2014 Grants Challenge

Through education communication & understanding we can make a difference in LA...its in our GENE!

GENE creates a classroom environment that utilizes today’s technology to enhance educational experiences & improve professional development.


Please describe yourself.

Solo actor (just us on this project!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

GENE creates a classroom environment that utilizes today’s technology to enhance educational experiences & improve professional development.

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

Central LA

East LA

South LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South Bay


What is your idea/project in more detail?

GENE is a secure, education exclusive, network that enables teachers to manage their classroom, while providing collaboration opportunities across the county, state, nation or world.

GENE's classroom management tools enable teachers to integrate audio & video materials into their lesson plans & manage them on a daily basis. Lesson plans, projects & programs can be stored & archived for years without additional hardware or cost to the schools.

Teachers can enable their classroom to communicate with other classrooms around the nation & world to provide a global experience that is unparalleled in the education experience today. These projects apply lessons with real life, in real time, for better understanding & learning retention.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

We will meet with local and state administrators to educate them on the financial and educational benefits of GENE. There are many costs associated with technology in the classroom that are eliminated through GENE, so most will purchase their two year license with a portion of their savings.

We will institute a program of training the trainer. We will train educators in each of the districts on the features of GENE and work with them to create projects, programs and resources to benefit all the educators in their area.

The GENE Technology Team will assist the technology departments on the connection process and walk them through the connection process. All students, teachers and administrators will be provided unique usernames and passwords to gain access from anywhere at any time.

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to LEARN today? In 2050?

GENE provides a secure, exclusive network for the exchange of ideas, resources and communications among schools globally at all levels.

It enables the mentoring and coaching to improve professional development in the classroom. GENE expands curriculum choices by enabling students to take advantage of distance learning courses offered by other schools.

Institutions can share technologies and resources reducing costs well into the billions of dollars each year.

As schools save money in traditional areas such as textbooks, they can expand the technological devices in the classroom.

The security of the GENE network provides a safe environment for administrators, teachers and students to grow, share and develop a better classroom for today and tomorrow.

Whom will your project benefit?

Students, teachers and administrators will benefit from the educational resources, features and communications.

Parents will be able to 'connect' & access progress reports & key communications from the schools.

Taxpayers will benefit from the amount of money schools will save and utilize towards future educational resources such as teachers, programs or benefits, instead of tax increases.

School districts have the potential to recoup thousands of dollars from reducing the dropout rate as well as material savings on additional software products.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

We will partner with the State Department of Education, the local administrators, the teachers and higher education institutions in your area.

In an effort to enable the diverse student population to have the maximum opportunity for learning, we have also been in touch with the LAUSA Department for Gifted and Talented Students and the LAUSD Multilingual and Multicultural Education Department, as we believe both of these departments serve students who have great potential, and need to have resources and opportunities to enable the maximal learning potential of every child.

We are committed to help these diverse learners thrive and hope to have your support in helping to meet their instructional needs.

How will your project impact the LA2050 LEARN metrics?

Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

Academic Performance Index scores

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)

Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)

Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

Early Education Programs - If programs are implemented by the local school districts, there will be resources available to instructors to use and share in early learning programs. As schools take on more of these programs, more resources will become available. Previous barriers such as expense & availability can be removed making programs more easily accessible.

GENE provides students the flexibility needed in a Community College setting. Students can take courses from home or the office if they are unable to attend class. Many professors like the options of reducing the need for books and the digital recall of courses or classwork available through GENE.

GENE is totally customizable to meet the needs and demands of regional employment. GENE provides the opportunity for collaboration beyond the immediate region. This makes it possible for students to study in whatever area or discipline that interests them or serves their career needs.

Graduation/Suspension/Truancy/Expulsion Rates - By utilizing GENE in the classroom, the flexibility for schools to break away from the traditional structured classroom is expanded. This provides a venue, or extension for students that face special challenges in their lives without having to sacrifice getting an education. This can be carried through to students facing health issues as well as domestic challenges. If a student is suspended from school, they may still be able to participate in class (via GENE’s cyber-capability). The attendance and participation on GENE is managed and recordable. The ability for students to occasionally attend class from home, while maintaining a record and manageability for the administration is a key feature of GENE. In fact, students that are incarcerated may also attend public schools in this manner, if school administrators choose to include them.

Building a student education pipeline is the very nature of GENE. Unique to the GENE enterprise is the ability for students to save their class work, lessons and projects in a database to refer back to for ‘recall’ and review.

Safety - In the case of an emergency, everyone in the school could immediately receive a red flashing message with instructions of what the emergency is and what action to take. The message would automatically go out to all devices. This can be generated in the case of weather or school closings or other emergency situations.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

Success can be determined by usage and activity, but that alone is not the only determining factor of our success.

GENE provides an annual questionnaire for administrators and teachers to evaluate GENE’s resources and services. Our regional representatives would visit districts throughout the year searching for feedback and ideas.

A comparison of student achievement, their improved understanding and comprehension will also be measurable evaluations.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

The Forensic Science Department at the University of Florida provides distance learning degrees in 800 location in 32 different countries. They would like to reduce the amount of remedial courses it takes to provide a student with the foundation to begin their higher education learning. GENE was approached to be involved with the process of enabling colleges to mentor to K-12 teachers in the area of Forensics so the basic knowledge and foundation could be provided to students at the middle and high school settings. This illustrates the need for a venue for collaboration between K-12 and higher education facilities.

A bi-weekly Global News Journal project was initiated that included classrooms in 5 different states in the United States and classrooms in The Netherlands. The project included writing, photojournalism, art, technology, business, science and analytic classes and lasted 6 months with many successes and some major challenges. The challenges provided GENE with the experience and knowledge of key important features that were vital whether a collaborative program is local, national or global in scale. We have implemented such features and components to overcome these challenges.

Others are available upon request.

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

This grant provides us the funding to personally demonstrate GENE to the local and state administrations. We have less than two months of developing remaining. In an area as technologically hardware equipped as the LA districts, GENE is the next step in a full utilization process.

The GENE Education Team will work GATE, Bi-Lingual, Special Needs, STEM and other discipline leaders to create projects and resources that can be shared by all. The option not to share can also be utilized in some cases, whichever is preferred by the local district. GENE provides feasible real time life-long learning opportunities for students in every curricular interest.

Connecting K-12 with higher education also provides teachers a venue for assistance and collaboration with colleges, both locally, within the state or nationally. The process for connecting schools to the network is minimal and once connected into the school district, GENE can be accessed by most digital devices including iPads, smartphones or other tablets.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

Changing the education paradigm is never easy. Today’s rising costs associated with education and the constant creation of technological innovations makes today the right time to introduce GENE.

The first challenge is finding school districts that embrace technology and can envision how sharing resources can reduce costs significantly, while enhancing learning opportunities.

The second is finding a state or district that has the financial commitment to support their schools in becoming the pioneers of change. LA has started that process with their distribution of tablets.

We will articulate a clear and concise process of how to move forward with the administrations. GENE is a management system, communication portal, and learning resource center all in one. At a cost of $1 per month per user, based on a 12 month calendar, students and teachers will be enabled to experience the advantages of cyber schools, while having the benefit of a live teacher (blended or hybrid learning). We will offer the first year of service at half price enabling schools to begin their cost savings.

We will continue to enroll other school districts (and state education departments) across the state and the nation. The collaboration and sharing of resources between our schools will provide a digital learning resource and repository so immense, that it will change the world of education.

What resources does your project need?

Network/relationship support

Money (financial capital)