EdTechTeam, a California Benefit Corporation, is a global network of educational technologists dedicated to inspiring and empowering other educators. With 34 employees and over 250 contractors around the globe (most current or former educators), EdTechTeam has subsidiaries in Canada, Australia, Mexico, and the UK. The team operates in 48 US states, 9 Canadian provinces (and territories), 8 Australian states (and territories), 28 other countries, and on all 7 continents. EdTechTeam produced professional development experiences in 10 languages for over 88,000 educators in 2016.
EdTechTeam is a Google for Education Professional Development Partner and the global leader in Google for Education Certification. Having been involved in leading the Google Teacher Academy from its inception in 2006, EdTechTeam was responsible for managing the revamped Google for Education Innovation Academy in 2016… and also helped to organize and fund the free 10 year anniversary celebrations in Sydney, London, New York, and Mountain View. The team is best known for a world-wide series of Summits featuring Google for Education, with over 300 conference-style events produced to date, and 109 around the globe in 2016 alone.The Certification Bootcamp program produced another 150 workshops globally, each focused on helping educators achieve level 1, level 2, or trainer level certification with Google. Across all programs, EdTechTeam hired over 200 Google Certified Trainers (23 of them full-time employees) to deliver 438 events totalling 4568 hours of professional development in 2016.
Now an Apple Professional Learning Provider as well, EdTechTeam offers experiences focused on supporting the new Apple Teacher program, which is designed to celebrate educators and help them make the most of Mac, iPad and built-in apps to enhance student learning. Opportunities include online courses for educators to pursue recognition remotely, full day workshops for those who want face-to-face support, and larger conference style events for inspiring communities of professionals. Building on the past success of EdTechTeam’s iOS Summits, this new program launched in October 2016 with the first online course taking place in November, the first workshops happening in December, and the first conferences featuring Apple Teacher scheduled in January of 2017.
In addition to these Google and Apple themed events, the Custom Professional Development team worked with schools to provide 140 additional learning experiences for educators, ranging in size from small workshops to district-wide training days, on a variety of topics from specific tools to pedagogical approaches such as project based learning. Many districts work with EdTechTeam on an ongoing basis to provide coaching and consulting for teachers and leaders. School change is never easy, so EdTechTeam helps schools focus on Student Agency by building capacity in Courageous Leadership, Empowered Teachers, Inspiring Spaces, Engaged Community, and Robust Infrastructure.
EdTechTeam Online was launched in early 2016 to provide an online professional development experience on par with the face-to-face experiences EdTechTeam has offered for years. Over 500 educators took part in the Teacher Leadership Certificate program launched in February, the Book Study program launched in October, and the just-in-time courses launched before the end of the year. Teachers from 26 states and 13 countries participated in EdTechTeam Online in 2016, and plans are in place to scale the program to serve many more educators in 2017, with 20 new just-in-time courses launching in January.
EdTechTeam Press was also launched in 2016, with a goal of capturing the stories of EdTechTeam’s most inspiring speakers – and sharing their expertise with more educators around the world. Other books were pursued to fill a particular need, such as inspiring learning spaces, assessment that matters, or classroom management in the digital age. In total, nine titles were published by the end of the year, with 2 more available for pre-sale. Approximately 25,000 books reached teachers’ hands through various channels, including kindle ebooks.
Breakout EDU was launched in 2015, and in 2016 EdTechTeam spun off Breakout Inc. as a separate company. To date, approximately 2 million students have experienced “something different” in class thanks to Breakout EDU, and over 16,000 teachers have joined the Facebook group, where a passionate and prolific community shares inspiring ideas (and supports anyone with questions) every day.
EdTechTeam connects with educators in a number of other free online communities, including a Google Plus group focused on Summits featuring Google for Education with over 11,000 members, and several new Facebook groups, including the Apple Teacher group, a new Connected Schools group for school leaders, and a new group dedicated to improving diversity in the field of education technology. Official EdTechTeam accounts on Instagram and Pintrest were added in 2016, and the team twitter account now has over 30,000 followers. The active #gafesummit hashtag is transitioning to #EdTechTeam (as are several others older hashtags), with #AppleTeacher and other specific tags still being used for newer projects. EdTechTeam hosts a number of free live events for the community, including “summit on air” sessions and other webinars, with participation sometimes as high as 800 educators for a single event. The EdTechTeam blog flourished this year, providing 95 blog posts to the community… many of them also contributed by community members.
