Announcing the Winners of the 2014 Digital Innovation in Learning Awards!

column |

Announcing the Winners of the 2014 Digital Innovation in Learning Awards!

By Mary Jo Madda (Columnist)     Oct 30, 2014

Announcing the Winners of the 2014 Digital Innovation in Learning Awards!

EdSurge and Digital Promise are thrilled to announce the winners of the first “Digital Innovation in Learning Awards,” or DILAs. The awards celebrate teachers, administrators and ed-tech organizations who every day demonstrate exemplary practices in using technology to support learning.

After receiving more than 1,500 first-round applications and nominations from the U.S. and 31 other countries, and more than 550 video submissions, the panel of 10 DILA judges selected five finalists in each of the 15 categories. Out of those finalists, the judges picked 17 winners, seeking out those who most closely fit the criteria for each of the awards listed below and represented best practices in a way that can be replicated by other educators and organizations.

“Wow. We were so inspired by all the the entries that we received for this first DILA competition,” said Betsy Corcoran, CEO of EdSurge. “These videos show so much creativity, energy and passion for learning--they are an uplifting reminder of how learning can be joyful.”

“We sought to showcase excellence and raise the bar across teaching, leadership and development”, said Karen Cator, CEO of Digital Promise, “and these first submissions for the DILAs didn’t disappoint!”

Each entry created a three-minute video describing their practices. All of the winning videos and written submissions are here. In addition, EdSurge and Digital Promise and proud to present playlists of the top videos in each category (educators, administrators, and edtech organizations), as well as playlists from Honorable Mention applicants.

We are pleased to announce the following winners:

Educator Winners

Award Description Winner (Video attached)
Busting Boundaries Inspires students to work in-person or virtually with peers in different geographic or cultural communities Kristopher Hupp (Cornell School District, Pittsburgh, PA)
Community Counts Engages the whole community, including students, parents and local stakeholders, to make learning relevant Millibeth Currie (Moultrie Middle School, Charleston, SC)
Creative Director Leads students in producing creative, high-quality, relevant, substantive multimedia projects Michael Hernandez (Mira Costa High School, Manhattan Beach, CA)
Sharing is Caring Shares resources freely with peers and professional communities, actively contributes to a community of practice and continuously evolves their personal learning network TIE: Rachel Iufer (Saint Lawrence Academy, Santa Clara, CA) and Sarah Thomas (Prince George’s County Public Schools, Prince George’s County, MD)
Teacher Trailblazer Implements a unique, innovative idea involving action and student agency that leverages the power of education technology David Lowe (Confer and Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, WA)

Administrator Winners

Award Description Winner (Video attached)
Administrator Trailblazer Implements an innovative, unique school model that develops student grit, creativity and agency, or otherwise fosters authentic learning in an unconventional way
Aileen Owens (The South Fayette Township School District, South Fayette, PA)
Open Door Policy Shares what’s working and what’s not with other schools, visits schools and welcomes visitors, facilitates open collaboration between charters and district schools and publishes resources for free public use
Oliver Sicat (Ednovate and Hybrid High School, Los Angeles, CA)
Power to the People Empowers teachers, students and other administrators to take on leadership roles and participate actively in change management
Donna Teuber (Richland School District Two, Columbia, SC)
Walk the Walk “Leads by example” by demonstrating their own meaningful use of technology

S. Dallas Dance (Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore, MD)
We Are Family Engages parents and caregivers by offering them educational opportunities at school or by providing resources that enable learning outside of school
Barbara Nemko (Napa County Office of Education, Napa, CA)

Edtech Organization Winners

Award Description Winner (Video attached)
Better Together Includes various stakeholders, including students, teachers, parents, and community members, in product/initiative mission and implementation Common Sense Education, formerly Common Sense Media (San Francisco, CA)
Crystal Clear Discloses privacy policies with clear, detailed descriptions of how user data is used and who owns it Clever (San Francisco, CA)
Listen & Learn Responds quickly to reported problems, employs a successful feedback mechanism for users and incorporates pilots and user feedback in product or initiative development Accelerate Learning: STEMscopes (Houston, TX)
Mindful Data Manages, translates and delivers data to users in a manner that is understandable and actionable TIE: LightSail (New York City, NY) and Zaption (San Francisco, CA)
Research @ Work Thoughtfully uses academic research to shape development of a product or initiative Attainment Company (Verona, WI)

To celebrate the winners, on November 21 Digital Promise and EdSurge will co-host the Digital Innovation in Learning Awards Gala at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. Tickets for the event and information about sponsorship are available here. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, an astrophysicist and host of the Science Channel's Outrageous Acts of Science Information about the Digital Innovation in Learning Awards Gala are available on the awards site (

Again, congratulations to all those who applied, and we'll see you again next year!

Learn more about EdSurge operations, ethics and policies here. Learn more about EdSurge supporters here.

More from EdSurge

Get our email newsletterSign me up
Keep up to date with our email newsletterSign me up