Teacherpreneur Communities

One of the best aspects of building TeacherSquare over the past year has been meeting dynamic educators and school leaders from teacherpreneur communities across the country. I’ve created this list to highlight the ones that I have been inspired by and have connected with directly. I’ve also included Twitter handles and hashtags so you can join the conversation and connect with them yourself.

  • Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ): A research-based advocacy group that seeks to further the role and impact of teacherpreneurs. CTQ Collaboratory is an incubator for teachers’ bold ideas and innovative solutions and they also welcome all who value teachers as leaders in the classroom and beyond. Anyone can sign up (check out my profile) and begin virtually collaborating with teacherpreneurs around the world. (@TeachingQuality)

  • EdUnderground: Bringing together education technology pioneers and early adopters from various districts across the state of Rhode Island in partnership with the Business Innovation Factory (BIF) to explore technology models, approaches and solutions to enhance student achievement. Lead by Shawn Rubin, Director of Tech at Highlander Institute and founder of MyMetryx, their group conducts regular Meetups and Twitter chats (#EdUnderground and #EdchatRI.)

  • 4.0 Schools: Matt Candler and team are building a community of curious people committed to unprecedented innovation in education and are at the heart of the education ecosystem in New Orleans. 4.0 engages a diverse group of innovators through variety of program offerings- Essentials (one-day/weekend workshops) as well as a virtual and in-house accelerator programs.  (@4pt0Schools)

  • Stanford K12 Lab: This group recently relaunched with some exciting on and offline efforts to support teacherpreneurs in the Bay Area and beyond. They just closed their application process for the fellowship program they will be hosting this upcoming school year (AY 13-14) and are launching 2.0 versions of @projectbreaker and @sparktruck experiences in June. (@K12Lab)
  • Digital Harbor Foundation: Fosters innovation, tech advancement, and entrepreneurship through educational initiatives in their hometown of Baltimore and beyond, with a focus on digital literacy, maker activities, and tech workforce development. Director Andrew Coy also supports the regular Baltimore EdTech Meetup events to connect with local educators and technologists. (@DHFBaltimore.) An Estuary is a newly developed (for-profit) spin-off from the DHF focused on “leveraging mobile-first tech, data and collaboration to improve professional development.”

  • LearnLaunch: Seeks to expand the education ecosystem in the New England area. They offer classes, peer group learning, conferences, networking opportunities and other educational services to individuals and organizations seeking to work with educators, students and families to enable the growth and success of the learning ecosystem. Their first accelerator class, LearnLaunchX, will begin in June 2013. (@LearnLaunch)

  • EdSeeds: An educator-focused incubator program that is designed to encourage innovation in Colorado’s K-12 schools by providing a platform to help educators solve specific classroom challenges in novel ways. (@EdSeeds)
  • EdLab: research, design, and development unit at Teachers College, Columbia University that hosts a variety of seminars and seeks to connect the education, technology and research communities. Their publication, the New Learning Times (NLT), provides daily coverage of the transformation of learning opportunities in the information age for those shaping the future of education, including profiles of various education leaders. (@EdLabTC)
  • Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF)- leads the Integrated STEM Teacher Corps, a cadre of teachers working together to overcome challenges in implementing a transdisciplinary approach to STEM education. Meetings are monthly at Silicon Valley Education Foundation.  The meeting format is a combination of guest speakers with an exciting tool, project, or idea to share and time spent sharing challenges in teaching STEM and collaborating with peers on solutions for an integrated approach to teaching STEM.  For more information, contact Amy Wong at (@SVEFoundation)
  • CityBridge Education Innovation Fellowship: In partnership with New Schools Venture Fund, CityBridge launched a year-long fellowship from Jan – Dec 2013 for ~12 educators in the Washington DC area. This program includes local and national school visits, speakers, technology demonstrations and discussions.  In addition, Fellows will design and lead blended learning pilot programs during the summer of 2013 and the 2013-2014 school year.  The Fellowship is an intentional investment in teachers—the classroom leaders who can spark instructional innovation through breakthrough uses of digital content and tools.

I’d love to see this list grow, so leave a comment and let me know if there is anyone I missed. As this ecosystem develops, ideally we will create an easy way for educators across these groups to connect (a network of networks) and share what’s happening in their local school communities.

Blended Learning Tech in the classroom

#EdUnderground: Finding your Herd


As I continue to grow the TeacherSquare community, I’ve been inspired to find other local efforts around the country that are bringing together innovative educators to deepen their knowledge and comfort with using technology to change teaching and learning. One such organization is the EdUnderground, a group of ~20 educators in Rhode Island who have come together to learn from and inspire each other. As the co-founder, Shawn Rubin describes, “we are group of wild horses looking for our herd, feeling a lack of exploration and innovation in our existing school cultures.”

Rubin, Director of Technology Integration at Highlander Institute, is exactly one of those wild horses who has always been “looking for ways to do transformative things inside and outside the classroom,” and is cultivating that spirit of tinkering through the EdUnderground community. “I see the EdUnderound as equal parts edCamp + Apple Store + Fab Lab. A space where there are crazy-inspiring tools, with a balance between being polished while still encouraging tinkering and knowledge sharing.” Through his role at the Highlander Institute, he realized he had this unique acces to hardware and software tools to stimulate that tinkering and invited 7-8 educators to join him. Fueled by some Rhode Island state grants to support PLCs (professional learning communities) this group quickly doubled and is continuing to grow, with geography playing a role in that growth as well.

Being a small state with 11k teachers and 150k students, Rubin quickly found there were lots of ways educators were experimenting with different tools and strategies in a very small geographic area. In addition, Rubin shares that being “uniquely positioned between New York and Boston, we serve as a testing ground for those edtech ecosystems who are all incredibly interested and eager to get access to this engaged group of RI teachers.”

EdUnderground session

The group currently hosts regular meetups and workshops to share best practices and experiment with various edtech tools. Up next, Shawn is working on building a lending library of hardware and software for teachers to bring these blended learning experiments back to their schools. Shawn and his team were also just awarded a significant grant to build a Blended Learning Institute (as part of Highlander Institute) to showcase blended learning(BL) in action and create a space for educators to explore various BL methods.

As TeacherSquare evolves, I have been looking to connect our community with others, like the EdUnderground, to create a national network of entrepreneurial educators to continue their edtech explorations together through on and offline interactions. If you’re interested in getting involved or starting a similar group in your community, please feel free to reach out to Shawn ( or me (