Using technology to empower teachers and not the other way around

Posted by | January 08, 2014 | Uncategorized | No Comments
I will start the first post on this blog with a disclaimer. I am not a teacher or an expert in education! I am just an entrepreneur that arrived to the world of education after realizing that 80% of the users of our product were teachers.

In 2013, we launched bContext an App to capture voice and hand notations over documents without really knowing who was going to be the end user of our product. Quickly we learned about Blended Learning, Flipped Classrooms and the need to have authoring tools to record and share lessons with students.

We began asking teachers a lot of questions. We wanted to understand how they were using our app, but also we wanted to learn about their concerns and frustrations with technology.

The first thing we learned is that there is a lot of innovation going on in the classrooms. Teachers all over the country are exited about the deployment of iPads, and many have started experimenting with apps and new ways of interacting with their students through the devices. The second thing we learned, is that there is a general frustration among teachers in trying to accomplish simple objectives like sharing files back and forth with students. Many pointed out that they were spending too much time trying to make different apps work together to accomplish simple processes.

With these ideas in mind, we decided to develop a simple tool that would empower teachers to run their classes using iPads. We wanted to build something that was easy to use and accessible to any teacher regardless of how “tech savvy” they are. Six months later, School 4 One was born as a workflow built on 4 simple steps:

  1. Share Files: Teachers can share their own recorded content or school files instantly with their students
  2. Submit Assignments: Students can annotate the over files shared by their teachers or submit snapshots of their authentic school work
  3. Provide Feedback: Teachers can grade student work and provide meaningful audio-visual feedback directly over assignments
  4. Teachers can tie their curriculum to Common Core Standards and measure student progress

With School 4 One, teachers can convert their day to day activities into formative assessments. They can also access content by Common Core Standard and share it with specific students based on their need. This makes it easier for teachers to use the iPad making it an integral classroom tool and providing a foundation on which to build a successful iPad program.

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