Meet the Panelists Who Will Make You Question Everything About School

Why does school mean four walls, one teacher, and 20 students? Ever had an idea for how to reinvent a school from the ground up? In just a few weeks, Education Entrepreneurs will host a panel at SXSWEdu that will discuss how to design schools of the future that create opportunities for students and teachers to thrive. Personalized learning and competency-based education will be covered, as well as a framework for rethinking school infrastructure and specific next steps to begin the process of redesigning a school. Our panel involves an exciting line-up of educators, technologists, school founders, funders, and researchers. Continue reading below to get a closer look at who they are, checkout the panel location and time, and see the full line-up of Education Entrepreneurs events at SXSWEdu.

Jonathan Tiongco 

What do you do for work?

LA_JUDGE_JonathanTiongco-1406129944[1]I am the Director of Blended Learning for Alliance School Transformation (BLAST) implementation for Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, a charter management organization serving 26 schools and over 11,000 students in Los Angeles, California. I oversee our portfolio of blended learning schools, which includes blended learning pilots, full-school conversions, and a Next Generation Learning Challenges grantee school.

What do you do for fun?

My wife and I live in Downtown Los Angeles with our two children, Madelyn and Miles. We absolutely love Los Angeles and try to enjoy all that the city has to offer, including all of the sporting events, public parks, library programming, and of course, our city’s amazing culinary scene. Because of this love for our city, we own and operate a Los Angeles-based food tour company called Six Taste where we take guests through nine different neighborhoods of Los Angeles, learning about the history, culture, and cuisine of these areas. Aside from this, we love to travel, dance, and hang out with our family and friends.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Change management and gaining buy-in from all stakeholders. For many of my colleagues, they have never worked in or experienced education in a blended learning environment. My challenge, which I love, is getting all of my team members to believe in the work that we’re doing and how it can make a positive impact on our students to better prepare them for college and career.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Supporting principals and teachers through ongoing professional development, mentorship, and coaching. Our principals and teachers are the ones doing the really amazing work of educating our children, so whatever I can do to support them is very rewarding for me.

What are you most excited to share with the audience at SXSWEdu?

Practical ideas and strategies for going blended in their school contexts.

Finish the sentence: In my dream world, school is…

An unlimited passport allowing students to “travel” and learn about all of the wonderful people, places, and things that they’re passionate about at their own time, path, and pace.

 

Christine Ortiz

C086What do you do for work?

Currently, I’m a student in the Ed.L.D. program at Harvard.

What do you do for fun?

My favorite thing to do is just spending quality time with cool people. I enjoy playing poker, dancing and snowboarding now that I’m up north again. Does organizing events (like Startup Weekend Education) and coaching startups count?

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Being in school and not “doing” is super hard for me, but something I know I need to do right now to be able to really impact the sector in the future.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Being around really passionate, intelligent people with such a diverse set of experiences and points of view is a dream come true.

What are you most excited to share with the audience at SXSWEdu?

How possible (not easy, but definitely possible) it is to take a vision you have for education and make it a reality.

Finish the sentence: In my dream world, school is…

A real life choose-your-own-adventure book.

Benjamin Kutylo

New Zealand Fly Fishing Expeditions - BK (32)What do you do for work?

I lead the Chicago Public Education Fund’s Innovation Portfolio, which is focused on empowering and enabling Chicago educators to redesign schools and classrooms to better meet the needs of each student. More specifically, I do the following:

  • Develop and launch programs that offer educators opportunities to rethink schools at various levels of depth and scale.

  • Make seed investments in other organizations to build and strengthen the ecosystem in Chicago to support innovation in education

  • Provide strategic consulting to district leadership and other Chicago-based organizations to create policies and strategies to support great educators in innovating.

What do you do for fun?

I’m an obsessed fly fisherman!

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Navigating the many complexities and competing forces in a huge city and district to accomplish our objectives.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Working with great principals, teachers and students and giving them time, space, guidance, support and some resources to develop solutions to the challenges they face.

What are you most excited to share with the audience at SXSW Edu?

The great work that Chicago educators are doing to redesign public schools of all types and the growing innovation movement in the nation’s third largest district.

Finish the sentence: In my dream world, school is…

A place where the holistic needs of every child are met by educators and the school community effectively, efficiently and sustainably.

Check here for the full listing of SXSWEdu events that Education Entrepreneurs and its Community Leaders will be hosting. 








Eight Quotes of Encouragement for Entrepreneurs

Every year, I have the privilege of engaging with thousands of people around the world, as they embark on a unique journey to develop their very first startup. In this day and age, it’s no secret that launching a startup is one of the most arduous undertakings one can pursue. As a former startup founder, I know all too well how difficult the path of innovation, product market fit, team cohesion, and scaling can be. However, as a former startup founder, I also know that it can be an incredibly worthwhile and life-altering adventure, if you let it be.

Rather than publish another “Crap! This is really freakin’ hard!” article emphasizing how not-fun and not-easy entrepreneurship is, I decided to take a different approach. Below are eight quotes and tidbits of wisdom to help entrepreneurs approach their journey with a bit more optimism and perspective. And trust me, you’re going to need it.

