Why Choose Us
Before we even talk about why you should choose us, we should really tell you exactly what we do. We provide a bridge between your vision for the future of education and the skills needed to make that vision a reality. Visioning, planning, and goal setting are important, but that's not what we do. We help make your vision a reality.
Knowing a change is necessary is not the same as knowing how to make that change happen. According to a study conducted by the American Federation of Teachers,
"71% of teachers attribute workplace stress to the 'adoption of new initiatives without proper professional development'.”
We provide the "proper professional development" that helps educators bridge the gap between knowing what should be happening in the 21st Century classroom and knowing exactly how to make that vision a reality.
Whether your school is getting its first student devices or you're already 1:1, we're here to make sure that what happens with those devices is what your community envisions. After all, without proper professional development, the only thing that goes up when you implement technology is the light bill.
So, Why Choose Us?
There's nothing worse than attending a professional development event where someone lectures for hours about engaging students or scrolls through slides as s/he pontificates at length about creating meaningful constructivist learning activities.
The irony can be astounding; unfortunately, we've ALL experienced this firsthand. That's why friEd learning experiences are hands-on, interactive, and exemplify activities we want to see mirrored in classrooms. For example, when we work with teachers on Hyperdocs, we do it using Hyperdocs. Teachers explore the concepts while using the strategy they will then use in their teaching.
We like to think of it as Quantum Learning, to us that means that teachers are absorbing learning philosophy while interacting hands-on in exactly the same way they will in their own classrooms. Meanwhile, we are modeling the role the teacher will take on in his/her classroom. After years of research, we understand that this model of technology professional development is the only one that leads to implementation. If teachers are learning how to teach with technology, they should be able to answer the question, "How can I use this in my classroom tomorrow?"
friEdTechnology Learning Guides are veteran educators. Many of them are certified school administrators, several have served as Directors, Coordinators, and Specialists in the field of Education Technology (Ed Tech) or Technology. We understand classroom management, curriculum standards, standardized testing requirements and how each relates to the strategies we share. We also know that finding the right fit for your job is critical; for example, we won't send an elementary education expert to work with your high school English teachers.
We work with hundreds of schools each year, and every single one of them has its own unique needs and goals. We are going to be asking a LOT of questions before we work with educators at your school, and while that takes time, it will be worth it as we design learning experiences for your staff. Some of the questions that will help us understand the challenges educators face in your classrooms might be:
- What percentage of students live in poverty?
- What is the biggest challenge in the area of technology implementation your teachers face?
- What resistance have you heard expressed in the past to this implementation?
- What goals, if accomplished, would help you know that this time was well-spent or that your implementation was a success?
Engaging & Rigorous
We love to make professional development fun for our participants, but we also know that fun is not always the same thing as engaging and that being engaged is not always the same as being compliant. We work to design learning experiences in which participants will be personally invested. For example, if we're working with teachers on creating meaningful collaborative learning experiences for students, we build in a component where teachers work collaboratively themselves and where their work is seen by their peers as well as their instructors.
We also believe in "turning it in." What this means is that we often ask participants to actually complete and turn in learning activities for review. Why do we do this? Don't we respect that our learners are adults? Yes, we sure do, and we know that the higher the stakes are, the more engaged learners become. If my audience is only myself, where is the motivation to strive for excellence? Some of us can do it, but many of us need the stakes to be a little bit higher in order to engage our attention fully. We'll convince your staff members to challenge themselves to create products they can be proud of and share with others which will enhance their learning immeasurably.
Strategic Compliance vs. Engagement
|Learner is attentive because there is a perceived chance of a desired extrinsic reward.||Learner finds personal meaning and value in the work.|
|Learner persists only up to the point where the perceived reward can be attained.||Learner persists in the work even though a lower standard might be negotiated.|
|Learner allocates only as much time, energy, and resources as are required for the reward.||Learner volunteers his/her own resources (like time, effort, and attention).|
Schlechty, Phillip C. Engaging Students Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass, 2011
We know and expect that many of our learners are entering the experience believing that they are "just not good at technology." In the past, they have experienced feeling slow or behind or maybe that for a colleague, "this is just easy, but not for me." It is our goal to make sure that we build confidence in all of our learners by differentiating instruction. We also strive to help teachers understand that their own perceived proficiency with technology need not impact whether they implement the learning strategies we are sharing with their own students.
"friEdTechnology focuses on TEACHING strategies that support the 4Cs instead of devices & apps. We always know that anything we pass along to teachers from friEdTechnology is collaborative and engaging."