcomes.

According to Allison Powell, DLC COO, “we were delighted by many amazing nominations from innovative online learning leaders and organizations across the country.” The winners are being recognized at the closing ceremony of the Digital Learning Annual Conference (DLAC), on Wednesday February 9th, in Atlanta and online.

Award recipients are:

Individual Excellence in Digital Learning Award – Dr. Cory Kanth
Dr. Cory Kanth is Statewide Public Education Online Program Specialist in the Utah State Office of Education. In her role, Cory has successfully implemented the vision of the Statewide Online Education Program, providing publicly-funded online courses to thousands of students across Utah, and providing an example of success in course choice programs and policy.

DLC Research Impact Award – Thomas Arnett
Tom Arnett brings deep educational experience into his role as Senior Research Fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute, including as a middle school math teacher, and board member of both a school district and charter school. In the past year in particular he has been instrumental in researching the promise and peril of pandemic-induced remote learning, and how schools may build on that experience to create long-term, sustainable online and hybrid learning options for students.

2022 DLC Unsung Super Star Award (Individual) – Neida Ortiz
With more than 10 years experience in the education industry, Neida Ortiz serves as a Quality Assurance Specialist within the Curriculum Development Department at FlexPoint Education Cloud and Florida Virtual School (FLVS). She has worked on lighting a path related to online course development and accessibility awareness. She discovered that students who used screen readers in world language courses were not having the most accurate learning experience because the content was not coded to recognize a change in language pronunciation. She led the efforts to engineer and document a process to correct this issue and make the online courses much more effective for visually challenged students.

Unsung Super Star Award (School/District) – Dr. Marty Lexmond
The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District serves a beautifully diverse population that includes sixty-five percent of students come from backgrounds of economic disadvantage, The district has been on a journey to achieve equity through Deeper Learning for the last six years and have achieved some very promising results. They have shifted their lens from seeing their learners as students with deficits who need remediation, to students who bring talents and assets to the table that deserve inspiration. They have demonstrated success through a variety of online project based learning work that allows students to follow their passion projects as well as mental health supports for students and a focus on community that has helped them to grow academically and personally The district is led by Dr. Marty Lexmond who often says, “Our schools have to stop being about what’s wrong and have to be about what’s possible for the students and families we serve.“

Spirit of DLAC Award – Ray Rose
Ray Rose is truly an online learning pioneer, having played a role in developing one of the earliest multi-state online learning programs, Virtual High School, in the 1990s. Ray saw the promise of online learning early on, and in the ensuing years he has pushed the entire field to strive towards the promise of online learning for all students–including and especially focusing on issues of access and accessibility.

More information on the awardees will be posted to the Digital Learning Collaborative website in the coming weeks.

We thank all the awardees for their contributions to helping students reach their full potential!

About the DLC
The Digital Learning Collaborative is a membership group made up of the educators, providers, and supporters seeking to improve education for all schools and students through research, information-sharing, and collaborative activities. The DLC runs the Digital Learning Annual Conference. The DLC is organized by the Evergreen Education Group. Members include school districts, state agencies, online schools, state virtual schools, NGOs, and companies.

About the Evergreen Education Group
Evergreen has been the leading advisory and consulting firm in K-12 online, hybrid, and blended learning for 21 years. We advise companies, NGOs, and government agencies on a variety of digital learning issues, publish reports and blog regularly as part of the Digital Learning Collaborative, and coordinate the Digital Learning Annual Conference.

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