Grateful to Givers

Fred Delse
November 24, 2021
"I'm so lucky to be working with these folks!" - My thought after our presentation at the California STEAM Symposium

Late in October, I was fortunate enough to collaborate with Rushton Hurley and Kas Periera on a session called Self-Directed, Dynamic, and Distinctive Learning for the California STEAM Symposium.

Cover slide for our presentation. Rushton finds great photos.

The presentation itself was great. Kas gave an impassioned pitch for the importance of student-centered education and talked about the importance of tinkering in learning. I explained two key shifts in thinking that educators make when they tackle student-centered learning. Rushton shared several powerful examples of student projects that were based on unique student context and interest.

Givers in education

But what really struck me was how generous Rushton and Kas had been. I was the one who initially proposed doing a presentation together, thinking it’d be a good way to participate in the community and to get the word out about Unrulr. But the fact is there’s no way I would have been selected to present without Rushton and Kas, who are well-known in the education community. They were doing this to support me and to support Unrulr. And one of them had spinal surgery just days before!

One of our teacher partners recently introduced me to the concept of “givers.” A giver gives of themself to support others and expects nothing in return [for more info on givers, check out the well-received book, Give and Take by Adam Grant]. It’s clear to me most educators have a giver’s heart.

We’ve seen this over and over again in our relationships with our partners-- from our teachers who spend hours with us on Zoom giving us input and feedback, to community members who feature us on their podcasts and in their presentations, to Kas and Rushton who gave their time, energy, and credibility to provide us a platform to tell our story. They are all givers.

Honoring generosity

I think the intention behind an educator’s giving is to enrich the lives of their students and communities. At Unrulr, we take that cue and make it our goal to do the same. Here’s what we do to try to be givers:

  • All users get all features: we don’t believe in a freemium model for schools. You know the one: you can get started with a product for free, but you need to pay to access the more powerful features? We don’t hold back any features that help learners.
  • Our scholarship program: for every paid license we sell, we make a scholarship license available to those who, for any reason, don’t have the budget.
  • Be a resource to schools and teachers: we love to get involved with schools and enjoy sessions with students on technology and entrepreneurship.

These are the ways we honor the generosity we’ve been shown.

Gratitude

Ultimately, I feel extremely grateful to the educators we work with. Their generosity and their interest in doing good is inspiring. Supporting educators makes Unrulr by far the most rewarding work experience I’ve ever had.

Rushton Hurley founded Next Vista for Learning which provides a curated set of thousands of videos to support students in their learning and development. Kas Periera is the Director of the makerspace and makerspace programs at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College. Sign up for her amazing (maker)SPACE Program today.