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Defined Academy

With student priorities and educational standards constantly evolving, it’s critical educators are given the training and tools they need to keep up. Defined Academy tailors project based learning to your district’s professional development needs so instructors can complete continuing education hours while expanding their curriculums.

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How it Works

Instructors with Defined Academy work through a three-step journey from the basic foundations of hands-on learning to earning credentials. Each step is uniquely designed to deepen understanding, increase leadership, and align district, educator, and student goals.

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Key Components

Depending on an instructor’s experience with project based learning, there are three stepping stones to the Defined Academy learning experience:


Educators dive into the basics and applications of PBL, as well as its purpose, design, and implementation.

Deeper Learning

Educators receive guided coaching to refine their practices in one-on-one as well as group settings.


Educators show their expertise by completing micro-credential activities which count towards district certification hours.

Why Choose Defined Academy?

Teachers need support and resources just as much as their students do. When teachers are given the opportunity to strengthen their own learning and understanding, those benefits immediately translate to the classroom.

With Defined Academy, educators explore their personal specialties alongside district requirements. It’s the ideal way to combine educational creativity and government standards.

Our Expert Team

Defined's thought leaders create high-quality professional learning opportunities to increase educators' knowledge and skills to support all students in their learning. Meet our leaders:

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David Reese, Ed. D.

David Reese serves as Chief Academic Officer for Defined. David has served K-12 students as a science teacher, Curriculum Specialist, and School System Administrator. Dave leads Defined in supporting educators with professional learning that helps them get started and go further with PBL. 
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Jay McTighe

Jay McTighe is a nationally recognized educator and award-winning author of the best-selling Understanding by Design (UbD) series. Defined offers an online course led by Jay that provides educators with a deeper understanding of PBL and performance tasks. 

John Larmer

John Larmer

John Larmer has spent over two decades providing PBL expertise and leadership. He co-developed the model for Gold Standard PBL and is the author of several books on PBL. As a Senior PBL Advisor at Defined, John helps build professional learning courses on gold-standard PBL.

Rob Underwood

Rob Underwood

Rob Underwood serves as VP of Professional Learning Partnerships at Defined. Prior to Defined, Rob served as an educational leadership executive at Apple Inc. and Discovery Education and as an assistant superintendent of schools in Texas.


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The Learning Never Ends

Despite what your students may think, teachers don’t know everything. The key to inspire deeper learning is to pass on the skills of hands-on self-education. When instructor skills and understanding grow, student skills and understanding grow as well. The connections are clear. Supporting educators is vital to a healthy learning environment.

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