Ed Farm, a Birmingham-based education tech nonprofit, this week launched Ed Farm Learn, a new digital tool that supports professional development growth for educators and heightens the learning experiences they provide to students.
Learn was designed to enhance Ed Farm’s Teacher Fellows program by giving educators the ability to showcase high-quality lesson designs with their peers, display career accomplishments, build their professional network and enhance interactions between Ed Farm’s team and participating Teacher Fellows.
“Ed Farm has a strong track record of propelling innovation through unique programs for educators and students. Learn builds on our mission to equip educators and communities with innovative tools and strategies that impact learning, and it allows us to scale the number of educators and schools we serve. We are excited to introduce this unique ed-tech product to the world and we look forward to its impact in the classroom,” said Waymond Jackson, president of Ed Farm.
“Ed Farm Learn is a one-of-a-kind platform designed with the future of teaching and learning in mind. It is a digital space for all of our Teacher Fellows to come and design, collaborate, share and grow. We’ve created a virtual place where teachers can not only connect with Ed Farm anytime, from anywhere; they can also connect with each other,” said Beth Sanders, Ed Farm vice president of learning.
The platform was inspired by hours of interviews and feedback sessions with educators about ways to improve their teaching. Learn was designed by the Ed Farm team, in close collaboration with K-12 educators, and developed in partnership with JWEB Development, a minority-owned development firm. According to Ed Farm’s research, Learn helps solve the problem that educators are often limited in their ability to borrow innovative lessons from other educators.
Additionally, educators expressed a desire to network with their peers, and existing social platforms like Facebook and Twitter make it difficult for personal connections and conversations. As an alternative, Ed Farm Learn provides a virtual space that is optimized for sharing and networking.
“Ed Farm’s product team spent months interviewing, designing and co-creating Learn with teachers and our staff. With their feedback, we feel confident that we’re creating a space for more collaboration between teachers and quicker access to innovative learning experiences,” said Sarah Jones, Ed Farm director of product .
“After teaching for 32 years, Ed Farm has been that extra energizer to get to the next level,” said Portrice Warren, a teacher at William J. Christian K-8 School in Birmingham. “Ed Farm for me has been the booster that has taken my classroom instruction to a new height. Now, Ed Farm Learn gives me a sneak peek into other teachers’ classrooms, to see [other teachers’] creative modes, and to be able to implement and integrate those ideas into my own classroom. It has forced me to be more creative in my classroom design and to think critically as I plan each lesson.”
One of the core features of the Ed Farm Learn platform is the user profile, where verified educators can display their professional background, top skills and favorite technologies, and connect with and message their peers. The profile also allows educators to showcase their own innovative, technology-enabled lesson plans and learner work.
Educators can also submit these artifacts to Ed Farm for detailed review and feedback from Ed Farm’s own Learning Innovation Coaches.
Apple partnered with the Alabama Power Foundation, TechAlabama and Birmingham City Schools to launch Ed Farm in 2020. Schools or districts interested in Ed Farm’s Teacher Fellows program may contact Beth Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)