Better Together – Read the Reviews

September 4, 2018

“It takes a network. The desire to collaborate is innately human; true collaboration is responsible for our species’ advancement. Better Together finally articulates the “why” and “how” collaboration via networking is the most exciting thing happening in education today.”

Barry Schuler
Chairman, New Tech Network
Partner, DFJ Growth

“Tom Vander Ark and Lydia Dobyns have been working in the education trenches to find practical and realistic approaches to improve outcomes for kids as long and as thoughtfully as anyone.  I highly recommend this excellent book, as school networks enable us to move past ‘one-off innovations’ and create paths for schools to sustain great work and share their learning together. This book and Vander Ark’s and Dobyns’ expert views should move to the top of the list for educators, administrators, and policymakers serious about creating effective schools.”

Chad Wick
Chairman, ACT, Inc.
Founder and President Emeritus, KnowledgeWorks

“I want to move further into the culture of the Network. I now feel like I have the opportunity to empower students and connect with other teachers who feel the same way.”

Adam McCarthy
Teacher, First State Military Academy


“In Better Together: How To Leverage School Networks for Smarter Personalized and Project Based Learning, Tom Vander Ark and Lydia Dobyns convincingly demonstrate the power of school networks to transform learning so that all students develop the skills they need to be successful in college, career, and life.”

David Ross
CEO, Partnership for 21st Century Learning

“I’m buying this as a gift for the person who brought me into the Network. The answer is always in the room – this network makes the room so much bigger.”

Beth Meenely
Teacher, New Tech Academy @ Wayne


“Tom Vander Ark and Lydia Dobyns understand that the future of education will be built on the shoulders of the strongest school networks. Better Together is a timely and much-needed book that advances a world of endless possibilities replete with practical and ready-to-use resources. The author’s unparalleled commitment to finding and highlighting over a hundred exemplar schools and networks that promote both inclusion and equity makes this book a must-read for all educators hoping to build a better world for the next generation of students and school leaders.”

Dr. Justin Aglio
Director of Academic Achievement and District Innovation, Montour School District

Better Together makes the future of teaching and learning in a digital world understandable as well as less intimidating.  Through the discussions of personalized learning and project-based learning utilizing networks of learners and schools with teams focused on a common outcome, Tom and Lydia show us a future that is achievable. They take the mystery out of the use of big data and artificial intelligence by showing us how to use school networks and our own agency to build a learning platform that is workable across America. Hats off to the team for hitting it out of the park”

Bev Perdue
Founder & Chair, digiLEARN 2015
Governor, State of North Carolina 2009-2013

“I’m always learning, and these ideas are all about engagement and networking.”

Stanley Jones
Superintendent, Danville Public Schools



“A decade’s worth of organizing across hundreds of schools and organizations commonly committed to relevant, engaging, and equitable learning has made abundantly clear that our kids are much better off when their teachers, librarians, and youth workers, as well as local artists, technologists, and entrepreneurs, connect continuously. Networks make possible for diverse yet commonly-committed people to genuinely connect so that they imagine differently what’s possible together. And then they’re poised to forge ahead powerfully to remake learning.”

Gregg Behr
Executive Director, The Grable Foundation
Co-Chair, Remake Learning

“Dobyns and Vander Ark make incisive arguments about the power of networks for school innovation.  For existing schools to iterate their way into the future, educators want to see and collaborate with others on the same path.”

Eileen Rudden
Co-founder, LearnLaunch

I’ve always been impressed by not only what they say, but what they do. It’s always nice to be able to turn to someone for help – a lot of teachers don’t have that option.

Cori Favela


“Engaging with our parents, teachers, principals, school board and students to seek their input to develop a district vision where all students graduate prepared for college or career paths is relatively easy. After all, we know what we want for our daughters and sons. The challenge is execution. School networks can make the difference in a district’s ability to translate an active learner vision into reality. Vander Ark and Dobyns have depicted the success possible via network-district partnerships.”

Juan Cabrera
Superintendent, El Paso Independent School District

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