Skip to main content

2023: Our Year in Review

2023 was a year of transition and growth for the Friday Institute. Our search for a new leader for our organization led to the addition of Krista Glazewski, an expert in problem-based learning, scaffolding, teacher professional development, foundational and emerging technologies and a researcher in ambitious learning practices. Friday Institute staff set records for their professional development work in computer science and informed standards, practices and policies in North Carolina education. Meanwhile, we convened key stakeholders and catalyzed educators and researchers to adopt innovative educational practices. Explore how we advanced K-12 education this year and browse some of our biggest stories in 2023.

Our Innovative Professional Development Programs Reached a Record Number of Educators

A man with short brown hair and blazer holds up a certificate in from of a step and repeat background

From hosting the last year of our popular LASER Institute to launching InSTEP, an innovative online space to support teachers’ professional learning, the Friday Institute engaged educators in a number of professional development opportunities this year. We even developed a new team, Learning Analytics & Data Science (LeADS), in response to the evolving needs in education to empower educators, administrators and policy-makers through collaborative, data-intensive improvement research. Also, our computer science (CS) team trained the most new teachers in grades 6-12. 


of all teachers who participated in’s CS professional learning programs were trained by the Friday Institute


students participated in the Friday Institute’s Math/Science Education Network (MSEN) Pre-College Program in the last year


students engaged with the New Literacy Collaborative’s PBI Global program


educators in grades 6-12 were trained by the Friday Institute computer science team

We Engaged Key Stakeholders for Important Conversations in K-12 Education

This year, we did what we do best–convened stakeholders to catalyze change and innovation in education. The Friday Institute is focused on innovation and technologies that are transforming education. Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the landscape of K-12 education in every district, school and classroom. At the Friday Institute, we are working with educators and educational leaders to leverage AI for deeper learning, support teachers and students in effective uses of AI, build capacity for teachers and education leaders and conduct research on AI integration in instruction.

This fall, we hosted an AI in K-12 Convening to gather researchers, educators, education leaders, CTOs/tech directors and other non-profit education partners to discuss the future of AI-enhanced learning and empower and equip North Carolina educators with the tools and resources they need for responsible AI integration. To ensure equity in AI technologies, we highlighted issues around the digital divide, biases in AI and different needs of diverse student populations. We also brought together key stakeholders to discuss the future of computer science in North Carolina.

2023 Friday Medal Ceremony Honors Longtime North Carolina Educator and Education Leader Tom Williams

On Thursday, Nov. 16, Williams, president of Strategic Educational Alliances, Inc., was honored as the recipient of the annual Friday Medal award during a ceremony at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.

Image of three people: two women on either side of Friday Medal recipient Tom Williams. Tom is a man in a suit and tie holding a medal in a black frame. The women on either side are both wearing blazers and are standing in front of a red background

Our Work Informed the State’s Connectivity Initiatives–Including More Equitable Internet Access and Connectivity

For students to access the innovative curriculum and practices we support, infrastructure needs to be in place. This year, our work informed North Carolina’s digital equity plan and school connectivity initiatives in order to support the development of technology infrastructure for digital learning.

Krista D. Glazewski Named Executive Director of Friday Institute, Associate Dean for Translational Research with College of Education

Krista D. Glazewski—an expert in problem-based learning, scaffolding and teacher professional development—became the executive director of the William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation (FI) and associate dean for translational research with NC State’s College of Education on July 1, 2023. 

We Led Foundational Research and Conducted Systematic Evaluations That Will Improve Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning

The Friday Institute is a special place where we come to develop, refine and scale innovative solutions to the pressing problems of educators and students in North Carolina and beyond. We serve as a bridge between educational research at the university and the practice of K-12 educators in the field. We also conduct systemic evaluations to understand and improve the impact of promising practices, programs and policies. This year, we evaluated innovative programs and conducted research to improve instruction and equity in education.

In Partnership with the College of Education Researchers, We Shaped Pedagogical Practices and Learning Outcomes Across the State of North Carolina

As part of the NC State College of Education, we engage in collaborative research with many expert researchers within the College that impacts teaching and learning across the state. Since 2018, the Friday Institute and the College of Education has provided funding for more than 20 research projects through Catalyst Grants to support collaborative research projects between faculty and staff of the two groups and aid research that could lead to further inquiry and support. This year’s Catalyst Grant projects examined virtual academies and their opportunities, challenges and needs for students and educators; climate change instruction and teacher knowledge of climate change solutions; and the chance to increase pre-service elementary teachers’ capacity to address computer science and computational thinking concepts in the classroom.

Also, a collaborative team within the Friday Institute and College evaluated the impact of the teacher compensation models and advanced teaching roles (ATR) program in North Carolina on school culture, teacher retention, classroom instruction and student learning, identifying factors supporting or impeding ATR efforts. This evaluation work will aid the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in identifying and scaling the most effective components of these programs.