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Learning in the 21st Century: What Teachers Think Matters

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT

Learning in the 21st Century: What Teachers Think Matters

Presented by Dr. Baron R. Davis, Superintendent, Richland School District Two, SC; Patricia Saxler, Head of Education, Populace; and Vic Vuchic, Chief Innovation Officer, Digital Promise
Hosted by Barbara Pape, Communications Director, Learner Variability Project

Sponsored by Digital Promise

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Given the right environment and support, how many students do you think are capable of high levels of education achievement? How much do you think students vary from one another in how they learn? Do you support or oppose creating a tailored instruction program in your community’s schools?

These are just a few of the questions asked in a Digital Promise/Learner Variability Project national survey, “Learning in the 21st Century: How Teachers View Students’ Potential and Their Learning Experience”.

This edWebinar highlights key findings from the survey that focused on learner variability, tailored instruction, use of edtech, and what informs teacher practice. Patricia Saxler from Populace digs deep into the science of individuality, why that matters for learning, and how innovators use this knowledge to “convert our cookie-cutter systems into highly personalized ones.” She will offer insights from her work at Populace, described as a “public think tank dedicated to building a world where all people have a chance to live fulfilling lives in a thriving society.”

Viewers will also get an on-the-ground perspective from Dr. Baron Davis, Superintendent of Richland School District Two in South Carolina. Dr. Davis will highlight innovative programs he oversees to help each student achieve to their potential. For example, the district is engaged in creating a personalized and collaborative learning environment, the 1TWO1 program that provides a personal computing device to more than 23,000 students in grades 3-12 and also trains teachers through technology and learning coaches, so technology is fully integrated into teaching and learning.

Vic Vuchic from Digital Promise connects survey findings with the work at Digital Promise’s Learner Variability Project.

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to preK-12 and higher education teachers and school and district leaders.

About the Presenters

An educator for more than 20 years, Dr. Baron R. Davis is Superintendent of Richland School District Two in South Carolina and the first African American to hold this position. Reaffirming that learning is the cornerstone for everything in Richland Two, Dr. Davis spearheaded multiple initiatives aimed at ensuring consistent high-quality teaching and learning in every classroom in every school. He rolled out “Pathways to Premier,” the district’s 2017–2020 strategic plan, in which he presents his vision for partnering with families, staff, and community to make Richland Two the premier school district.

Reared in the public housing system since age two, he knows the struggles associated with poverty. In 2014, Dr. Davis joined the City of Columbia’s “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative,” which empowers boys and young men of color in low-income minority communities to thrive and become productive citizens. He has been a member of the planning committee for the City of Columbia’s Black Male Achievement Conference for three years. He is an inductee of the Columbia Housing Authority’s Wall of Fame.

Dr. Davis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Francis Marion University. From the University of South Carolina, he earned master’s degrees in school counseling and educational administration, and educational specialist and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in educational counseling.


Patricia Saxler is the head of education at Populace. She is also a research fellow with the Laboratory for the Science of the Individual. Tricia earned her master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in mind, brain, and education in 2007, and her doctorate in human development and Education in 2016. A Montessori teacher prior to graduate studies, her research has focused on the development of self-regulation in early childhood. Working at the intersection of education and cognitive neuroscience, Tricia conducted her research at the Gabrieli Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT, where she also collaborated with colleagues in investigating self-regulation in relation to early life stress and experiences, dyslexia, and neural development.


Vic Vuchic, Chief Innovation Officer at Digital Promise Global, is a seasoned thought leader in education technology and philanthropy. Vic received his Master of Education from Stanford University and is an expert in learning science, innovation, and scaling what works. He has launched game-changing initiatives that have increased access to education and improved learning for tens of millions of learners in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Prior to Digital Promise Global, Vic consulted with a number of foundations and organizations on education technology, innovation, and philanthropy. Prior to consulting, Vic developed strategies and managed over $100 million in technology-focused grants at the Hewlett Foundation to launch and grow the Open Educational Resources movement and create and advance the Deeper Learning strategy.


About the Host

Barbara Pape is the communications director for the Learner Variability Project at Digital Promise Global (DPG). She has 20 years’ experience in strategic communications, writing, and policy analysis, primarily in education. Previously, she served as Executive Producer of the award-winning Teaching & Learning conference, sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, where she developed content and oversaw outreach and communications. As a writer, she has written for numerous publications, including Harvard University, the National Education Goals Panel (U.S. Department of Education) and Parents magazine. Barbara also served as editor and publisher of the first electronically delivered education newsletter, the Daily Report Card. She earned an EdM at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and launched her career as a middle school language arts teacher.

Join the Personalized Learning for All community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Digital Promise was created with the mission to accelerate innovation in education to improve opportunities to learn.

A Learner Variability Project/Digital Promise Global paper, Learner Variability Is the Rule, Not the Exception, defines the term learner variability and explains why understanding it matters to learning.

The fourth installment in Digital Promise Global’s Making Learning Personal For All series, Policies and Practices that Meet Learners Where They Are highlights the promise of personalized learning to meet the needs of the full diversity of learners. It also examines policy actions and investments that district, state, and federal and national levels can take to help each learner master content and a broad range of skills. It makes clear that personalization must consider the whole child, put learner voice and choice front and center, and be built on the learning sciences.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT
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