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avatar for Ben Owens

Ben Owens

Open Way Learning
Ed Innovation Coach, Strategist, & Author
Brasstown, North Carolina
Ben Owens spent a 20-year engineering career in manufacturing and R&D locations across the U.S. and in that role saw first-hand the significant need to improve our approaches to education. He then left the corporate world to do something about it by becoming a public school teacher in the rural mountains of Southern Appalachia. As a physics and math teacher at Tri-County Early College in Murphy, North Carolina for 11 years, he was able to work with a team of colleagues to develop, refine, and scale an engaging and unique approach to learner-centered teaching and learning - one that uses school-wide, cross-grade/cross-curricular project based learning in an intensely personalized, competency-based education framework that blurs the lines between what happens in school and the real world.
Ben was the 2017 Bridging the Gap Distinguished Teacher in STEM Education, the 2016 North Carolina Science Technology & Mathematics Center’s 9-16 Outstanding Educator, served on the Teacher Advisory Council for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is an Open Organization Ambassador, and is a “Community TA” for MIT’s Online Course: “Competency-Based Education: The Why, What, and How.” His role as a nationally recognized teacher leader gave him the opportunity to work with some of the best educators and thought leaders in the world and was the primary driver behind the book he co-authored, “Open Up, Education! How Open Source Learning Can Transform Our Schools." He is now leveraging these experiences as an Open Way Learning coach & consultant to help education stakeholders around the world create the cultural conditions in their own learning communities to reach new levels of excellence for every student - especially those who have been marginalized by the status quo.