Dallas Education Foundation
STOP Award Finalist
Leading the way among traditional ecosystems to deliver successful 21st century innovations, virtual and hybrid learning to thousands.
The experience of this non-profit arm of a major school district proves that anything is possible when people are given the freedom and flexibility to dream and act big. These public school innovators have brought the kind of technologies that Silicon Valley pioneered to its importantly diverse student body.
About Dallas Education Foundation
The Dallas Education Foundation (DEF) is an semi-independent direct, non-profit philanthropic arm of Dallas ISD which seeks to deliver expanded learning opportunities for students. And it’s an anomaly. It functions like the R&D arm of the district, but with an unusual focus on intelligence based technologies and development of personalized, individualized learning which rapidly transformed experiences for students during and since COVID. With over 145,000 students, having an innovation arm is a statement.
What they did to Counter Covid’s Impact on Students
Despite the enormity of the 14th largest school district, this Foundation worked to help ISD by developing a new learning management system to integrate and streamline all virtual learning, leading to the creation of a “Metaverse,” a new immersive game-based learning platform which will power the first permanently hybrid school in Texas, Dallas, and ultimately the entire district.
Mita Havlik and Taylor Shead
“In three months, we built this virtual schoolhouse. We have a tool that can bring game-based learning to every single classroom no matter if it is a school of one or a school of a million.”
Innovation can bridge the gaps in education, giving every student a pathway to a future.
How they STOP-ped for Students
Delivered High Speed, Broadband Internet to Every Learner
After putting out a national call within days of the pandemic to support all students, Dallas ISD, through the Foundation, ensured connectivity was delivered and maintained, which then led them to realize they needed to adopt new materials for students and ultimately create a new model for learning.
Developed Innovative Learning System
Rapidly deployed a virtual schoolhouse that helped 5,000 high school dual-credit students in Early College High Schools and Pathways to Technology Early College High Schools.
Created Dallas Hybrid Prep
The Foundation quickly moved to develop a virtual school house as a model that led to the development of the first permanent, hybrid school in Texas, Dallas Hybrid Prep. The new student learning management system will serve the PreK – 12 Virtual Academy, and ultimately the entire district with the insertion of immersive game-based learning into the core curriculum for all 145,0000 + learners.
And if they win the $1 million Prize?
The Dallas Education Foundation wants to put its innovative ed tech platform into every school district, through replicating and scaling its new education operating system, which integrates artificial intelligence for personalizing student experiences. This “metaverse” will integrate immersive, anywhere, anytime game-based learning into the core curriculum for all learners and enable students to earn micro-scholarships and digital incentives for students to complete class and improve their future trajectories.