 

l-2490

Startups Are Worthwhile

You have to remember that startups are a worthwhile pursuit. It’s going to be an incredibly hard undertaking, but it’s totally worth it! The opportunity to solve long-standing and far-reaching problems, create things that never were, make a massive impact, positively change lives, and push our society forward. The possibilities are endless and the experience is priceless.

 kindlovingwords-0914-banner-18-ernest-hemingway

Appreciate the Process

Be patient people – with yourself and with others. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and in order for you to build the company of your dreams, you’re going to need to become the person that is capable of leading such a company, and that takes time. Some things happen when you want them to, and some things happen when they’re supposed to. Learn to trust the process.

 

9cfd68e57b92f51769415d60c9f1417f

Always Do Your Best

Yes, things aren’t always going to go smoothly. Yes, you may be questioning where you are right now, but do remember that it is critical you give your all to what this moment right now is requiring. You never know which experience may be that big break, so treat them all as though something great can come of it. Expect that good things will happen, and align your actions to be ready to receive them.

 

quote-it-takes-two-flints-to-make-a-fire-louisa-may-alcott-2617

Invest in Relationships

A startup is a business, and a business is operated by people, and in order for your business to succeed, you have to be good at enlisting, investing in, and supporting others in their own personal journeys. There is no one who’s gotten to where they are on their own, so turn down that Beyonce “Me, Myself, and I” track, and go out and invest in building great relationships.

 authenticity_brenebrown

Keep it “100”

Why do it, if it doesn’t serve who you truly are? Sure we all make concessions at times to fit in and be accepted, but it’s up to you to decide where you draw the line. Who am I, really? What do I sincerely want? Get clear on those answers and choose to pursue ventures and work in places that align to that. Afterall, what’s the point of being here, if you’re not at least going to allow yourself to fully enjoy it by being the person you really are.

 

Maya

Be Courageous

Now that you’ve gained a bit of clarity on who you are (and also who you’re not), it’s time to act. There’s no point in knowing, if you’re not going to act on that knowledge, so buck up, speak words, and carry out actions that align to your authentic self.

 

you-cant-connect-the-dots-looking-forward-future-quote (1)

Have Faith

This comes into play most when you start questioning your choices. Am I 100% sure this strategy will work? Am I positive this is the best person to hire? Am I sure this is the right investor to partner with? None of us can predict the future, but you can do your best to make a decision based off what information you have in this moment. Accept that there is only so much you can know at a given time, and trust in your decisions at that time.

 

cebca021ed3f9540b19a27e2ec465790 (1)

Take Personal Responsibility

At one point or another, things are going to hit the fan – it’s called life and it happens to all of us (sorry I didn’t write the rules; I’m just a messenger). A competitor may beat you to the punch, launching a feature your team has been working on for several months, a personal emergency may arise that requires you to step away from work for longer than you’d ever want to, or a key team member may leave, deciding this is no longer the path they want to pursue. Whatever the situation, recognize the power you do have to decide how you react to that situation.

As an entrepreneur, it can often times feel as though building a business is a never-ending cycle of obstacles to overcome. Sure it can be seen this way, or it can be seen as continual opportunities for personal growth and expansion. How you see it is your decision to make. Ultimately, life happens to all of us; it’s how we react to life that differs.

Know of any more great quotes or advice that should be shared? Add them in the comments section below.








The Final 48 Hours: Vote to Shake Up Education

Startup Education is the largest initiative in the world to provide year-round programming and resources dedicated to giving anyone, anywhere the opportunity to take action to improve education. SXSWedu is one of the most prominent conferences in the world focused on bringing people together to share ideas about fostering innovation in learning. Some say its a match made in education innovation heaven, and today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve submitted three proposals to present at next year’s SXSWedu conference. But we need your help!

30% of SXSWedu panel selection is based on public votes, which means your willingness to “thumbs-up” our proposals can mean the difference between new, action-oriented, and far-reaching approaches to improving education being shared, or the same ‘ol same ol’ narrative being told about the possibilities for education to evolve. We hope that our track record and vision going forward will inspire you to support our involvement in SXSWedu, but if that’s not enough, here are three key topics for discussion we’d like to add to the story being told at the conference:

  1. Edtech solutions, alone, will not transform education. Communities of people equipped with entrepreneurial skills, who are empowered to take action will transform education.
  2. A collaborative innovation process that involves multiple stakeholders, perspectives, and skill-sets is the best innovation process when it comes to improving educational outcomes.
  3. Creating the space to challenge what school traditionally looks like, feels like, and results in, spurs creativity and produces fresh ideas for designing improved models for learning.

Take Action: Place Your Vote by Friday, September 5th

Public voting officially ends Friday, September 5th. If you’re interested in helping us shake up the usual narrative about innovating education, and share the incredible grassroots work our Community Leaders around the world are doing to affect change, then complete these 3 quick steps:

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 10.13.03 PM

 

Step 1: Create an account on SXSW Panel Picker. (If you already have one, skip to item #2 below)

  1. Click here to be directed to our SXSWedu proposal webpage.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner, select “Sign In.” You will be directed to a new page.
  3. On the Sign-In Page, select “Create Account.” Insert the required information, and your account will be confirmed.

Step 2: Vote for our three proposals

  1. Click on the links below
  2. On each page, select the “thumbs up” icon in the upper left-hand corner (Yes, you can vote for all three!)

Step 3: Share the opportunity

Know other people who want to shake things up?

Easily share this opportunity by clicking on the Twitter icons below:

 

Interested in checking out other SXSWedu panel submissions from Startup Education Community Leaders? See them highlighted here.

Want to learn more about Startup Education? Visit our website

Have comments or questions? Email startupeducation@up.co