Friday, February 28, 2014

#edtechbridge survey responses part 2: Teacher / Entrepreneur Collaboration Experiences

SXSWEdu is quickly approaching and Katya Hott (@katyamuses) and I (@mr_isaacs) are presenting a problem solving session, Bridging the Teacher-Entrepreneur Divide.  The goal of our session is to work with participants to create an artifact that can live on after SXSWEdu and provide a community space for EdTech Entrepreneurs and Educators to collaborate in order to better meet the needs of our students and create effective products.

In preparation of our session we have created and distributed a survey to recruit ideas and generate interest in teachers and developers who would like to participate in this community.  If you have not completed it already, please take a moment to do so.

As of today, February 28, 2014, we have received 29 responses.  I would like to share the data as it should serve as a great conversation starter as we move forward.

The survey consisted of 15 questions.  I will share the responses over the next few blog posts.

Survey Question: Please describe any teacher-entrepreneur collaborations you've been a part of (focus groups, in-school playtesting, etc)

Responses from Teachers:

  • I've beta / field tested a number of products including QCraft for #minecraftedu, Real Robot High for e-line media, GameUp! for brainpop, etc. I have been involved in product surveys for Common Sense Media (graphite). I have become involved in creating and curating content related to learning resources for YoYoGames / GameMaker. I've been involved in Steam for Schools / Teach with Portal since the beta and have developed curriculum and presented at conferences. The list goes on :)
  • None. My wife, who teaches in a private school that is 1:1 iPad has had great access to such collaborations. I, on the other hand, have never been able to have this experience.
  • I haven't been involved in a real "direct" collaboration, although in my role I'm constantly playing around with things to see if they'd be worth a teacher's while. Movenote comes to mind, as well Discovery TechBook. I've met with quite a few textbook company reps and tested their websites.
  • I organize the Seattle EdTech Meetup, have participated in collaborative conferences like SXSWedu, work regularly with edtech startups from beta testing with my students to brainstorming ideas and classroom needs.
  • I've done focus groups, in-school playtesting, researchers visiting my classroom
  • I have not been involved in any collaborations yet
  • Edmodo
  • In-school playtesting with Gamestar Mechanic 2.0 in 2014. In-school beta testing with Time4Kids on NearPod fro iOS.
  • I have participated in focus groups and well as some beta-testing. The best experiences have been those where the company/startup approached the process as a learning experience (to learn more about what teachers need and want) rather than from the stance of "here's our new product and here is how it can solve your problems." I have also been a part of the Google Glass Explorer program and Google has done a fantastic job of providing a community platform for explorers and Google to discuss experiences, questions, how-tos, wishlists, and more as the product continues to be developed.
  • It is the basis of my job to play entrepreneur (internally) to my organization. I work with administrators and faculty to meet their needs now and tomorrow (and ones they didn't know they had).
  • I've worked on games for learning with institutions like the Notebaert Nature Museum and the University of Alabama College of Education.
  • focus groups, playtesting,
  • I've been involved with the CS10k NSF grant and online community.
    I do pd for teachers k-12. I help facilitate K-12 code activities.
Responses from Entrepreneurs:
  • Project Breaker
  • None yet
  • Filament Games: conducting focus groups and formative classroom playtesting, coordinating formal evaluation of games

    Quest Atlantis project: Design-based research on game units. I designed games and assessments, and administered these in classrooms of collaborating teachers, over several iterations.
Responses from people that fit both roles (Entrepreneur and Teacher):
  • Ongoing communication with educators to enhance our current product (via suggested features, the UI, etc).
  • CAS (Computers at Schools) in UK
    I've also just come back from a visit with Google Education, MIT and Microsoft
  • We've used 3DGameLab extensive in several classrooms in our district over the past year. This has provided an opportunity for interested teachers to give feedback to the platform's designers on what works and what needs work. The responsiveness of the support team for any product (especially in its infancy) is critical to its success, especially when it comes to considering feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  • - Open/eTextbooks - in progress
    - Clicker software
    - Twitter as a backchannel
    - Social media strategies for departments and faculty
    - Website/blog development
    - Streaming media focus group
    - Lecture capture systems for developmental education
  • Only career presentations and mock interview sessions.
  • Beta testing and focus groups.
  • Lots of student centered play testing focus groups where students become design and UI advisors.
    Teachers/game developer/scientist and occasionally student design groups where everyone brings their expertise and practical experience to the table to create several video games driven by true science game mechanics.  
  • As an edtech person, I've done a number of playtest sessions in classrooms (usually one-day sessions) and I've also done one year-long program of teaching a once-a-week playtest group.
Responses from people that feel they fit neither role:
  • I am the principle investigator on a number of federal grants to study learning in digital games. We do design, development, and testing in and out of school.

More to come, but I believe digesting the open ended questions one at a time is probably wise.  Writing this post provided me with a great opportunity to really read through the responses.  Clearly, developers and educators want to work together for the right reasons.  That is not the question.  How we can facilitate this remains to be the question.  I am excited to meet with everyone at SXSWEdu, but see that simply as a starting point.  Beyond SXSWEdu is when the rubber hits the road.  There's no doubt that the desire for this collaboration is there.  Now it's time to make it happen in a significant manner.