Frequently Asked Questions
Over the years we have been asked questions like, "where does the name friEdTechnology come from" and "how do I prepare for a friEd Training?" We put our heads together and answered our most common questions here. If you need to know information that isn't here, please let us know!
In the South, it's said that "everything is better fried," and we believe this is true about professional development, too! If you'll notice, our branding is based around the industry we serve in, "EdTech," which also fits right in the middle of our branding and unique spelling as "friEdTech." We develop customized staff development plans for your staff.
What you get with us will be “cooked up” just for you; not a can of PD we used with the last school. Our overall satisfaction rating is 4.8 out of 5, and every teacher who learns with us has the opportunity to evaluate us.
When our founder, Amy Mayer, was a high school English teacher, she realized many of her students brought years of “English class baggage" into her classroom. Each school year, she challenged her students to think of her English class as “fried English” and encouraged them to embrace reading, writing, and literature in new ways.
Eventually, Amy started a blog about teaching and learning called by the same name, “fried English.” Later, Amy began working in the field of Instructional Technology and needed a new title for her blog. She thought “fried technology” was kind of funny and had a tie to her joke with hundreds of students, so she renamed her blog and started a Twitter account to collaborate with other educators.
As Amy’s popularity grew in the EdTech world, the name stuck. Eventually, someone pointed out that EdTech was right there in the middle of friEdTechnology, solidifying the company name which has now been shortened to friEdTech.
We can't fix your computers, but we can help you integrate those computers for instructional use. We can help you align your goals with technology and get you back on the right track. In this way, "fried," as in "friEdTech" CAN definitely be good!
We know that the best way to learn is to do, and that a little external motivation, excitement, and enthusiasm goes a long way toward helping people want to learn new things. We offer active learning experiences and templates that encourage educators to grow their skills quickly and efficiently as well as providing the support they need as they try new things. The best part of our learning experiences is our team of educated, experienced Learning Guides that are the best of the best! This is why it is easy to see why friEdTech is so much better than simply watching a YouTube video or surfing websites to try to learn. Information is free and plentiful in our world today, but creating experiences that motivate learners is a skill that is neither common nor ubiquitous. We don't throw information out and hope it sticks; we carefully construct active learning opportunities that help folks grasp, hold onto, and implement new ideas and strategies. When a teacher says, "Hey, I could use the way you taught me this to teach my own students!" We say, "Yes, yes, YES you can! And now you've seen it modeled and have a good idea how to use it yourself." This is the power of a thoughtful, targeted lesson. It's a lot more than a collection of "YouTube videos and websites."
If it involves instructional technology or using technology to learn instead of learning to use technology, then friEdTech probably offers it. We use the very best strategies to help teachers learn to effectively integrate technology, and that includes modeling the strategies we want teachers to use in their classrooms by keeping learning experiences active instead of passive. Our services cover a wide variety of training methods ranging from asynchronous online courses to district-wide Technology Implementation Strategy & Planning sessions.
Good professional development solves a problem teachers have in a way they can implement immediately, so we encourage you to think about what problems educators are experiencing that need solving. From problem identification, you can determine goals you want your professional development experience to achieve. We can help you do this!
Problem: Teachers aren’t comfortable using Google Meet, which is needed for virtual learning.
Goal: All teachers understand the features of Google Meet Plus Edition and gain comfort in using those features with students.
When you determine your goals, we are able to offer experiences to solve problems.
Solution: Teachers need the opportunity to participate in a Google Meet with their peers and a trainer to learn the proper functions of all the features. We would suggest providing the opportunity to showcase the features and then have a structured practice session followed with Q&A. This training comes with a Google Meet guide to use as a reference once the training is complete.
We recommend booking at least one month in advance during the months of September through April. Some popular dates, i.e. May through August, are typically booked up to four months in advance. We have a great, large team of experts and will do everything we can to accommodate you!
