This past summer, I attended an education technology panel in New York City, focusing specifically on using online education in classrooms. I had just finished the school year teaching, and had become increasingly interested in this type of technology.
Right before the panel began, the organizer of the event took a poll of the attendees. She first announced: “Raise your hand if you work in technology” - about half of the attendees raised their hands. “Raise your hand if you are a venture capitalist” - about a third, and so on. The last option she gave: “Raise your hand if you are a teacher”. Four people total (out of ~150) raised their hands, myself and my friend I dragged along included.
Maybe it was due to the marketing of the event, maybe it was due to the audience the event targeted — whatever the case, how could an educational technology event not make more of an effort to recruit educators? I completely understand why engineers, venture capitalists, and others were there (and why the panel would want them there), but I could not wrap my head around the small percentage of teachers present.
Before I taught, I had no real understanding of what it was like to have my own classroom of students (I thought I did beforehand, but I was clueless). I had no concept of what would help me organize lessons, contact parents, manage 30 students’ behaviors, etc. To me, the whole point of educational technology tools is to help make teachers’ and students’ lives better and easier. These are the folks who are going to be using these products. I am thankful to work at an educational company that values my past experience as an educator, and that values the feedback from our community of teachers and students on the site. We value the idea of crowdsourced information—feedback from teachers and students included. Share with me what you think of Socratic - the benefits are mutual.
Share your thoughts on Twitter @SocraticOrg or in our forum.
— Jackie Shlecter, Community Lead, Socratic.org
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