Over the past two and a half years, Emily Fruchterman has been involved in nearly every aspect of TechChange’s online learning portfolio. Starting as an Instructional Design Fellow in the summer of 2014, Emily transitioned into a role split between Operations and Instructional Design, and then moved into the role of Director of Instructional Design in 2016.

Now, as she is departing for new opportunities in health policy, we wanted to sit down and learn more about her work and thoughts on TechChange.

Q: Could you share a bit about your background? What originally interested you about joining TechChange?

Absolutely! I was a bio major at the College of William and Mary in VA. Like many of my peers, I started off as a pre-med student. Through my extracurricular activities I came to realize the impact that education, training, and policy can have on health outcomes – these activities shifted my focus and led me toward online education.

When I first heard of TechChange, way back in 2014, I was so excited to find a team working on creative and innovative training solutions related to health and international development. It was clear that TechChange takes partnership seriously and works on a diverse range of projects.

2014-08-06 14.17.24

Emily running a Live Event session as an Instructional Design Fellow.


Q: What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on? Has there been anything particular that you’ve enjoyed or found interesting?

There are so many great ones! I’ve loved strategizing with all of our partners and co-developing training solutions in both self-paced and facilitated environments. One of my favorite parts of TechChange is the ability to dive head first into new subject matter, be it febrile illnesses, global warming, new tech tools, or mobile phones for public health.

If I have to choose, there are a few that stand out in particular. I’ve been working with API Wellness on their trainings since my first week at TechChange as a fellow and have come to greatly appreciate their partnership. I also greatly enjoyed working with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery to build a course on the Open Data for Resilience Initiative.

Q: How has your role changed since you first joined TechChange?

Oh boy, I’ve definitely worn my fair share of hats here. I started off as a fellow and helped out with aspects of course execution. I then moved into my role as Program & Operations Coordinator – I learned an immense amount about running a small business and continued to grow as an instructional designer. In my role now as Director of Instructional Design, I’ve greatly improved my project, client, and people management skills.

Q: Can you describe some of the travel experiences you’ve had with TechChange?

The travel is another huge perk of working with TechChange! I’ve been able to meet with subject matter experts and attend conferences around the world over the past few years.

The first trip TechChange sent me on was to Uganda to revise a course on diagnosing and treating febrile illnesses. The primary goal was to encourage private sector pharmacists to utilize rapid diagnostic tests before treating every fever as if it were malaria.  The highlight of that trip was walking into a computer lab and seeing the first version of our course on every computer screen – I realized then the impact and reach our courses truly can have.

A few months later, TechChange sent me as our representative to a conference in Sri Lanka that focused on freedom of and from religion. I was there to give a presentation on mapping human rights violations and ended up learning so much about the experiences of religious minorities throughout South Asia. One tip – if you’re ever traveling from DC to Sri Lanka, give yourself more than 4 days in country. I’ve never been so tired in my life.

One of our partners, API Wellness Center, also included TechChange in their presentation at the 2016 US Conference on AIDS, where we spoke about the use of online trainings for health outreach.

Earlier this year, a few of my colleagues and I travelled to Mozambique to meet and film subject matter experts for a course on coastal adaptation to climate change. It was incredible to meet with the community members, government representatives, and scientists who are all collaborating to mitigate the impact of climate change.

The most recent trip was this past February to Thailand, where a few of my colleagues and I gave a 1.5 day workshop on data visualization for a health-focused audience. The conference was a blast!   

Q: You’ve worked on a massive variety of projects across multiple styles and student needs — how do you keep pushing yourself to try new techniques and approaches?

Well, the first step in any project is scoping out the client’s needs and getting to know their target audience as best we can. We try to keep the end user in mind throughout the entire process – it really influences how we design the course interface and structure.

Every partner is a bit different, which makes it easier for us to try new things. We’re also able to learn over time about what resonates with a given audience and make tweaks to continually improve the learning experience.

Q: What’s the team like? What are your favorite parts about working at TechChange?

