How did your education and previous professional experience shape your current work at Edu-Together?
Before founding Edu-Together, I worked as an educational technology director for three large private schools, one in Baltimore and two in New Jersey. During this time, I successfully built and implemented a variety of successful initiatives that enabled both students and teachers to maximize technology as an educational tool. As technology continued to develop, I was lucky enough to work with schools that were committed to using technology to better students’ educational experiences.
As more students started seeking alternative class options, I began to see that mostly asynchronous or self-paced programs were being offered. These options did not really meet the learning needs of my students. As teachers, we do everything we can to adapt to the needs of students. With these courses, the students were being asked to adapt to the course. We would never use this approach in a traditional classroom, and it is certainly less than ideal in a digital environment. This is why I created Edu-Together. We offer live online courses that are tailored to meet the learning needs of the school and of the participating students. This personalized approach has been enormously successful and has helped so many students to succeed.
What has been the response to Edu-Together from schools?
As with many technology programs, schools often start off with skepticism, but almost all of our schools have quickly become supporters. Almost all of our schools that started with one or two courses are now using Edu-Together for a wider variety of academic needs, including additional courses and academic support. Because we make it all about the students, schools that have tried our platform have been extremely pleased.
What broad trends do you think will have the most impact on learning in the years ahead?
While technology continues to advance, as educators we have to always remember that technology is a tool, not a replacement for teachers. There have been many new educational trends over the past several years, many of which are positive. However, we have to remember that the core values of education have not changed. While advanced technology such as VR and 3D printing can add exciting new elements to our classrooms and to student-centered work, at the core, we must make sure that we are providing our students with a solid education. Edu-Together has been able to combine some exciting technological advancements with amazing instruction and care for our students.
What, if any, are future plans for Edu-Together?
Edu-Together is continuing to work with new schools in both the private and public sectors. We have recently added a college program where students can earn college credit for select online courses. We have also recently launched Edu-Steam, a blended learning program that enables students and teachers to incorporate STEAM-based lessons into virtually any classroom.
Who are the most interesting people you are following on Twitter?
I am not a huge Twitter user. Most of our social media is via Facebook.
Image: Courtesy Aryeh Eisenberg