Announcing the Winners of the 2015 Digital Innovation in Learning Awards!

By &
Alice Barton

For two years now, October has been an inspiring month for us. Why? In October, we get to share the winners of the Digital Innovation in Learning Awards (DILAs)! Today, we are thrilled to announce 16 stellar winners for the 2015 DILAs.

We founded the DILAs last year to share innovative education practices and raise the bar across teaching, leadership, and development. This year, after receiving more than 400 video submissions, the panel of DILAs judges selected winners across 15 categories.

Each winner created a three-minute video, all of which are available here. In addition, get inspired by viewing the playlists of the winning videos and Honorable Mention applicants in each category (educators, administrators, and organizations).

And with that, meet the 2015 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
Katherine Mussachio (International Connections Academy, Lockport, NY)
Parents as Partners Engages parents and caregivers in creative ways to support student learning in and outside the classroom
Benjamin Gaines (Rancho Minerva Middle School, Vista, CA)
Creative Director
Leads students in producing creative, high-quality, relevant, substantive multimedia projects
Dyke Redmond (Heart & Soul Design Communications Center, Inglewood, CA)
Sharing is Caring Shares resources freely with peers and professional communities, actively contributes to a community of practice, and continuously evolves a personal learning network
Kasey Bell (Region 10 ESC, Mckinney, TX)
Teacher Trailblazer Employs an audacious idea in order to empower students with the opportunity to learn
Julia Winter (Detroit Country Day School, Bloomfield, MI)

Administrator Winners

Award Description Winner (Video attached)
Administrator Trailblazer Employs an audacious idea in order to empower teachers and students with the opportunity to learn school- or system-wide
Grant Smith (Avondale Elementary School District, Avondale, AZ)
Open Door Policy Shares what’s working and what’s not with other schools, makes visits and welcomes visitors, facilitates open collaboration between charters and district schools, and publishes resources for free public use
S. Dallas Dance (Baltimore County Public Schools, Towson, MD)
Power to the People Empowers teachers, students and other administrators to take on leadership roles and participate actively in system-wide innovation
TIE: Roger Cook (Taylor County School District, Campbellsville, KY) and Steven Dunlap (Riverside Unified School District, Riverside, CA)
Learning Ninja
Expands the concept of the library and/or the role of the librarian or media specialist to harness the vast resources of the internet to support teachers and students
Todd Keruskin (Elizabeth Forward School District, Elizabeth, PA)
Savvy Spaces Intentionally designs and implements learning spaces to support collaboration and interaction
Brad Gustafson (Wayzata Public Schools, Plymouth, MN)

Edtech Organization Winners

Award Description Winner (Video attached)
Better Together Includes various users and stakeholders in product/initiative design, implementation, and feedback mechanisms for continuous improvement
Mozilla Hive Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Global Exchange
Empowers users with opportunities for meaningful collaboration with other learners around the world
Global Nomads Group (New York, NY)
Learn Everwhere Supports adult learning through community and cultural resources, technology, and/or open platforms to enable learning anytime and anywhere
Mission Graduates: Latina Tech Mentor Program (San Francisco, CA)
Mindful Data Manages, translates and delivers data to users in a manner that is understandable and actionable while maintaining security and clear, understandable privacy policies
Alma (Portland, OR)
Research @ Work Thoughtfully incorporates research on learning to shape development of a product or initiative
Kidaptive, Inc. (Mountain View, CA)

This year’s winners are representative of countless other people who are working to improve opportunities for learning. Esther Wojcicki, one of the 2015 DILAs judges, wrote to us during the process: "I really don't know how to pick… In fact, if all schools and all districts did what these people are doing there would be no education issues in the U.S.” (And, we dare say, the world! We received submissions from 39 countries this year.)

To celebrate the winners, on November 20, 2015, Digital Promise and EdSurge will co-host the Digital Innovation in Learning Awards Gala at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. Join us!

Thanks to our sponsors, CK12, Curriculum Associates, McGraw Hill Education, Qualcomm Education, Inc., Scholastic, and TES Global, for making this program possible. Congratulations to the 16 winners and to everyone else who participated in the DILAs this year!


Stay up to date on edtech. Sign up to have top stories delivered weekly.

Who we are

EdSurge helps schools find, select and use the right technology to support all learners.
© 2011-2016 EdSurge Inc. All rights reserved. Every student succeeds.