Oh man – this team is amazing. It’s cliche, but I truly feel that I can count on them for anything. We have a ton of fun, maintain a supportive environment, and are always striving to create better learning experiences for our partners. I don’t think I could find a group of more passionate and caring folks.

My favorite parts of working here are also related to the team, and how much our executive team cares about each one of us. I love our birthday celebrations, team lunches, and show and tell.


Q: Lastly, what’s something that not a lot of people know about you?

I absolutely cannot stand spicy food or cilantro.  I feel especially limited by my inability to handle spicy food, but am glad that TechChange has accepted this weakness 🙂

For the fifth year in a row, we’ve had the honor of hosting two brilliant young leaders from the TechGirls State Department program. This year, Passant Abu-el-Gheit and Reem Saado shadowed the various teams hard at work making online courses in the TechChange office, and contributed a few creations of their own!

Before they finished up their program, we asked them to share a few things about themselves and their work. 

Q: What projects are you currently working on?

Passant: I am currently working on a project related to STEM fields, which is Rumen fluid incubation, that helps in increasing the efficiency of the biomass incubators.

I definitely enjoyed the course that we designed today at TechChange, as it is related to the TechGirls program follow on project, as they both rely on online courses to spread knowledge and raise awareness. We designed a course that recites and illustrates some of the experience that we had during our 3 weeks stay in the US. We designed it in an interactive way so that the user can learn efficiently. This course was designed by the help of the software tools that the TechChange staff has, and of course, with the help of the staff members, we added animations, designed avatars, and texts. After finishing, we uploaded it. This experience is interesting to me because it will help me in my follow on project!


Reem: I’m working on the follow on a project that should be done when we go back to our countries. Basically, I am planning to teach the basics of coding to the girls in my school in order to motivate them to major in the STEM fields. In addition to that, I am planning to make a workshop that includes leadership skills. Also, we did some projects today at TechChange; one of them is making our own online courses to inform girls about TechGirls program and the beautiful experience we had.

Q: What was your favorite part of the job shadow day at TechChange?

Passant: I’d say it was the very first part when we designed our pug, it was really fun and educational because it was my first time drawing on an electronic tablet, and we ended up having a beautiful design. The process was really efficient, as it transferred the design from the very basic lines to a 3D avatar.

Reem: My favorite part was building our own online courses. We designed it in line with the schedule that we had across our TechGirls summer program. We wanted to spread the amazing experience through pictures and videos.

Snapshot of the sample course Passant and Reem made describing their favorite parts of the TechGirls experience.

Above: Snapshot of the sample course Passant and Reem made detailing their favorite parts of the TechGirls experience.

Q: Any company would be lucky to land driven, talented individuals like yourselves. What kind of work do you dream about doing in the future?  

Passant: I have several interests in more than one STEM field, and fortunately, I found a field that combines most of them, which is biomedical engineering. I am planning to be a medical machine developer (a person who design medical machines for special conditions).

Reem: The kind of work that I dream of doing in the future is programming. I am planning to be a software engineer and work in Microsoft company.

We feel so lucky to have spent the day with Passant and Reem and look forward to the impact they’ll have in the future!

Several months following the completion of the program, we sat down with Royce Escolar, Monitoring & Evaluation and Communications Officer and M&E Diploma Track graduate, to hear about how the program affected his professional development, ambitions, and projects.

Q: How did you find out about TechChange, and how did you become interested in taking courses?

I found out about TechChange by googling courses on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). I knew that I had to constantly learn new tools and approaches to enhance my skills in M&E given the fast-paced changes in the sector.  The use of technology to enhance M&E and how to best present and visualize M&E data were what attracted me most when I decided to take up TechChange’s diploma track.

I previously had a chance to coordinate work with USAID when I was with AusAID.  It was good to know that USAID had and still continues to use TechChange to train their officers. It was an indicator for me that the courses offered by TechChange are of high quality and value to a key player in the international development sector.

Q: Have you taken online courses before? 

