About the Author: Gwen Hedden
I am a teacher, Educational Technologist, and Instructional Coach. For six years, I taught English & Language Arts in grades 8-12 in New Jersey. During this time, I continually worked with my colleagues and supervisors to refresh curriculum and develop new ways that we could implement 21st Century Learning Skills, Digital Citizenship, and Media Literacy into our classroom instruction. In my sixth year, I was selected to develop curriculum for my district, evaluate and design common assessments, and select technology applications that would help close learning gaps. This role not only allowed me to work with other teachers across the district to improve the curriculum for students, but also gave me the opportunity to train my colleagues. Through PLCs and Colleague Coaching, I was able to show my colleagues how to leverage powerful technology tools to improve their instruction, gain better insight into their student’s learning, and lighten their workloads. Providing customized and strategic Professional Development became a real passion of mine, as I was able to see how my friends and colleagues authentically benefitted from one on one and small group sessions where we discussed HOW and WHY the technology could specifically help them. Too often, we had all experienced PD that was long, exhausting, and unrelated to our needs and application, and for the first time our teachers felt like they were actually learning something of value that they could use with their students. While I had loved teaching in the classroom, my passion for this work motivated me to leave the classroom so that I could continue to treat adults like learners, and provide them with the coaching and instruction that would enhance their practice, and help them to thrive in their classrooms.
I received my MA in Educational Technology and Educational Leadership in 2017 from NJCU, and my thesis, “Applications of Flipped Instruction in the Corporate Training Environment” was selected for publication by the AACE and was presented at the EdMedia International Conference in Washington, DC.
For the past year, I worked at Springboard IT in Philadelphia, where I worked as the Technology Learning Coordinator. Formerly Springboard Media Professional Services, Springboard IT offers Apple-focused IT Support in the greater Philadelphia area. As the Technology Learning Coordinator, I worked as a part-time Technology Coordinator for our select Educational clients, and provided customized Professional Development, Strategic Planning, and Ed. Tech Consultation Services to meet the evolving needs of their school, curriculum, students and staff. I also work with several of our Business Clients, and provide them with Technology Training that is geared to enhance productivity and workflow using new applications and software systems.
While at Springboard, I became a Google for Education Certified Trainer, and have regularly provided training in navigating G Suite, G Suite Productivity Applications, and utilizing Google Classroom as a primary LMS. I am also anApple Certified Teacher and Swift Coder, and am well-versed in Apple’s Educational products and programs. If you are interested in discussing a PD plan for your school or organization, I would be happy to speak with you about it!
Beyond my professional interests, I am an avid sports fan, athlete, reader, movie-buff, traveler, and dog mama. I play softball (probably too much) and love to travel. I have three fur babies, Bandit, Mowgli, and Arrow, and we REALLY enjoy exploring puddles, watching movies, playing hide and seek, chasing pine-cones, and sharing spaghetti noodles together.