edsurge better betas

edsurge better betas

Aug 4, 2011

Better Betas: Teachers want cool technology but often lack a budget. Startups need more feedback from schools if they're going to have a prayer of building a good product. But like a blind date, the relationship can sour if both parties have wildly different expectations. Like any good matchmaker, EdSurge would like to help. We propose the "Beta Bill of Rights," a list of what startups and teachers should expect if they want to pair up to try out a technology. Read closely, folks: this is a d-r-a-f-t. We really want your comments!

Point EdSurge suggestion
How long a teacher should use the product? Agree to a very specific time frame, probably measured in weeks.
How frequently should a teacher send comments to a company? Divide up that time into chunks that won't drive a teacher crazy. Consider letting the teacher videotape themselves using the tool. Again, lay out the terms clearly!
What kind of data should a teacher share back? No data about identifiable students. Company should provide a simple form to fill out, or a blog with points that teachers should try to cover.
How responsive should the company be? Hey startups: pick a real person and make him or her the contact point with your teacher buddies.
What privileges does a teacher get for this help? So far, both teachers and companies think it's a conflict-of-interest for dollars to change hands. But pledging participating classroom a year of free service (or free "premium" service) once the product graduates from beta is s start. Possibly providing a piece of relevant hardware--one tablet or videocam--could also help.

We're already hearing from a few developers and from teacher, Jack West. Don't be shy; let us know what would make this work, either by writing us directly feedback@edsurge.com or via Facebook.

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