Sunday, March 2, 2014

#edtechbridge survey part 3: What features would you like to see in a collaboration tool for teachers and entrepreneurs?

As I sit here reflecting on the fact that tomorrow is the start of #SXSWEdu and my presentation with Katya, I refer back to the survey to share more ideas presented by those who contributed their thoughts.  Our session is entitled "Bridging the Teacher / Entrepreneur Divide. It is a problem solving session.  We do not claim to have answers, but hope to engage in a thoughtful discussion that should be a starting point to build from.  We are hoping to identify the scope of the issue, and collaborate to develop an infrastructure to facilitate collaboration between teachers and entrepreneurs.

It is my belief that teachers would love to collaborate with edtech developers and that edtech developers truly value the input they could receive from engaging teachers in the process.  For some reason, it seems to me that teachers aren't aware of opportunities and likewise, edtech companies may not feel that they have access to teachers interested in the process.  This brings us to the point in the discussion and survey that focuses on what we would like to see in a tool designed to facilitate this process.

Question: If we were to build a tool for collaboration between teachers and entrepreneurs, what features would you like to see?

  • ease of login... not really Google+, but with a Google login for example.

    delicate notification settings.

    clear community values - it can't devolve into spam requests for beta testing

    clear purpose...not trying to be everything for everyone

    (This would be a great question for the DT4EdTech workshop! WOuld love for y'all to bring this to that session.
  • Google Drive / Dropbox Style Private File Sharing
    User Testing Tools like cursor heatmaps and eye tracking and surveys? Hard for me to be helpful here without knowing what you're thinking of building.
  • in-person meetups, listserv to post opportunities...
  • Discussion forum, chat function, ability to view background and current experience and position.
  • I'm weary of Yet Another Website to visit. Would rather something that integrates with existing platforms I use on a regular basis.
  • connection to Skype
    multiple participants and synchronous edits
    reviewing mechanism
  • Free is always good.
  • Easy posting of discussion topics, video, and other media. The ability to exchange files to share lesson plans, ideas, whitepapers, theories, research, and general plans for focus groups & technology implementations.
  • I don't know
  • Job postings/ internships
    Sponsorship for activities/events in school
    Skype/ Presentations
    Career and college readiness skills needed for applicants
    Certification opportunities
  • Community trend rating like reddit, follow/following, funding option like indiegogo. Access to angels who want to actually help ed reform not only turn a profit.
  • Group- curated website, with a running "document-as-you-go" set of updates to see how collaborations develop. It's important to see and share the process and progress of teacher/developer work.
  • Just easy ways to communicate and share files.
  • I'd like to see tools to facilitate collaborative peer review. These would include a way to connect live-collaboration Google tools like Drive and Hangouts with features like wikis, forums, and working examples that can keep a record of the threads of discussion. Also, an immediate space to sum up: blogs where people can post their takeaways from the collaborative experience and announce releases of products that have passed through this process. Finally, it would be good to list a strategy for sharing outcomes with the wider community, through working examples or external blog posts.
  • File sharing (media and doc)
    Instant messaging
    Video conferencing
    Easy file achieving and search (naming protocols)
    Chat rooms
    Review platforms
    Make it Fun!
  • I would like to see it use existing or new common platforms and venues rather than making teachers go somewhere different. I'd also like to see connections between practice (educators), research, and entrepreneurship. I fear that the commercial sector will run away with this before the good learning sciences research can take hold (as it did with textbooks) and that is a shame. I think research has to be more nimble and agile, and commercial entities need to be more altruistic - if those too things happen - we might be able to make a difference.
  • Forums, Profiles, professional networking capabilities (similar to Linkedin... education & work experience stats etc.), ability to syndicate blogs etc. as part of your profile info.
  • Area to ask for advice about "caught in between" situations
  • I've been thinking about this a lot over the past few weeks and it appears that we are on a somewhat similar train of thought... I was envisioning something along the lines of a dating site (but not as cheesy) merged with an online community with features that we had in the education Nings a few years ago... A site where users can set up a profile -- aligned with their role (educator seeking collaboration opps, edtech entrepreneur/startup seeking teacher collaborators or beta testers) -- and then engage in community features such as forums, events/calendar, personal blogs/status updates, special projects, etc. with links to other social media as well.
  • Members, comments and replies, ratings, open posting, pilot and beta opportunities.
  • A space where people go to ask questions, chat, make connections. A space where people already visit, so they don't have to go out of their way to check yet another website.
  • I would like to see a matchmaking feature that connects educators and entrepreneurs related to product / curricular interests. 
It's interesting to see the ideas people have.  I see some common trends including a 'matchmaking' mechanic, discussion areas, and many people feel we could use an existing service to avoid creating a separate entity.  Thanks everyone for sharing your ideas.  

Feel free to add feedback if you haven't participated in the survey but would like to share your thoughts regarding ideas for a mechanism that could be truly useful in bringing teachers and developers together.