Karen Cator, President and Chief Executive Officer

karen cator

“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.” 

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Jim Beeler, Chief Learning Officer

jim beeler"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)."

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Sarita Bhargava, Chief Communications Officer

sarita bhargava"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!"

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Kathryn Petrillo-Smith, Chief Operating Officer

kathryn petrillo-smith"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."

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Aubrey Francisco, Research Director

aubrey francisco"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."

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Jennifer Kabaker, Director of Educator Micro-credentials

jennifer kabaker"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."

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Sara Schapiro, Director of the League of Innovative Schools

sara schapiro"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."

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Jason Tomassini, Director of Communications

jason tomassini"I realized that technology has a major impact on how I learn when I no longer had an excuse for not learning something I was passionate about. The Internet perpetually enables the curious."

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Marco Antonio Torres, Director of Story

marco torres"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." 

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Valerie Adams-Bass, Postdoctoral Scholar, UC Davis

valerie adamsbass"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."

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Randy Paris, Learning Innovation Fellow

randy paris"The thing I want to learn next is how to ice skate. Or more precisely, how to stop while on ice skates."

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Andronica Alston, Operations and Finance Manager

andronica alston"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."

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Robert Bajor, Micro-credentialing Project Manager

robert bajor"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."

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Emily Edens, Project Associate, Digital Promise Schools

emily edens"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."

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Rosy Escandon, Professional Learning Manager

rosy escandon"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."

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Melissa Gedney, Community Manager, League of Innovative Schools

melissa gedney"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."

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Kelsey Gross, Associate

kelsey gross"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."

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Erica Lawton, Communications Manager

erica lawton"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."

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Phil Martin, Education Marketplace Initiatives

phil martin"The most interesting thing I learned in the past year comes from my time completing a Global MBA in France, with students from around the world. Turns out in Colombia kids are taught there are five continents (not seven) and in India Gandhi has a more contested legacy than I realized. I came away even more interested in how edtech can connect us across borders so we can learn about, from and with one another."

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G. Martinez Cabrera, Program Manager for Adult Education Initiatives

g. martinez cabrera"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."

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Krista Moroder, Project Director of Digital Promise Schools

krista moroder"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!"

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Paul Nauert, Micro-credentialing Project Manager

paul nauert"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."

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Jacinto Noriega, Professional Learning Manager

paul nauert"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!"

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Jenny Shin, Web Producer

jenny shin"The next thing I want to learn is domestic and global education policy, past, present and future. I genuinely believe that everyone would benefit by gaining a better understanding of how education operates not only in our country, but in others as well."

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Kasey Van Ostrand, League of Innovative Schools Project Manager

kasey van ostrand"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!"

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Chelsea Waite, Partnerships and Global Initiatives

chelsea waite"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."

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Christine Yarzabek, Professional Learning Manager

christine yarzabek"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!"

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