Support for Better Schools, Smarter Strategies & Stronger Advocacy

Leadership, Mission-Driven Work

What do these 10 advances have in common?

  • Facilitated development of an urban school district strategic plan
  • Supported development of a national scaling plan for an innovative blended high school program
  • Hosted school design workshops for hundreds of educators coast to coast
  • Supported scaling, marketing, and communications strategy for leading math provider, and a leading literacy provider
  • Advised a major philanthropist on impact investing
  • Provided public relations for a leading school support organization
  • Advised an informal learning provider on technology and marketing
  • Ran a design prize competition to improve state policy and practices
  • Inspired dozens of districts on their personalized learning journey
  • Published a white paper and infographic on compelling use cases

They were all first quarter Getting Smart projects. The impact will be better schools, smarter strategies, and more powerful advocacy.

To bolster our capacity we’ve added some amazing talent. Catherine Wedgwood joined as Marketing and Communications Manager. Over the last two decades she has advocated for and ran communication strategy for groups like Communities in Schools, health services, nonprofits and government agencies.

Mary Ryerse has been named director of our strategy practice. She was also co-author of Smart Cities that Work for Everyone: 7 Keys to Education & Employment as well as Core & More: Guiding and Personalizing College & Career Readiness. Mary has been a teacher, coach, school administrator, district curriculum director, college instructor, and EdTech executive.

Publications. We kicked off the year with the release of Getting Smart on Coding & Career Readiness in partnership with Microsoft. It’s the fifth in our “Smart Bundle” collection. In February, we published a great paper in partnership with Fuel Education that highlights the important topic of scaling personalized learning. The How to Successfully Scale Personalized Learning: Six Key Lessons from Effective Programs features interviews with teachers and leaders who have successfully scaled their blended learning programs and offers implementation insights so that others can do the same.

This month we’ll release “Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning” – the culmination of our “Preparing Leaders” blog series that yielded more than 50 leadership-focused blogs from current practitioners and innovators in education leader preparation and development. The paper is a follow-up to last year’s Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning and both feature Digital Promise’s Karen Cator as a co-author.

We are also teeming with great “for parents, by parents” posts from our Smart Parents series. In partnership with The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Getting Smart has been cultivating the series and writing a book, titled Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning (publishing August 2015) which will act as a resource to guide parents in creating, choosing and advocating for powerful, student-centered learning experiences for their children. As of today, we have had more than 40 parents stories published on and more than 20 on our Smart Parents partner site with The Huffington Post. The Smart Parents series has garnered widespread national attention and yielded contributions from experts on education and learning including: Joan Ganz Cooney Center/Sesame Workshop, RoadTrip Nation, Pearson, PBS Kids, NBC Parent Toolkit, The Clayton Christensen Institute, The Foundation for Excellence in Education, MIND Research Institute, Big Picture Learning and many more. Follow along on Twitter with #SmartParents.

We’re also really excited about our GenDIY series on our site and on The Huffington Post. In December, we asked students to share their stories of their do-it-yourself pathways to school, career, and contribution. The series has generated more than 28 blogs that feature stories and realities of students charting their course to futures they love. Follow the series on Twitter with #GenDIY.

For more information and to access our white papers, infographics, case studies, bundles and books, see our Publication page. For more information on partnering with our team to create and share great content, see our Content Creation Services overview or email Carri Schneider, our Director of Publications. Alongside the growth and expanding impact of the Getting Smart team has been the evolution of In the last year, monthly traffic on has increased by 72% with over 250,000 pageviews per month, with an expected 3 million pageviews for 2015. On Facebook and Twitter, we’ve generated 73 million impressions and 11,800 interactions from 5,900 unique users.

In April, we launched the highly anticipated Getting Smart Podcast pilot. We hope to publish this podcast, “SmartCast,” twice monthly and feature thematic topics, interviews, upcoming events and industry news to be aware of. The first two episodes highlighted the Smart Parents project and the work of Jeff Petty, Director of the Puget Sound Consortium for School Innovation, a Big Picture Learning initiative.

Our weekly EdTech news wrap, EdTech 10, has made the shift to social with all featured news stories highlighted on Twitter with #EdTech10. Have an EdTech news story that should be featured? Tweet it!

The first quarter for Getting Smart has had an impact on schools, strategies, and legislation. Our team has enjoyed working on projects that are well aligned with our mission of amplifying and accelerating innovations in learning. As summer approaches and we round the corner to fall we will continue to partner with organizations, schools, districts and individuals on projects, publications and engagements that are impact oriented.

If you are interested in learning more about Getting Smart’s services see our services page and contact Caroline.

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