Reflection and celebration: Introducing the new Remake Learning Network Director

A leadership update from the Remake Learning Co-Chairs

Change and transformation have fueled the Remake Learning Network since its start.

Our first handful of educators came together in 2007 to better understand how the digital era was impacting the way young people learned and experienced the world.

Since then, the network has grown exponentially, but remained malleable. As new topics in teaching, learning, and education have emerged, members have continually come together to discuss, problem-solve, and collaborate—never afraid to try something new, ask tough questions, or, when needed, take a moment to pause.

Similarly, the team behind Remake Learning has grown and changed many times over to better serve the needs of the network.

In its nearly 14 year history, the Remake Learning team has evolved to include several organizational and leadership structures. The most recent leadership iteration came to a close in December 2019, when we bid a fond farewell to network director Sunanna Chand. Since then, we’ve embarked on a period of reflection, knowing that in times of important change, we benefit immensely from a moment of pause.

So from January through September of this year, we did just that: pause and reflect. We took time to strategically review the network’s past and current organizational structures, as well as its current systems of operation and areas of focus. Through conversations with team and network members, we took note of key insights: We learned that our working groups are onramps to the network’s many other programs and services, that participatory projects like Remake Learning Days generate new partnerships and interest, and that we should dig even deeper on the topics of justice learning and the future of learning.

With this information in hand, and together with the Remake Learning team, we asked, “How can our structure best serve the network’s mission, vision, and values in the years ahead, while best representing our diverse membership?”

Today, we are excited to share one key part of our collective answer.

Tyler Samstag, Remake Learning Network Director | Photo by Ben Filio

On October 1, Tyler Samstag joined our team as the new Remake Learning Network Director. Sharing his time between Remake Learning and the Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s transformED, where he maintains his role as Director of Instructional Innovation, he will guide and liaise with Remake Learning’s core initiatives, oversee key funding and reporting duties, and uphold Remake Learning’s longstanding commitment to educational innovation and equity. In addition, Tyler will launch important, vision-building work around the network’s long term priorities for the next three to five years.

Of course, Tyler also brings to this role a deep familiarity with our region. He has many connections to our school districts, colleges and universities, out-of-school organizations, and state-led initiatives, to name a few. Many of you know him well already!

And that is what excites us most about this new chapter in Remake Learning’s history. It’s both a product and a reflection of the network effect: We uplift the expertise from within our ecosystem, leveraging the power of connection and community, to co-create change in teaching and learning.

Our deepest thanks to the Remake Learning team, for maintaining service to the network over the last year; to Tyler, for working and leading with us in this new capacity; and to every network member, for walking with us towards an exciting future where we will continue to remake learning, together.

Authored by: Greg Behr, Jim Denova, and Valerie Kinloch