Posted in Talent Development

More Computers for the Classrooms of NEO

OneCommunity, a nonprofit that provides broadband and other IT infrastructure to education, government and nonprofits in Northeast Ohio, has rolled out a plan to place 50,000 refurbished computers in our region’s schools over the next five years. The computers would come from area corporations and organizations. Learn more about the program.

The idea is to connect these computers to the OneClassroom initiative that provides teachers with easy access to a vast array of online resources from local and global institutions. Because the computers would access applications and programs hosted by OneCommunity, the school systems won’t have to maintain software on the individual machines.

In this story on, OneCommunity president Scot Rourke says: “We’re trying to inspire kids through technology so they can continue their education and be prepared for industries that need more people, like the health-care industry,” Rourke said. “Local employers are looking for the best and the brightest, and hopefully they will come from right here in Northeast Ohio.”

Posted in laurasteinbrink's blog

Launchtown and The Tom Barratt Companies join as ANEO Partners

ANEO got a 2-for-1 when I recently met with Tom Barratt, principal with Tom Barratt Companies.  This successful angel investor and entrepreneur is behind several growing Northeast Ohio companies and a notable resource to the angle investor community with his monthly Barratt Report.  The Tom Barratt Companies is one of many potential ANEO partners in the Northeast Ohio angel network and he brings a vital perspective to the growing ranks of ANEO Partners working together to improve Northeast Ohio’s economy.

Posted in Talent Development

Training Entrepreneurs Young and Strong

Growing the next generation of entrepreneurs is vital if our region is going to continue to prosper and Gary Schoeniger and his partners at the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative Foundation (ELIF) has a plan on how to help — teach entrepreneurship skills to high school students.

ELIF announced today its plan to sign up high schools to offer the ELIF curriculum that Schoeniger and others are developing off of earlier work they did for Cisco Systems. ELIF has an interesting model of identifying “champions” who raise $25,000 to introduce the curriculum into the high school of their choice. It’s a way to build grass-roots support for the ELIF program. Are you prepared to be a champion?

You can check out more on the organizations web site or, if you are a registered user to this site, you can download the PDF below.

Posted in laurasteinbrink's blog

Call to Action Grants Announced

This week the Fund for Our Economic Future voted in favor of creating a two-part program (grants + public awareness and engagement) to help the region’s governments collaborate and be more efficient.  Today many Advance Northeast Ohio partners took part in a webinar to learn about the new program and the presentation is attached to this blog.  (You have to register and log into the site to  access the document.)  In short, there will be (in 2009) up to $300,000 dollars available to fund 3 new (or vastly expanded) government collaborations that lead to cost savings and efficiency.  These funds are for implementation of new ideas that can be replicated across the region and that involve at least two governmental units (funds cannot be used for planning or studying).  More details of this program will be available in 2009 – no deadlines or applications exist today.  Please check back for more information.  In the meantime, practice telling your friends and your elected officials how important it is for governments to collaborate:  be engaged.

Posted in Talent Development

Education Works: Moving from Planning to Action to Support Learning for the 21st Century


A group of 35+ leaders from across Northeast Ohio, referred to as the Education Works Leadership Council, took a bold step in identifying three pilot programs they will support that will lead to a more effective education system focused on truly preparing our learners for success.  Guided by their self-defined purpose statement,

“The Education Works Leadership Council will transform the community’s aspirations for learning
and achievement in NEO.  We will actively partner with the regional community to identify and foster the skills necessary for all people to become thriving members of a global society.  We will communicate this vision and encourage new, innovative strategies for education.  We will know we have been successful when educational expectations and achievement in the region show continual improvement.”

The Leadership Council will turn its work in 2009 from planning to action on their three projects:

  • Exploding the Obstacles” to Inclusive Student-centric Learning:
    a Community Action Research Project
  • Develop “Critical Thinking at Work” through the Liberal Arts
  • Create the “Education Works Top Ten” – a celebration and honor
    program for the most successful and innovative school/work
    programs in the region

Check out the attached file to learn more about Education Works, an initiative sponsored and funded by the Cleveland Foundation, the Gund Foundation, the Jennings Foundation and the Fund for Our Economic Future. (You have to be logged in and registered on this site to see the file.)

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# Submitted by ECPat on Thu, 12/18/2008 – 02:40.

So many of our schools have responded to NCLB by increasingly using practice tests instead of teaching. How can we move past the fear to be ready to make positive changes, rather than negative changes?

Pat Blochowiak

# Submitted by Arnold L. Johnson (not verified) on Fri, 01/09/2009 – 16:09.

I worked at a private school where they had lots of computers and a few white-boards. These can be quite expensive for public school systems. Instead of or in addition to this, podcast and webcast could be made of class material, replayable on iPod devices and computers. If a student didn’t get it the first time, they can re-listen. The recorded lessons could be put on a web site or a school computer, burned to CD’s, put on jump drives and student iPods.

A listen anywhere/discuss in class combo might even cut down on physical classroom time.

A cottage industry to develop podcast/webcast coursework could be developed. Besides cutting the cost of having a body in a classroom, the cost of printed materials could be trimmed. And because lessons are both portable and re-playable, they can be reinforced in a students’ head. And if you are concerned about students not reading, there is always ebooks, the pdf format is an industry standard on any computer.

These things free up time that could be spent teaching kids how to find and utilize all the info they have to deal with.

Then concerning computer training, let Microsoft keep their pay through the nose software applications. Unless you are teaching kids advance programming features of MS Office, open source AbiWord or Open will do just fine to teach basic word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database and vector art skills, transferable, guaranteed. Save the pro-ware for preparing to enter the work world.

Only the tools are industry standard not the brand-name. Schools are about learning to use the tools, not product indoctrination. If you want the kids to be open and creative and flexible, teachers and administrators must be that way first. Schools are afraid of open source ways, yet claim to be the realm of teachers and learners.

# Submitted by John Mullaney (not verified) on Sat, 01/31/2009 – 21:19.

Mr. Johnson, I agree completely with your comments and assessments. One concern I have is the lack of focused professional development in NE Ohio to explore how technology can support learning. Fear 2.0 is the rule of the day and many teachers cannot fathom the idea that students using computers can actually learn from and with each other. The potential is so enormous yet lost entirely on a public school bureaucracy that lacks both imagination and courage to explore these exciting areas. Doing so requires letting go of power – not only of monies but of knowledge. It is time for the Governor to call for a total reevaluation of how Educational Services Center across the State provide professional development. The results will not be pretty.

Posted in Government

Will Crisis Drive Change?

The state of Ohio is running out of money — a lot of money. Communities from Warren to Wooster are running large deficits. And the economists are predicting a prolonged recession.

In short, we are in a financial crisis that many believe is more severe than any previously faced by our region’s communities. One way to look at the challenge is: “The system is broken and we’re broke.”

The question before us is what changes are we prepared to make to improve our region’s ability to cope with the short-term crisis and prosper in the long run? It seems fairly clear that continuing to do things the way we’ve done them isn’t going to work. What new systems can be put into place to make our region’s governments more efficient and effective, and help the region become more attractive to growing companies?

One business organization, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, has endorsed an effort led by the Northeast Ohio Mayors & City Managers Association to implement regional planning and revenue sharing in the region. You can read more about their endorsement in a story written by Larry Ringler of the Warren Tribune Chronicle. You can learn more about the Regional Planning and Revenue Sharing initiative here.