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#MERIT22 Brings HyFlex Learning to KCI

July 25, 2022

Since 2001, the MERIT Program has been a staple at The Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. MERIT, Making Education Relevant through Innovative Teaching, has become synonymous with developing innovative teaching practices, affordable professional learning, and technology-enhanced pedagogy for educators across the state of California.

The MERIT Program is a year-long program that offers educators a hybrid program with classes both in-person – in both Northern and Southern California, depending on where you live – as well as synchronous classes online. The program culminates with a final project in the spring, with its participants exploring and pursuing projects of most interest to them and their current roles.

The program – which serves educators, administrators, and educational leaders alike – focuses on “leveling up” those who are searching for new and exciting ways to enhance their professionalism and pedagogy, while working with other educators to focus on technology’s possibilities with creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.

Brittany Conrad, a Technology Coach from Southern California and recent participant in MERIT ‘22, recently gushed about the Program. “I loved it ALL! All of the speakers we had were amazing, story book hour was awesome, getting to work through the design process [was] chef’s kiss – and of course meetings in the Metaverse! It really showcased the idea that innovative teaching is far more than just tech,” Conrad shared.

MERIT isn’t just for classroom teachers – the program boasts participants from all educational spaces, including elementary school, middle and high school, adult education, and district leaders. Jen Andaya-Lambinicio, an occupational therapist and MERIT ‘22 alum, stated, “The MERIT program is an incredible program that truly empowers every participant with not only EdTech tools but also a self-renewing experience. Whatever a participant learns not only stays in one’s mind but also in one’s heart.”

MERIT is just one of the fully grant-funded programs that KCI offers to educators and administrators. The program – funded by the organization’s philanthropic efforts – cost educators nothing except a $75 registration fee for Foothill College, once accepted into the program.

Participants don’t just walk away with a newfound appreciation for innovative EdTech practices. They are also eligible to receive a California Certificate of Achievement as an Education Technology Specialist, as well as earn 12 Foothill College continuing education quarter units.

Professional learning, continuing education credits, an EdTech Specialist certificate – what more could participants want? Maureen Balansay, elementary school teacher and recent MERIT alum, shared what she most valued from the program, “We are all creators! We need to be and not just know. This is a very good program that has energized my perspective on how I see my students. I’m so glad that there is a community like this that celebrates teachers and educators!”

This year’s MERIT ‘22 cohort began on July 11th. MERIT scholars will continue to work on their culminating projects through Spring 2023.

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