Aug 15, 2012
The companies participating in Imagine K12's program are building a diversity of tools to support the work of teachers and administrators. Many of the innovations being developed at ImagineK12 are currently in beta, and ready for beta testing.
Before the "lean start up methodology" made beta testing de rigeur, companies would perform “pilots” with little to no feedback from the front lines. This strategy of ignorance often led to the development of technology that made educators less efficient.
As a teacher and one allowed into the inner sanctum of ImagineK12, I can tell you that today’s entrepreneurs are different. They care about listening to teachers and acting on insightful, productive feedback. They know that it’s not enough to be a respectful and good listener; these entrepreneurs have learned to let teachers know when they act on the feedback they’ve received.
Deeply aware of this new paradigm, I used my time on stage to tell educators and administrators that we can no longer accept the historically imposed separations between us and the field of edtech as inevitable. It’s not our differences that immobilize us, but silence. Therefore, I feel its my responsibility as T.I.R., to call on every educator and administrator to break that silence.
The companies participating in Imagine K12's program are building a diversity of tools to support the work of teachers and administrators. Those in private beta are looking for feedback. If you like what you read then click the links and sign up to shape the development of these bad @ss betas!
ImagineK12 Educator Day Debuts
All sites actively requesting feedback from educators. To learn more or get in on beta testing goodness, educators and administrators can provide contact information at company’s website.
The weight of paperwork on teachers is heavy and relentless. Chalk aims to lighten this burden by allowing us to digitize any document, automatically fill in information, create copies, send to contacts and track their status in just a few simple steps. Currently in private beta, you can sign up and get notified the day it launches.
It would be easy to tell failing students that they don’t need algebra. The difficult thing is to provide them with the remediation they need to succeed. Kasey Brown taught math for 19 years; she began making this program so she could better help remedial math students. Today, her labor of love has evolved into an adaptive program with enough breadth to offer ALL students-from remedial to gifted-the foundational math skills they need to be successful in pre-algebra and algebra.
Originally called DemoLesson, this site began as a site devoted to helping teachers find jobs and is now broadening to be a place where educators can be seen, connected and celebrated for their professional accomplishments and development. Teachers can document their professional development, be recognized as experts, and find out about events in their area. It is free for teachers.
Created by former English teacher, Jeff Scheur, this site aims to help students improve their writing and grammar skills. Having tested it myself, I can confirm that this program is much more than an assessment of a student’s grammatical skills. It aims to teach grammatical concepts and provide practice sentences based on the students’ interests, which they identified during sign up.
Empowering students with performance-based scholarships. Raise aims to revolutionize financial aid to help all students achieve their academic and career potential. Currently in private beta, you can sign up and get notified the day it launches.
Web filtering 2.0 for schools. Securly is a system that blocks access to inappropriate online content without limiting access to educational resources. This is web filtering 2.0 for schools. It protects students on computers throughout the school while giving them safe access to 21th century learning tools including YouTube, Google and Wikipedia. No hardware or software required.
As any professional athlete, or Doug Lemov prodigy can tell you, video is a powerful training tool. Smarter Cookie wants to deliver this power to the educator. Their site makes it easy for an educator to post video and get meaningful feedback from the teachers you trust. Administrators can sign up.
This startup aims to create a social learning network that will bring students together in real time online. You can sign up to be notified when it’s ready.
This site makes personalized recommendations for educational games for learners. The site aims to launch in October.
Jennie Dougherty is a teacher in Brockton, Mass., who is spending her summer in Silicon Valley. In addition to working with EdSurge, she's a volunteer Teacher In Residence at ImagineK12. She's cofounder of Edupgrade and blogs at BetaClassroom.