I surely did. I took my Masters in Evaluation from University of Melbourne via distance learning from 2012 to 2013.  This was a two-year part-time curriculum which allowed me to work full-time during the day and study after work hours.

Q: How would you compare the TechChange experience to other online course experiences? 

TechChange provided a much more fun and practical learning experience by creatively incorporating multi-media in the courses.  I really enjoyed how the topics and courses were presented using easy to understand language. TechChange also gave us lots of opportunities to practice and use the M&E tools and software, including insights on the context where the tools would be most relevant.  I also valued the sharing of experiences from guest resource persons via video and the sharing from other course participants.

Q: How have you been able to use what you learned at TechChange in your work?

Yes, I have used Canva.com a couple of times in creating infographics to better present the outcomes from capacity development initiatives funded by our program. A copy of one infographic I made is available in our program website at: http://aanzfta.asean.org/program-highlights/

I have also used what I learned on data visualization in developing a communication package to be presented to Economic Ministers from 12 countries party to a regional free trade agreement.  This package will be finalized and uploaded to the website (http://aanzfta.asean.org/) by end-September 2017.

By Dec 2017, I will revive my own blog on M&E (http://royceescolar.wixsite.com/evaluation) which has been inactive since early 2016 when I took a full-time job.  I plan to post some of these data visualization products in my blog and write articles reflecting on my experiences and the process in developing these data visualization products.

Q: Would you recommend the Technology for Monitoring and Evaluation Diploma to a friend?

I would definitely recommend TechChange and the Diploma track on technology for M&E!!!


Above graphic by Royce for the AANZFTA-ASEAN program website
Featured image: ASEC – Community Relations Division

Picture this: You’ve just finished the latest Technology for Knowledge Management online course. After four engaging weeks, the guest experts, forums, and content already have you excited to demonstrate your new skills to colleagues and employers. But, how do you get credit for being on the cutting edge of online learning? Fortunately, LinkedIn is evolving into something far beyond the mere online resume holder it once was known to be. In fact, LinkedIn is ahead of the curve on acknowledging that the capacity of an employee is not necessarily tied to traditional educational experience alone. Among other features, the employment-oriented social networking platform now includes an interactive section for core competencies, recommendations, and- you guessed it- certificates.

A badge on LinkedIn is no replacement for a university diploma (well, not yet anyway), but certificates can demonstrate mastery of a particular skillset, like the ability to build an SMS campaign in TextIt or to create compelling visualizations in TableauIn the remainder of this post, you will find instructions on how to add your TechChange certificates to your LinkedIn profile. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of our other social media opportunities for alumni, be sure to join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups!


Step 1: Add an “Accomplishments” section to your profile. It can be found on the right side of your profile page. If you already have any certifications listed on your profile, you may instead need to hit the “+” sign next to the “Accomplishments” tab to find this pop up window.

Step 2: Once you’ve selected the option to add a certificate, a pop up window will appear asking you to enter information about your certificate.

The rest of the process is relatively straightforward. You can enter the name of the course you completed for “Certification name”. Under “Certification authority”, a drop down menu will appear once you’ve started typing, where you will be able to find TechChange.

After entering the month and year in which you received your certificate, check the box for “This certification does not expire”. This will make the “To” date disappear. Finally, you’re given the option to publicly link to a PDF version of the certificate. Oftentimes, this isn’t necessary, but if you’re interested, skip to the end of this post for instructions.

Especially if you’re a TechChange veteran, it might be worth adding as a new section to your resume entirely! Employers love seeing qualified job candidates, and these certificates could be that one thing that bumps your resume to the top of the stack.

(Optional) How to add a link to your certificate on your profile:

  1. You’ll need to make sure you have your certificate(s) handy. Make sure you know where it exists on your computer’s file system so you can quickly upload and access it. If you can’t find yours, reach out to us at info@techchange.org and we’ll get you another copy.
  2. Once you have your certificate, you’re going to need to host your file in a publicly available place online. The easiest ways to do that are through Dropbox or Google Drive.
  3. Double check to make sure that you’ve set the viewing privileges to “anyone with the link”!
  4. Copy the link to the “Certification URL” box on LinkedIn. You’re done!

