Director of Applied Learning

Making Waves Academy - Richmond, CA - Full time

Position Summary

The role of Director of Applied Learning is to help Making Waves Academy (MWA) develop a school-wide approach and pathway towards utilizing and optimizing technology in the classroom to support instruction. Specifically, the key areas of responsibilities include: 1) leadership and project management in the development of an organizational approach to applied technology uses in the classroom; 2) strategic planning and research for school-wide technology use; and 3) building a strong foundation for technology best practices and training to support key MWA leadership, faculty, and staff. An additional expectation for the role is that they are able to identify and develop useful support networks and partnerships in gathering critical information, analyzing industry trends, and applying resources to best practices. Finally, the Director of Applied Learning will support efforts to transition to a one-to-one student-to-computer environment.

Primary Responsibilities

Research & Development

  • Identify or develop a tool or process to assess the current “readiness” state, perform a SWOT analysis in preparation for adopting a broader and deeper use of technology to support instruction and student achievement outcomes
  • Research current practices in the industry (K-12 and higher education space) in developing potential approaches MWA could take to effectively utilize technology in the classroom; identify organizations and leaders who could be a resource in developing technology tools, change management processes, and staff development resources

Strategic Planning

  • Collaborate with MWAS and MWA leadership and staff to develop a strategic plan for technology use that aligns with the vision and goals of the Making Waves Strategic Plan
  • Develop a set of measurable goals, milestones, and timelines for the development and implementation of a technology-use and applied learning plan; develop an initial plan for adopting one-to-one CPUs for schoolwide student classroom use

Leadership & Project Management

  • Maintain ongoing communication with the CEO through regularly scheduled meetings, written reports, and presentations to key stakeholders reporting on progress, findings, and concerns
  • Develop and utilize a framework that defines and proscribes the essential components of a strong and effective “applied learning” and technology-use program at MWA; develop and manage pilot programs to test out theories-of-action, tools, and training and support approaches
  • In collaboration with CEO, Division Directors, and key teacher leaders and staff, develop and overseeprogress monitoring tools and dashboards that measure adoption efficacy, progress to goals, utilization, and outcomes

Operations & Management

  • In collaboration with the CEO and Controller, manage an “applied learning” budget that includes line items for some hardware, software, training, and travel (The bulk of technology hardware and infrastructure management and purchasing is led and overseen by the IT Director)
  • In consultation with the CEO, Division Directors, and Director of Technology, develop a technology vetting and approval process evaluating and informing the selection of technology tools, applications, curriculum, and training opportunities for leadership, faculty, and staff that support a broad and robust use of technology

Team & Partnership Responsibilities

  • Lead and manage the relationships with site–based technology adoption, pilot programs, and any external partnerships having to do with applied learning


Highly Preferred Skills and Experiences

  • Three or more years of experience in a teaching and/or school administration role in K-12 education, with experience in instructional design or educational technology
  • Blended learning instructional experience, including school-based administration and instruction
  • Deep understanding and fluency with software applications (Chrome, Microsoft Excel, Google Drive, etc.)
  • Proven practice or experience with online information architecture, interface design, interaction design, usability issues, and user-centered design
  • Experience with online learning, technology integration or computer programming and coding
  • Passion for education technology and school design; informed about education technology landscape
  • Experience in strategic thinking and designing and piloting new programs
  • Experience supervising and managing a team
  • Proven success as a contributing member of a team with the ability to build relationships and influence others
  • Excellent communication, systems thinking, and organizational skills
  • Ability to function effectively within a multi-lingual environment that is ethnically and culturally diverse and student-centered

Apply Now

Experience Level

3 or more years

Making Waves Academy

Making Waves Foundation was founded in 1989 as a mentoring program to address the disparity in educational opportunities for low-income students in Richmond, CA. For decades, through comprehensive programming and services, Making Waves has helped prepare and support first-generation college students to graduate from competitive institutions across the country. 

In 2007, the foundation opened the Making Waves Academy Middle School, a charter school offering a rigorous fifth to eighth grade academic program and comprehensive services for students and families. The Making Waves Academy Upper School was launched in 2011 and provides rich academic course offerings, career exploration and extensive college advisement. The Upper School graduated its second class of 12th graders in 2015, 100% of which are attending college. 

To learn more about Making Waves Academy, please visit:

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