After you book, you will receive directions for how to join your learning experience via email. We ask you to forward the directions and materials to the participants with whom we will be working. If teachers will be joining friEdOnline, Microsoft Teams, or a Google Classroom, please refer to our whitelist directions and instructions here.
Your Learning Guide (LG) will be assigned based on your district’s needs and our LG’s skills and qualifications. For example, if you are booking a Microsoft Innovative Educator Academy, you will be assigned a Microsoft Certified Trainer or MIE who is experienced with the Microsoft tools your staff will be learning about.
Unless you requested a specific LG, we will assign your LG based on availability and expertise. All of our Learning Guides are well qualified to interact with your staff in a friendly, professional, and highly educational way. Each friEdTech Learning Guide maintains a 4.5 out of 5 overall satisfaction percentage, which is well above the industry standard. Meet the team here.
The goals you set for your PD will determine what topics we address when we work with your teachers. We will help you set goals that are attainable within the time frame we have to work with your staff. Our level of success will depend on reasonable goals for the audience, each member of which will bring their own level of readiness. Just like in a classroom, the enthusiasm, confidence, and spirit of the teacher (or in our case, teacher of teachers) will make a huge difference in how much the audience learns. This is why we focus on finding the very best “teachers of teachers” in the country.
If we accurately identify the problems and solutions, we will most likely create measurable goals. Consider offering a pre- and post-survey to your staff that asks questions about your goal. If Google Meet is a focus, your pre-survey may ask, “How comfortable are you delivering virtual instruction with Google Meet?” with a scale of 1-4. After your professional development experience, repeat the survey and compare the results. Successful PD will move the marker around the goal or goals that are set.
If your district is in the midst of massive change and growth, consider deploying the friEdTech Pre and Post Survey, which will give teachers a visual representation of their current level of understanding and ultimately help them understand the growth they will undergo as a result of their professional learning experiences.
For live face to face events (not keynotes), our limit is 35 participants per trainer. This ensures your learners have a quality experience and get the support they need to integrate new ideas successfully. This number can vary slightly, but we find this the ideal number of people who one experienced trainer can help efficiently during most face to face learning experiences.
Our virtual sessions can accommodate almost any size of group to meet your school or district’s needs. To assure quality, we add experienced moderators based on the number of participants you will have in a single group learning setting. This means we’re able to quickly address learner’s issues in the moment and differentiate with breakout groups as needed. We have found using moderators in this way to be an effective tool for swift communication; in addition, we suggest requiring learners to complete an assignment, customize a template, or use the friEdTech Learning Portfolio to document and integrate their learning to be an effective method of increasing learner accountability and participation. If I know I’m going to have to “do something” with my learning, I’m more apt to give my learning experience my full attention. According to Hattie’s Influences, strategies to integrate with prior knowledge and transfer strategies both show a marked effect size. We also know that using strategies such as this gives teachers valuable instructional models they can implement in their own classrooms.
Please feel free to invite anyone in your organization to your event; however, consider the purpose and position of the learners. NO ONE wants to attend a learning opportunity that will not help them with their daily work, so communicating with us AND your staff about the objectives is critical for success. Also, attendees who are not interested in the content we are sharing may inadvertently detract from their peers' learning opportunities.
This is really up to you. Of course, asynchronous PD saves money on travel, but there will probably never be a replacement for the human touch that can be brought through face-to-face professional development. No matter which mode of delivery you choose, we will create the most personal experience possible.
Yes, we do! We have a constantly growing catalog of courses you can complete anytime, any place, at any pace! You will even receive anywhere from 1-12 hours credit per course. You can learn all about our online course offerings on this website or on our dedicated friEdOnline website.
Yes, we certainly do. Because we work with so many schools, state departments of education, and districts, there is little in our field we have not encountered before; however, your job may be one that needs a custom touch. We will help you identify areas of struggle and build the perfect, customized PD experience to address your goals.
We’re glad you asked!
