Over the weekend, Mikaila revisited our team of Gradeable GapApp teachers in the New York school system for the Innovate NYC Schools initiative. Gradeable was selected as one of the ed tech startups to participate in the first ever #GapApp challenge. The contest proposed by the New York City department of education, challenging software developers to submit an application that “helps fill the gap in middle school students’ skills, interests and motivation.”
This challenge also ties into our teacher-driven design process. This means, while participating in an exclusive contest, we are also getting the best design feedback — directly from teachers. So yeah, we’re pretty excited about @InnovateNYCedu and the #GapApp Challenge.
When I sat down with Mikaila, she explained that she was using her time in NYC as solid experience for the development process. “Developers shouldn’t build in a vacuum,” she said. “We’re talking to real live teachers in NYC schools who are trying to integrate tech in their classrooms.”
Mikaila worked with two english teachers and two history teachers. The english teachers co-teach a class, so they need shared access across their accounts. These are the types of “use cases” that allows Mikaila to understand how Gradeable needs to work in different types of classroom environments.
Additionally, even in a small group of four teachers, Mikaila found a range of teaching styles, varying technology expertise, and differing approaches to creating assessments. For example, some teachers like to create their assessments from scratch while others used New York State templates. Learning about how different individuals intend to incorporate Gradeable into their classrooms plays a critical role in how we develop our product.
Similar to her last visit, she walked the teachers through the product; this time she focused on exit tickets and small, formative assessments. Mikaila learned about the types of data they need in classrooms since New York State and the New York public school system have new requirements. The teachers want to use the data Gradeable provides as artifacts to track learning development and to show improvement.
“I love the conversations that come out of interacting with our teachers: the different ways they’d like to integrate Gradeable into their classrooms, areas they see room for improvement, or new features they think would be useful.” Mikaila explained. “That’s how great products are formed.”
We value the insight we get from working with great teachers. Do you have a “use case” that you think we haven’t heard of? We’d love to hear it!
- Exit Tickets: What They Are and Why You Should Use Them (gradeable.com)
- One Educator’s Case for Exit Tickets (gradeable.com)