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Program Director Sets New Course in Making Education Relevant & Interactive through Technology

March 28, 2017

Newsletter MERIT 2017

MERIT 2017 is gearing up to be another great opportunity for 50 Bay Area teachers. The cohort has been selected, and planning is well underway for the May start of the program. This year will also see a new program director and assistant director at the helm.

Lisa DeLapo, a graduate of MERIT 2013, is the new program director. Lisa has also been a MERIT instructor and the assistant program director for the last two years. Lisa’s career has changed markedly since she graduated from MERIT. Since then, she left the classroom in order to serve as Director of Innovation, Design, and Technology for the Lafayette School District.

Joining Lisa as the assistant director, Brian Briggs hails from the Plumas Lake Elementary School District where he is the Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology. Brian was a guest speaker for MERIT 2016 and made an impression on the group, so we are pleased to have him as a new addition to the instructional team for 2017.

This year’s program theme is: “What will your students create today?” Student-centered learning focuses on students as creators and producers of content as opposed to passive learners in a lecture environment. In an active learning classroom, teachers not only have to be experts in their disciplines, but also coaches and facilitators who can guide students through discovery and mastery of content. Lisa commented, “We will concentrate on finding ways to get all learners to feel empowered and motivated to learn, as well as tools that all students can use to go deep and become great communicators, critical thinkers, and collaborators, while tapping into their creativity.” The program will feature elements of personalized learning, project-based learning, design thinking, and genius hour (student-led sessions that delve deeper into specific areas of interest).

Also new for this year, teachers will receive the training required to pass the Google Educator Level 1 and 2 Certifications. Over 80% of districts in California are adopting Google Apps for Education. The Level 1 certification recognizes educators who have learned the fundamentals of Google tools and validates standard technology implementation skills. The Level 2 certification is awarded to teachers who are “super users” and enthusiasts for Google tools, demonstrating advanced technology integration skills.

MERIT 2017 will take place from July 5 through July 14, and visitors are welcome to attend and check out the action. Please contact Gay Krause at if you’re interested.

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