Author: Chad S. Ratliff

Edutopia: Assessment in Making

After watching a room of students working and learning via a maker project, one can’t help but be awed by the level of engagement. There’s a low hum as students buzz around, helping one another troubleshoot problems and figure out next steps. They suggest improvements and model skills for one another. Groups are working on […]

Making an Impact: One District’s Approach to Deeper Learning

As part of the Alliance for Excellent Education’s (the Alliance’s) ongoing series about how districts and schools are fostering deeper learning outcomes for students, the Alliance contacted Chad Ratliff, director of instruction for Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) in Virginia, to discuss his efforts to bring Maker-centered work to the district and its connections with […]

How might we provide children the agency to practice empathy?

A Culture of Learning School districts often function as institutions of oppression. Hierarchical and compliance-based, they are reluctant to change. The model starts at the top, permeates the organization and lands squarely on students. Albemarle County Public Schools wants more and wants better. Here, learning how to learn is most important, and we work through […]

Pedagogical Entrepreneurialism

We talk a lot about entrepreneurship in my district. We cultivate entrepreneurial experiences for students in formal ways and informal ways. We have entrepreneurial teachers making lockers universally accessible and a teacher saving the world. And we’ve made a commitment to the White House — the only K12 signatory — to democratize access to entrepreneurial opportunities and the tools […]

Making Makers: Making as a Pathway to Engineering

Slide deck for my presentation to National Science Foundation (NSF) leadership for their internal workshop, “Engineering and the Maker Movement: Intersections and Opportunities”. Other presenters were White House OSTP Deputy Director Tom Kalil, Maker Media Founder Dale Dougherty, Arizona States’ Michael Lande, and New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) President Margaret Honey.  

Building a ‘Startup Culture’ in Schools

*Cross posted from edSurge and was included in their guide, All Aboard the Connected Classroom. For most, start-ups and school districts couldn’t be more different. One is constantly changing, trying new things. The other is stuck in time, mandating a one-size-fits-all solution for unique situations. In the Albemarle County School District, we see things a bit […]

StartupEDU: High School of the Future

Had a great time helping organize and facilitate a StartupWeekend-inspired event to develop a concept for the “High School of the Future” as part of the Governor’s STEM Summit.  The winning pitch received a development grant to further flesh out the plan.