In an ever-growing world of curricular materials, apps and digital resources, sometimes it’s hard to find the diamonds amongst rubble. EdTech start ups, while numerous and varying in quality of product, offer educators an alternative for big box companies. While they might not have the funds for scaling or marketing, some of these little shops are open tough feedback, quick to iterate and demonstrate that they prioritize student learning above their bottom line.
As such, I’ve reached out to a few of these start ups who I believe are truly making an impact on our classrooms. This series, Start Up Spotlight, will feature video interviews with these developers, stories behind how they got started and sneak peaks into future iteration of their products.
First off, we have Andrew Rowland and Peter Do, the co-founders of Classkick. This free iPad app allows teachers to easily create open response questions, push them out to students and then view student responses and annotations via a real-time dashboard. Moreover, the app allows for instant teacher feedback, or peer-to-peer support—in addition to a rubric and points tool.
Andrew, a former classroom teacher, says that he came up with the idea for the app based on his own struggles in the classroom. Together with Peter and his team, they developed this app to help fellow educators give better and more instantaneous feedback to students.
Besides loving the app itself, I was incredibly impressed at the iterative process of developing its features. I spoke with Andrew earlier this summer and expressed the need for an audio tool. I explained that my primary and ELL teachers would want to read aloud directions to students or give audio prompts. By the end of the summer - in mere months - this tool was released in their app. And... they are open to more feedback! Reach out to them on Twitter via their handle @getclasskick to share your ideas.
Educational app developers, who were once practicing teachers, soliciting real feedback and putting that into action immediately. Yes, please.
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