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HundrED Ambassador-in-Focus: Lisa Gottfried


Lisa Gottfried, M.Ed., is in her fifth year of teach Digital Design, Game Design and Video Storytelling for the flagship New Technology High School in Napa. In 2017, she was recognized internationally for Innovation in Education with Blog Portfolios through HundrED.org and also won the "Innovation in the Classroom" grant from the California Educational Research Association in 2015 for her Educational Games Project. She is currently an adjunct professor for Touro University, California in the Innovative Education Masters program. She has taught other educators through the Napa Learns Digital Innovators program on how to use and teach project management by stealing from the tech start-up company playbook. She adores all things Adobe as well as learning alongside her students. Her favorite things to hear from her students are "That is SO cool! How do you do that?" and "This is really hard, but I've GOT to figure it out!"

Why did you want to become a HundrED Ambassador?

I believe that the role of educator and student has to change as we become a more globally connected society. It's critical for educators and learners to be rooted within their local communities and classrooms because this is where boots-on-the-ground education happens. The learning lab starts within the confines of a known, stable and smaller community that lives within the classroom. At the same time, we need to know what people are thinking and doing around the globe. We truly are interconnected and the educators and students of the future will come to fully realize that interconnectivity. HundrED.org is the full embodiment of that approach to education and I'm so impressed with the level of expertise and connection that the organization has shown in its first year. I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of this particular conversation as we move forward with innovation in education! It directly aligns with my life purpose of becoming a more effective teacher in the classroom so that I can help elevate teaching and learning on the global stage.

Why should we change our schools?

We have so much to learn from one another, whether it be student to student, teacher to teacher, or country to country. As we move towards more global connection, the most productive citizens of the world will need to have collaboration skills, a sound understanding of how, when and where to communicate with others doing the good work of improving our planet, and a strong foundation of 21st Century skills. Schooling of the future is about empowering students to make positive change in the world. We are moving away from our old models and ways of being. School should reflect a means to address our hopes, dreams and positive intentions for the future world we want to create.

Why is innovation in education crucial today?

Our lives have been disrupted by so many new technologies and there is no evidence that this will be slowing down any time soon. If we are going to create active and productive citizens of tomorrow, we must change the way we prepare them to enter the adult world. We are birthing new ideas and ways of being every day and education must keep up with the needs that result from those changes. In light of technological change, we must move beyond just reacting to and keeping up with new technologies, and instead move toward a point of view that embraces the proactive creation of our new realities.

Three HundrED innovations you love.

Blueprints: I adore the concept of passion-based learning as it addresses student engagement in a big way. My most powerful projects at school involved passion-based learning where students used their own interests to drive the learning. When I meet with business advisors to review curriculum, most say that jobs in the Creative Class (a growing group in the employment picture) will require workers to be self-starters, self-learners, and self-motivated; all critical skills taught when students drive their own learning.

THINK Global School: If we want a more connected society in which people have exposure to many different cultures and ways of being, having high school students travel and learn wherever they are is the best way to accomplish that. Students who have a broader point of view will be the leaders of tomorrow.

Forest Schools: I love that the walls of the school can be that of nature. In the U.S. we have Nature Deficit Disorder which can be easily solved by just getting outside more. The earth and nature have so much to teach us about listening, exploring, experimenting and problem solving. We can combat depression, isolation, and stress simply by spending more time outside. If we are to take care of our environment, we must have a better relationship to it, and that takes work, time and experiential learning outdoors.

How can others contact you?

Email is best and I welcome any contact!