System Administrators can help assure educators have a successful professional development event by whitelisting required sites at least 48 hours before your event is scheduled to begin. We have more detailed information about unblocking and whitelisting here.
Yes, we can! friEdTech is an official professional development partner for both Google and Microsoft, and we have Learning Guides who are well-versed in each as well as the very best ways to conduct adult education experiences that are fun, useful, and engaging.
Yes, yes you do; however, this is not a question. Perhaps your question is, "can you help us do that"? The answer is YES. We work with a whole team of people who can help—the friEdTech Team. Please let us help you before it's fried, and not after. But if you do contact us after, we will help you then, too.
Our mission is to provide fun, useful and engaging instructional technology professional development for educators. If our mission aligns with your goals, we want to work with you and serve your school, district, or state with a project of any size. Giving your friEdTechnology representative a ballpark idea of your budget can help us design an experience that will work for you and help achieve your goals. We also love to work with you to leverage the resources you have inside your district to work alongside each other to complete special projects. We are never in this business of replacing or supplanting your local instructional technology professionals, but we are here to help add capacity when you are undergoing change, have a special project, or just need an outside perspective.
Pay with a PO:
Most of friEdTech's customers must "pay" with a purchase order. If this is your organization's process, it works like this:
- You request a quote/estimate.
- We provide a quote.
- You sign the quote.
- We put your dates on our calendars.
- We execute the work.
- We send you an invoice.
- Your district sends us a check within 14 business days of the last day of the event.
Pay through a reseller:
If you have purchased our services through one of our reseller partners, you will use the reseller partner's quote and payment processes.
Other methods of payment:
If your district prefers to pay with direct deposit or a credit card, we can accommodate your needs; just let us know!
Fill out our online form to request a quote, or contact us to set up an appointment to discuss your goals. Once you let us know what problems you want to solve, for whom and when, we will create a plan for you around those goals.
A quote from friEdTech is good for 30 days and must be signed and returned within that window with at least a one-month notice for any travel. Dates are booked on a first-come, first-served basis, but once we know you are interested, we can tentatively schedule your dates so that you have a right of refusal. If a second client wants the same dates and we are out of capacity, we will contact you first to send a signed quote. If you return it within 24 hours, the dates will be yours. Otherwise, the dates will go to the customer with a signed quote.
We'd be so sad if you had to cancel! BUT, if there's no other choice, here is our refund policy...
Cancellation Policy Fee Schedule
|Days Before Event||Cancellation Fee||Change Fee: Face to Face||Change Fee: Virtual|
|1-3||100%||Real travel costs that are non-refundable, for example, airline tickets that cannot be exchanged or canceled + 50%||35%|
|4-7||80%||Real travel costs that are non-refundable, for example, airline tickets that cannot be exchanged or canceled + 30%||30%|
|8-13||70%||Real travel costs that are non-refundable, for example, airline tickets that cannot be exchanged or canceled + 20%||25%|
|14-30||Real travel costs that are non-refundable, for example, airline tickets that cannot be exchanged or canceled||Real travel costs that are non-refundable, for example, airline tickets that cannot be exchanged or canceled||No change fee for non-peak times; for peak time bookings, 20%|
We have worked with a variety of small and large schools and districts, including Dallas ISD, Houston ISD, Tulsa Public Schools and Caddo Parish Public Schools among many others. Learn more about why schools choose us here.
friEdTech donates over $100,000 a year of professional development services to Title 1 school districts. We also partner with the Pryde Foundation to provide educational experiences to at-risk high school students.
Yes, we do! We would love to do yours provided we have the time and you have the money. But here's the thing, we want to know what you are trying to do, and then we'll decide what to say about that. If you want to write the keynote, you also have to do it. We might not say what you want us to say because, as Pink Panther famously said, "that is not my dog."
We have several Learning Guides who are wonderful keynote speakers, including our founder and CEO, Amy Mayer, who speaks about student engagement and how tech influencers can transform the learning environment.