EdTechTeam’s core services are the best way for the team to impact educators and students around the world in a sustainable and scalable way, however the team also gives back to the community and makes an impact in many other ways as well. Many employees volunteer with local schools, sharing their expertise in education technology, including providing experiences with coding and computer science to young students from low socio-economic backgrounds. Others volunteer for charities dedicated to helping the hungry or homeless, at home and abroad. The Hand Challenge project (led by a full-time EdTechTeam member) collects 3D-printed prosthetics for children missing a hand. In just over one year, more than 450 schools and districts around the world signed up to donate hands, and more than 300 hands have been delivered to children around the world, including 100 to India, 40 to Nigeria, 25 to Venezuela, and more than 100 all around the US.
Additional outreach is organized across the team, including efforts to host parties and socials for educators in many regions – for free #PubPD sessions or in conjunction with regional conferences, Google Educator Groups (GEGs), or local EdCamps (which the team has also sponsored through donations of free tickets to EdTechTeam events). When the new applications for the Google Innovation Academy were announced with new prerequisites, EdTechTeam hosted a free certification bootcamp for teachers in Chicago Public Schools. Over the course of the year, The Breakout EDU team also gave away approximately 200 kits, most as prizes for use at other education events.
EdTechTeam’s efforts in Emerging Markets have provided many resources to teachers throughout Latin America. Participation in the Impact Labs program is heavily discounted, with a full year of professional development offered for as low as $50 USD. Much of the program is also shared for free on the #ImpactoEDU hashtag. In addition, all resources created (or translated) into Spanish by EdTechTeam have been made available for free, including classroom posters, a spanish YouTube channel, a Google Plus community in Spanish, and free Hangouts on Air focused on Google for Education Certification.
In India, EdTechTeam provided a free workshop and follow up support (with an online community) for local trainers pursuing Google Certification, and in the first quarter of 2017 the team returns to provide free workshops at TechConX in Bangalore. EdTechTeam continues the tradition of offering tickets to the summit in Mumbai at a reduced cost as well. And in New South Wales, EdTechTeam has provided workshops for educators in remote areas at a reduced price. Lower cost tickets have also been offered in regions struggling in the aftermath of a natural disaster, such as the fire at Fort McMurray in Alberta. Discounted tickets are also available in economically depressed regions, including areas of the United States, such as New Orleans.
The team has also made efforts to include more students in learning opportunities outside of class time. Student tickets were available for the Minnesota iPad Summit for only $30. EdTechTeam Canada has offered 2-for-1 discounts to allow teachers (or parents) to bring their students to summits. Entirely free Student Summits have been available through EdTechTeam’s long running grant program – and as a complimentary addition to some custom professional development in 2016. EdTechTeam also always offers Students Summits to all schools for an extremely reduced cost. Meanwhile, the Student Device Grant has continued to award one or more class sets of Chromebooks each quarter. EdTechTeam’s work with the TechSherpas program has influenced many schools across the US and around the world to create their own student technology teams. Through donation of time and contribution of funding, EdTechTeam is also promoting the development of the Moonshot Incubator, which provides local learning centers that serve multiple schools to give students the opportunity to pursue projects they are passionate about – and that might be launched into as real products, services, or nonprofit efforts to change the world.
Also, in late 2016, the EdShift Leadership Symposiums were launched in partnership with MeTEOR Education. These free professional learning experiences for superintendents, district administrators, and principals are created for leaders and by leaders – and curated by EdTechTeam. The first of these free events are scheduled March through June in 2017.
This year also marked the beginning of EdTechTeam’s formal Diversity Initiative that aims to improve diversity on the team, at events produced by the team, and in the broader field of education technology. As diverse and progressive as EdTechTeam’s employees and contractors are, team members at events are not always representative of the educators and students they serve. The team aims to improve this and to provide leadership to promote greater diversity in the industry throughout 2017.
Through all of these efforts, EdTechTeam has not only made a tremendous impact in 2016 (influencing the educational experience of millions of students around the globe), the team has also built a strong foundation for making an even greater impact in 2017 and beyond. This is still only the beginning.