Have any other questions about your TechChange experience? Want to see a tutorial on some other topic related to your course? Haven’t taken a course yet but looking to?

Shoot us an email at info@techchange.org.


To an average DC resident, social movements may look like traffic jams.

They may look like scattered, unconnected protests taking the streets demanding justice for yet another cause. But to those involved in movement work, these protests are only a small fraction of the total coordinated effort. I myself have had the honor to be a member of the movement-oriented organization Anakbayan-USA. Anakbayan is the youth sector of the larger mass alliance of organizations, BAYAN, which works to educate, organize, and mobilize around issues that affect Filipinos in the United States and the Philippines, such as poverty, migration, and wage rights.

I’ve seen firsthand that most grassroots campaigns involve a number of departments, or working groups, specializing in different aspects of building a movement of people, and though their more public face may look like a group of young people yelling into the void, in actuality social movements are as planned and coordinated as any corporate enterprise. Specifically, in my chapter of Anakbayan-USA members are broken down into several committees including finance, outreach, and perhaps most under-rated, educational development: the committee which I’ve pursued. 

What does educational development look like in social movements?

Educational development means external educational projects– for example, making public the situation of landlessness of impoverished working peasants in the Philippines— as well as building internal member capacity, such as continually re-educating the member base on developments in the movement and orienting new members.  More broadly, this means that joining the movement is not just about showing up. Orientation is not simply a “Welcome Aboard!” pat on the back. For several movements, orientation is a serious duty, conducted by designated members of the educational committee, often several hours long, explaining the history, goals, framework, and tactics of the organization.


Ultimately, the success of Anakbayan is inseparable from our ability to attract, orient, and train new members who are able to continue the core mission statement of our organization.  As Philippine revolutionary leader Jose Maria Sison wrote, “Even a revolutionary society… would stagnate and be thereafter corrupted if the process of renewal and of continuous revolution is neglected or deliberately held back”. In other words, even if all of the goals of our campaigns were met, we would not have won if we were not continuing to educate and renew ourselves and new members.

So educational development is important… Why online education?

In one word: accessibility. While there are undeniable benefits to sharing a physical space, that unfortunately is a luxury to some. Whether it be a parent with several children, an individual with a physical disability, or someone who simply works all of the typical hours for holding a meeting or workshop, in-person trainings are potentially leaving some of our strongest allies behind and without means to participate.

In a world with Facebook Live and viral hashtags, it’s clear that technology is molding how organizations and individuals use their right to protest. But some social movements are faster to adopt the possibilities of technology to their cause– a tactic that has reaped results. Adopting social media platforms like Twitter can perhaps mean the difference between 5 and 25 people showing up to a meeting. We often think of technology solely as a form of communication, but in fact messaging is just one aspect of how technology can aid social movements.

This is underscored by the fact that though educational technology has advanced significantly, the delivery of educational materials in social movements has not advanced much (if at all) since the teach-ins of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Platforms like TechChange highlight that online education doesn’t have to be passive. With features like interactive web elements, live events, and forum activities, learning can be interactive and facilitated, just like learning in a classroom, but on your watch in the comfort of your own home.

Through educational mediums similar to TechChange’s live event platform, BAYAN has recently started hosting interactive webinars to train its alliance member base. Because of the efficiency and flexibility of online education, movements throughout the world should look to TechChange and BAYAN as examples of the educational organization of the future.  As we say in Anakbayan, “Lumalakas, Lumalawak, Lumalaban!”, which roughly translates to the struggle is intensifying, our movement is growing, and we will continue to fight. To its credit, online education is an important pillar in the growth and eventual success of our movements.

If you’d like to know more about Anakbayan, find us at the following links!

Website: http://www.anakbayanusa.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnakbayanUsa
Twitter: https://twitter.com/anakbayanusa