Classroom Impact: The Friday Institute Helps Turn Promise Into Practice

Classroom Impact: The Friday Institute Helps Turn Promise Into Practice

My colleagues and I at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State have been fortunate enough to spend much of the year facilitating Future Ready Summits all across the country. From Atlanta to Vancouver (WA), we’ve been inspired by the passion and commitment of school leaders who are dedicated to helping their districts transition to digital learning.

As part of this effort, the Friday Institute launched the fifth offering of its Leading the Digital Learning Transition MOOC for Educators (MOOC-Ed) on Monday, September 28th. This free course helps participants better understand the potential of digital learning in K-12 schools and make a plan to transition to digital learning. It’s designed for school and district leaders, such as superintendents, principals, curriculum directors, technology directors, financial officers, instructional coaches, library media specialists, and lead teachers, as well as university faculty, consultants, parents and any others involved in planning and implementing K-12 digital learning initiatives.

The Friday Institute also just launched three additional courses as part of its fall semester of offerings: Learning Differences, Coaching Digital Learning, and Teaching Statistics. With an audience across the educational spectrum, these free courses allow participants to define their own course goals, work collaboratively with their colleagues to achieve these goals, and take what they learn today and apply it in their school tomorrow.

Learning Differences helps participants understand learning differences, use this understanding to impact the learning experience of students, and cultivate a growth mindset in the process. It’s designed for all educators and school leaders from all types of K-12 schools, including public, charter and private.

Coaching Digital Learning helps participants enhance their digital learning content knowledge and refine their coaching strategies to cultivate a digital learning culture in their schools. It’s designed for instructional technology coaches, instructional technology facilitators, technology integration specialists, media specialists, mentor teachers, and others who guide teachers’ integration of digital learning to directly enhance and support student learning.

Teaching Statistics helps participants learn to teach statistics through the use of an investigation cycle and help students explore data to make evidence-based claims. It’s designed for anyone interested in strengthening their approaches to teaching statistics through data investigations, though the statistical content and strategies are appropriate for implementation with middle school through early college learners. The course may also be of interest to elementary teachers, teacher educators, and teachers of other disciplines that use data-based explorations extensively to make claims and inferences (e.g. science and social sciences).

Note that CEUs are available for each of these courses.

One of the primary goals of MOOC-Eds is to impact practice. To that end, results from the final survey of the previous offering of Leading the Digital Learning Transition showed that 100% of respondents “attempted to make changes in [their] professional practice as a result of [their] participation in the course.”

  • One former participant noted that they are now “working with my administration to convert my classes to 1:1 and anytime, anywhere learning so my classes can serve as a model for other teachers.”
  • Another participant is “planning a PD series for teachers for the next school year” that is focused on the frameworks of digital learning.
  • And another noted that the course “has assisted me with reflecting on how we have engaged the community and different stakeholder groups during our digital learning initiative. We have developed clear action steps as a result of our team's participation in the MOOC-Ed.”

Other courses have found similar results, and the Friday Institute invites you to sign up today to see for yourself. At a cost of nothing, you might even find that you get more than you paid for.

About the Author

Alex Dreier is the Instructional Design Lead at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. His current work focuses on the instructional design, content development, and overall management of the Institute’s MOOC-Ed initiative. You can contact Alex by email at and/or follow him on Twitter at @AlexDreier.