Karen Cator, President and Chief Executive Officer
“I am a social learner (just ask my 8th grade teachers!); I prefer to learn with and from people. I believe many minds create better ideas and that social interactions incent action. I am increasingly interested in how online interactions can be designed to improve learning opportunity, regardless of location.”
Jim Beeler, Chief Learning Officer
"The next thing I want to learn is to be a better songwriter, to write and play something that resonates with someone other than my Mom (who politely likes anything that I play)."
Sarita Bhargava, Chief Communications Officer
"My husband and daughter teach me something new every day. Their curiosity and their love of learning introduce me to a new subject or topic all the time. I am grateful for them!"
Kathryn Petrillo-Smith, Chief Operating Officer
"When I need to learn something new, I break it down into small discrete bits of knowledge or information I can learn along the way. This helps me figure out where to start and makes the process much less overwhelming for me."
Aubrey Francisco, Research Director
"For me, learning something new requires making it bigger before making it smaller. I gather a lot of information in a somewhat chaotic manner and then distill it into a clear and coherent “big picture” framework that I use to develop expertise."
Jennifer Kabaker, Director of Educator Micro-credentials
"When I was 10, I took a computer course on something called 'PowerPoint' where I got to explore topics on this thing called the 'World Wide Web.' Suddenly I could access information far beyond the encyclopedias at home and display what I learned on slides with pretty pictures I downloaded. It sounds simple now but I was overwhelmed by the new tools available to me."
Sara Schapiro, Director of the League of Innovative Schools
"I'm lucky to spend my days learning from and working with amazing educators, students, thought leaders, and policymakers. They all have important stories to share and learn from. My family and friends also have been a lifelong source of knowledge and inspiration."
Marco Antonio Torres, Director of Story
"I learn by asking a lot of questions. Once I identify a challenge, I love to figure it out by looking to my personal network, connecting the dots, and then telling the story of my experiences along the way."
Valerie Adams-Bass, Postdoctoral Scholar, UC Davis
"When I want to learn something new I first look to examples and read as much as I can about the topic. I then try to distill what I read and come up with a plan for learning. How can I learn as quickly as possible? Is there more than one way? What should I avoid? These questions help me to take mental notes and written notes as I am learning. Other times, I jump in and learn my doing – finding my answers and acquiring knowledge along the way."
Randy Paris, Learning Innovation Fellow
"The thing I want to learn next is how to ice skate. Or more precisely, how to stop while on ice skates."
Andronica Alston, Operations and Finance Manager
"I retain details in a variety of ways and my learning style varies, depending on the type of information I am receiving. One thing I am currently learning more about is early childhood education and the impact it has on development in those critical years."
Robert Bajor, Micro-credentialing Project Manager
"I learn by tinkering. When I was 11, I wanted to play computer games but my family couldn’t afford a computer. I got a computer assembly book from the library and collected recycled computer parts in my neighborhood until I could build my own."
Emily Edens, Project Associate, Digital Promise Schools
"The thing I want to learn next is the art of photography. I love taking photos and, next, I really want to explore the entire process in depth – from framing good shots, using equipment, editing, and everything else."
Rosy Escandon, Professional Learning Manager
"Growing up I loved to tinker with things. I would take them apart when they weren't working and put them back together after I fixed them. To this day, when I learn something new I take it apart and figure out how the pieces come together to understand it."
Melissa Gedney, Community Manager, League of Innovative Schools
"I'm taking improv classes right now and it's some of the most fun I've ever had. It's all about learning how to identify and develop patterns and characters, and how to build upon what's been handed to you by others."
Kelsey Gross, Communications Manager, Research
"As a stay-at-home parent, when I wanted to learn more about nonprofit work, the Internet afforded me the flexibility to learn new skills on my own (and my son’s!) schedule."
Michelle Hennessy, Executive Assistant
"I have always been a very tactile learner. When I was young I built an entire make-believe city out of playdough and popsicle sticks on a rainy afternoon, and, now in adulthood, I love to build things. New concepts come clear when I have the opportunity to experience it hands-on."
Erica Lawton, Communications Manager
"I like to think there's an opportunity to learn from anyone and everyone -- we all have our own stories to tell and information to share, and it's exciting to view any interaction as having the capability to change the way you think."
G. Martinez Cabrera, Program Manager for Adult Education Initiatives
"I learn from my two-year old son, who teaches me important lessons every day, especially about cherishing the small things in life. His most recent lessons include: staircases are cool; trees are cool; birds are cool; laughing is cool."
Krista Moroder, Project Director of Digital Promise Schools
"The thing I want to learn most is how to code! I've designed websites for organizations in the past, but I never learned more than the basics. I'm grateful for organizations like Codecademy and Code.org because they provide their learning resources for free!"
Paul Nauert, Micro-credentialing Project Manager
"I first realized that technology and the internet could help me learn when I first experienced Encarta on CD-ROM at my aunt's house. I was one of those kids who actually read encyclopedias for fun. Being able to navigate thousands of multimedia-rich articles without thumbing through massive heavy books blew my mind."
Jacinto Noriega, Professional Learning Manager
"I love learning by watching, wondering, and then failing – to me 'fail' = 'First Attempt In Learning' – until I figure it out. Getting hands-on with real-life problems is what it's all about for me!"
Kasey Van Ostrand, League of Innovative Schools Project Manager
"When I feel daunted about learning something new, I think of a student I met recently at a small, rural high school who taught himself mechanical engineering and computer science, built a robot, and helped start a mechatronics program at his high school. This student is a great example of drive, persistence, and curiosity and he inspires me to be a self-propelled, lifelong learner!"
Chelsea Waite, Partnerships and Global Initiatives
"When I was an English teacher in Brazil, I realized technology's impact on how we learn because I had students who were fluent in English and had never completed an English class. They learned the language from online videos, games, and learning communities."
Christine Yarzabek, Professional Learning Manager
"One of my favorite learning experiences came at an unconference organized by students who were experts with technology. I learned to code, how to create animations, and even how to play Billie Jean on GarageBand. It was an incredible day of learning and student empowerment!"